What would be the only thing you would not tell your adolescents you did when you were their age?

Teenagers live in their own world...

One of the most important lessons I have learnt in my years as a mother is to keep the lines of communication open with my kids. Sometimes it is hard to talk to them, especially when they are teenagers.
One of the most important lessons I have learnt in my years as a mother is to keep the lines of communication open with my kids. Sometimes it is hard to talk to them, especially when they are teenagers.
Often they don't look like they are listening to you. But that's the time when it's most important to find a way talk to them - not to lecture them, but to tell them things you think are important for them to know.
Often they don't look like they are listening to you. But that's the time when it's most important to find a way talk to them - not to lecture them, but to tell them things you think are important for them to know.
Their attitude towards tomorrow tends to differ according to how they feel about today. That, in turn tends to depend on how they feel about yesterday.
Their attitude towards tomorrow tends to differ according to how they feel about today. That, in turn tends to depend on how they feel about yesterday.
We all make assumptions and teenagers are the expert in that field. When you start to tell them things they jump ahead in their minds to see if they can get to the end of the sentence before you...
We all make assumptions and teenagers are the expert in that field. When you start to tell them things they jump ahead in their minds to see if they can get to the end of the sentence before you...
They were so sure you were going to say something else, they probably felt cheated by that unexpected word...they burst out in anger, they can not control...
They were so sure you were going to say something else, they probably felt cheated by that unexpected word...they burst out in anger, they can not control...
You can only imagine what were going through their head, but you stood your ground and it was also good, it reinforced your parenting position, you were making the right decision...it was a powerful experience of living with a teenager...
You can only imagine what were going through their head, but you stood your ground and it was also good, it reinforced your parenting position, you were making the right decision...it was a powerful experience of living with a teenager...
This experience teaches us that best rarely occurs. Always apparently, there will be some kind of compromise to contend with. If we are wise and fortunate parents, we may look back...
This experience teaches us that best rarely occurs. Always apparently, there will be some kind of compromise to contend with. If we are wise and fortunate parents, we may look back...
...and realize later that it is just as well things didn't turn out the way we hoped. That said, sometimes, just sometimes we do get what we want...
...and realize later that it is just as well things didn't turn out the way we hoped. That said, sometimes, just sometimes we do get what we want...
and teenagers listen to us, for a short miraculous moment and respond the way we expect them to do...if this is one of those times, cherish it....
and teenagers listen to us, for a short miraculous moment and respond the way we expect them to do...if this is one of those times, cherish it....
...because it changes back to 'teenager's normal behaviour' quicker than you think, do not let catch you unprepared...when it happens to me, I turn to art...
...because it changes back to 'teenager's normal behaviour' quicker than you think, do not let catch you unprepared...when it happens to me, I turn to art...
Entertainment is about distracting people from the disappointments of their daily lives. Art, on the other hand, had such an impact on people that strange things can happen in their souls,
Entertainment is about distracting people from the disappointments of their daily lives. Art, on the other hand, had such an impact on people that strange things can happen in their souls,
mysteries can become clear, opaque things can become evident, the complicated becomes simple, what is probable becomes necessary, but most of all, art is about uniting people.
mysteries can become clear, opaque things can become evident, the complicated becomes simple, what is probable becomes necessary, but most of all, art is about uniting people.
If I can not communicate with my teenagers we write to each other. Writings seem to become better as we learn more about ourselves through our writings. Through our writings we both realized...
If I can not communicate with my teenagers we write to each other. Writings seem to become better as we learn more about ourselves through our writings. Through our writings we both realized...
that we all constantly strive to find an honesty in what we do. It's not about being the best, I try to explain to my teenagers, it is about finding the integrity behind the story and within the story...
that we all constantly strive to find an honesty in what we do. It's not about being the best, I try to explain to my teenagers, it is about finding the integrity behind the story and within the story...
and letting it out as gracefully and easily as possible...it's about finding your own unique voice, after all, it's not about us, it's all about the story.
and letting it out as gracefully and easily as possible...it's about finding your own unique voice, after all, it's not about us, it's all about the story.
I let them know through my writings that I choose to have them because I love to be a mother. I also am very lucky to be surrounded by amazing people, my teenagers.
I let them know through my writings that I choose to have them because I love to be a mother. I also am very lucky to be surrounded by amazing people, my teenagers.
Joy comes form living next to people you love. The rest just falls into place. As time goes on, I am enjoying parenting more and more, and getting more and more relaxed.
Joy comes form living next to people you love. The rest just falls into place. As time goes on, I am enjoying parenting more and more, and getting more and more relaxed.
Being a parent, just like being a writer, takes a lot of dedication. If you don't put in the time, you won't go the distance. I am a parent trying to make a difference in my childrens' lives...
Being a parent, just like being a writer, takes a lot of dedication. If you don't put in the time, you won't go the distance. I am a parent trying to make a difference in my childrens' lives...
I am a writer trying to make art. Only time will tell if I succeeded. Only I can do for now is try...
I am a writer trying to make art. Only time will tell if I succeeded. Only I can do for now is try...

Driven to the brink of suicide

by uncaring parents,

by vicious bullies

at school

is not something

any parents

want to brag about.


Having the last laugh

is still not enough,

having lived

every kid's worst nightmare,

you are happy

just travelling through life,

teaching your children

to be open-minded

to be comfortable

with other people

and other children,

who don't fit

the popular

mainstream

types.


Preaching

understanding

and

acceptance,

to help

young people

to stand for themselves

is easier

than

sharing

your own story,

the suicide

you nearly

didn't survive.


The graduation

from primary school

to high,

no longer,

the oldest in a school,

you'd known for half a decade,

the youngest again

the most vulnerable,

in scary,

unfamiliar territory,

heaving with hormonal kids

fighting for their place

under the sun.


Complicated by desire

for the opposite sex,

dreaming about having

a ready-made set of friends,

trying to be the same

like everyone else.

Gangs of pubescent girls,

slaps and punches,

group assaults,

fighting over

the same

good-looking

cool guy,

you didn't really

care about,

all you wanted

is non-cool dude,

the nerdy,

smart guy,

who dared

to dream big,

without following

the crowd.


With innocent naivety

you condemned

yourself

to be different,

leaving

behind

every level

of

that

silly

school

hierarchy,

you copped it

physically

and

spiritually,

everyone

from the bottom

could get away

with bullying

you.


Your care-givers

thought

you have done

something wrong

to be getting that kind

of attention.

"Pretty and obedient girls

are not bullied at school,"

was their answer to you.

They forced you

to go to school,

sobbing

and scared.

You couldn't learn,

constantly

watching your back.

"You're a weirdo

and you're never

going to be anything,"

ringed constantly in your ears

but you were determined,

not to let the bullies win.


And yet,

you were lonely,

the injuries

to your self-esteem

were worse than the pain,

harming yourself,

hiding in your room,

slicing your wrists,

you phoned your only friend

before you lost

your consciesness.

"She is attention-seeking,"

was a new brand name for you.


Your care-givers

labeled you 'difficult,'

but you managed

to get through,

you kept your dignity

and you finished the school.


Now,

with the benefit

of hindsight,

you are able to see

those few schools' years

as character building.

It made you

who you are.


You are glad,

that the attempted suicide

wasn't successful,

you are glad,

that you followed your dreams

having your own teenagers now,

you would never dare

to tell them this story...

too painful, too shameful, too close to your heart...


But also you never tell them

to put up with bullying,

or reassure them that it is "character building",

or tell them to ignore it and it will go away.


Whether they are victim or a bystander,

they have to report it

and force parents and school to deal with it,

because their lives are at stakes,

teenagers live now,

their years of high schools

are everything they care about,

friends are everything,

they can help them up

or pull them down...


Listen to them,

and deal with their worries,

immediatelly...

bullying is serious,

can not wait,

later is sometimes too late.









More by this Author


Comments 23 comments

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is a hub for every parent to read. Your captions are also a great boost in parenting teens. I love the statement about helping them to find their own unique voice -- it's about the journey! You are doing a great job parenting, I can tell. It will pay off. Voted up, up!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, my dear fellow hubber for your positive response, it is a slippery and foggy road, but the road I have chosen myself to follow, I don't give up and I am optimistic that everything turns out well at the end:)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Another magisterial effort, Beata: lovely pics and wise words.

Bob


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

There are a couple of things I wouldn't tell anyone, let alone post on a hub.

But, listen to my kids, I did. I have 4 sons, the youngest coming up on 48. When they were young,we had dinner together every night where we talked about just about everything. Yes, there were times as an adolescent that I was bullied and taunted, but I never contemplated suicide. I snuck cigarettes from my dad's dresser drawer and a few times I snuck alcoholic drinks with friends.I did many other things that I won't post here, but I didn't get arrested and I didn't hurt other people.

My advice to any parents raising adolescents is always listen,to tell them frequently that you love them (even if that embarrases them), and show by example. The greatest gift you can give them is your time


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Powerful writing. I'm unclear if it is fiction or memoir. That it is not fiction is indicated by the lack of anything in the title to indicate that it is. That it is not memoir is indicated by the contradiction that it does -- by existing at a website readable by all, including the teenage sons -- what the narrator says she would not do. Or is it a story you cannot share in speech but can in writing? I'm just being inquisitive. Perhaps it is a matter you cannot talk about but can write about. That has been so at times for me, and even then I've needed to fictionalize. Fact or fiction, this hub rings true emotionally. And it's a successful exercise in the use of second person narrative.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

If it is fiction or the memoir, I leave on the readers to decide, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter if it is one or another, for it is powerful exercise and a little platform for a little discussion, how do you raise your teenagers?

Thank you, again, my fellow hubbers for your honest and powerful inputs.


tom hellert profile image

tom hellert 4 years ago from home

Beata S.

I gotta say- I am pretty darn clean my sons are aware I was not married to their half sisters mom but considering she has abandoned us.. it does bot really matter. Although my eldest did say once that why would my wife n I have sex were not having anymore kids.. he is 13... I got a great chuckle out of that one....

TH


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Beautiful lines, wonderful pics and meaningful captions. Teenage is the most difficult time for kids and their parents. You hit the nail right on the head with the comment about keeping communication channel always open. Voted up.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you guys, just showing us that life and people in it are not 'black and white'...well, I have to still admit, I am very happy to be far away from my teenagers' years now and I prefer to enjoy it with my children now:)


Talullah profile image

Talullah 4 years ago from SW France

A great hub with a powerful message and some truly stunning photos!


mperrottet profile image

mperrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

Great hub, Beata. I had a very difficult passage through my teen years, and as a result I made sure to keep a close connection to my three sons during their teens. It's a tumultuous time, and the most important thing you can give them is unconditional love and a person to talk to. Fortunately, they have all made it into their forties now, and I now have grandchildren to worry about and to love.

I love your message, but also the way you put this hub together - very artistic and well done!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

There are very few things my kids don't know about me. They know I used to smoke weed and other stuff I've experienced. I told them more as a "don't do what I did" sort of thing. Also to make them aware I wasn't stupid and cared about what they did.

It's so important, as you said, to keep the lines of communication open with our kids, especially when they're teens. Sometimes I had to just bite my tongue so I wouldn't lecture them and just listen to them.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, fellow hubbers for your genuine responses, happy that my hub brought your memories back and you all enjoyed what you read:)


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 4 years ago from New Mexico

I tell my kid everything, I even tell him the lesson I learned about it, I tell him all the people I knew who made the bad choices and the good choices and where they are now. I tell them what I wish I had done when I was their age and why we know what he is doing now is because we faced those same choices. We tell him he has a freedom we can never take but that he himself can harm himself. We tell him that no matter what we are there for him and that if he has anything that troubles him we will help him make the right choices and solve the problems, but the choices and responsibilities are ultimately his own.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

That is very good approach, dear 'artblack01', very good indeed, your kid is one of those very lucky ones, thanks for stopping by and good luck with hubbing:)


FordeAhern profile image

FordeAhern 4 years ago from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland

Great hub and beautiful pictures, thank you for the advice. My little girl just turned 13 and she has her good days and bad days. I try my best with her, we always had a good relationship but I feel I am biting my tongue as she has these looks that makes me cross. She is great, We tell every day how much we love her but some days she doesn't acknowledge it.Am I doing ok with her?

fordie


Jackwms profile image

Jackwms 4 years ago

Fordie, it sounds like you have a perfectly normal 13 year old. Don't be cross if you can help it.


FordeAhern profile image

FordeAhern 4 years ago from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland

Thanks for the advise, I will do my best. just new at the teenage stuff.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Jack gave you a great advice, dear Fordie, every one of us is new in parenting, because even if you have more children, each of them is different and there is no one universal advice in parenting to follow, at least I don't believe it is...the best you can do is follow your heart and your intuition and do your best....with the best intention in your heart you can not do harm....now I am going through teenager's years with my last child and it is not less challenging than with the first one...even when they are adults you can feel sometimes that you are at the end of your wits....it is the most challenging, never ending life commitment but the most rewarding as well:)


crabbykris profile image

crabbykris 4 years ago from Fort Pierce

I think I have to say that the teenage years are possibly the most challenging years of raising children. I can relate.

Although I don't think suicide is ever an option. Life is beautiful, even when it's scary and confusing. And having children is one of the most amazing things in it. It sound like care for your kids a great deal.

I love my kids more than anything. And I think I have created great relationships with all of them.

Humor is a big part of how our family copes with pain. It might not be right but it works for us.


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Great to hear that you use humour, it is very important tool to use if the relationship is built on trust, love and honesty. You are right, suicide is never an option, unfortunatelly it is happening all around us, at least in our parts, although we don't like to talk about it, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. As a mother and even more as a teacher and councellor I deal with these issues every day, although my family is happy I know it is not the same with every family... Happy to hear from you and all the best:)


MargaritaEden profile image

MargaritaEden 4 years ago from Oregon

You are very talented! This is a wonderful hub, pictures are great, thanks for sharing them with us!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia Author

Thank you, dear Margarita, I have found out a long time ago that my fellow hubber are very kind bunch and therefore it is so easy to just close my eyes and write what comes to my head without the fear of being judged or criticised for my 'original use of English words and images'...thank you for embracing the 'scattered images in my mind':)

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