Parent & Child Communication
Teenage Break Through
I pondered a lot on my first novel. I thought of who I wanted to dedicate my book to. This was my first novel as a fiction writer, and finally after almost 7 plus years of writing and editing, and copy-pasting into formats over a few times, then I looked into who inspired my life the most. I reach back into the depths of my childhood after spending years in a classroom around all types of children, and I realized it was my mother and my grandmother. Why did these two ladies inspire my life? I guess it was because we bonded in a way that I never thought possible.
My grandmother was a farmer, and a tough lady who had 8 children. One of them she lost at an early age. She would tell me about her life and her siblings, and how important they were to each other. She went sun up to sun down on her tractor, and when she was not doing that she was feeding chickens, herding hogs or cows, and collecting eggs on her farm. Sometimes she hosted community hog killings, and she often had farmhands who would come in to harvest her crops. I remember the good old days, when she had her outhouses and Sears Roebuck catalogs in them, and the smokehouses, and tobacco barns, and not to mention her guinea bird flocks and her turkeys. She was the type lady you call to fix a body after death, and often she would do that for those in the community. We often broke down barriers and were able to communicate because of our love of the outdoors and the fun things like catching crawdads and digging up fish bait and going fishing in her big fish pond. She was a tough lady and did not always understand the bond between my mother and me. She would look at me, and say how can you talk to your mother that way. I would look her in the face and tell her that we communicated. Of course, my grandmother did not understand that, because I remember when I was around adults in those days that they would often look you in the eye and say "that is a sweet little girl cause she is seen but not heard". I was thinking to myself are they a bit nuts?How is that being a sweet little girl, when you do not count for anything but be quiet? I wondered if that did not affect my life in being shy for some time. So when I had conversations with my mom as a teenager, then my grandmother would look at me like I had lost it, but I loved her, because I knew she did not understand us. My mother was raised in days of depression, living on the farm with no electricity or running water, and having to go at 4 am in the field on a horse to bring in the cows for milking. That was done by her before she went to school. They lived by Kerosene lantern and that is how my mom grew up.
Mother and I broke down our barriers in communication one day, and I also thought that was important to put in my book, Legacy of the Skull Master. The reason I did put it there was that she taught me something in life. I was in my 17th year of being a teenager, and I became very rebellious, because I felt like no one understood me and what I was going through. I felt like running away from it all, but I did not. One day when I was being mouthy and not very respectful, then my mother looked me in the face and said these words,"what makes you think I know how to raise a teenager, because you are my first, and I did not have a magic book to tell me how to raise you." I stopped a minute and thought hard on those words. Then something hit my mind like a great brainstorm. Wow..............., I thought to myself. I thought my mother was perfect, and I never dreamed she did not know how to raise a teenager. Then I asked my mom, "what can we do to break down our wall of lack of communication?" My mother said, "respect my words, and I will listen to yours, and if I am wrong, then I will admit to being wrong, but you must listen to me, and I will listen to you." From that day forward my mother became a listener, and I became a less rebellious teenager. Someone finally listened to my words, and I felt important in life.
After the breakthrough, I had to go and visit grandmother and face her with my news of communicating with my mom. She looked at me, and I thought she would be happy, but she said, " you two are too close for your own good. If something ever happened to you, then the other one would be lost." I thought to myself that she was putting up barriers, and I was not going to see them. My mother and I had no more barriers. I understand what she meant now, but then it never dawned on me that she could see that death might tear us apart inside, and I have to say that I do miss my mom a great deal, but my mom's memories will be always with me. She became part of my life, and she is felt inside my heart. I rely on my memories to bring her to my thoughts, but she made me who I am. She cared about my values, and this mother made the difference in my life.
I would say to parents to let your children know that you are not perfect, and no you are not a child expert, and you want to know how they feel, but you, on the other hand, want them to listen with respect. That word I think is the greatest of all things possible. Respect.................................
That does not mean you won't have rocky roads to walk over, but it means you will spend your life mending the bridges and stop putting up fences you cannot take down. Love your children so that their love will come home to you.