Being a Mother to Junior High Kiddos
How to handle pre-teens and teenagers in your house
When my three kids were young, I have always looked forward to the day when the kids are going to grow older and wiser. I didn't realize that I was not actually ready when it came.
My kids are now 11, 13, and 15.
About three years ago, in a blog, I talked about my eldest, who at that time was turning 13. I wrote "Almost a Teenager in the House". I was already seeing the changes in her at the time. There seem to be things that she would not tell me, and there would be times that she would answer back unexpectedly. I would like to presume that she did not intend to sound like she was a bit disrespectful but actually, I felt that she was. Maybe the typical teenager that she was; a little uncontrollable, and rebellious. I learned to handle her and to patch things between the two of us.
Now that almost all three of them are teens, somehow, I already know what to do with them. It is like I was already trained with my firstborn.
What the teens need.
Another thing that helped me handle them is my job. I am a Junior High teacher. So even before I had a teenager in the house, I have handled thousands of them in school. I developed patience, understanding and tolerance with my students; which, I guess, are the right tools in handling young minds under my roof.
Most teenagers are impatient. The more that you yell at them, push them to do this and that, the more they feel that they are pressured, the more that they won't abide. This is what I observed with my students which I also noticed with my children at home. As parents, when the kids are being stubborn, we become impatient, too. But I already saw that this is no good. So, I try my best to be more patient with them (both to my students and my kids). As much as I could, I try to speak with them a little more diplomatic. I cut the yell and I try to tone down a bit. It is effective.
Being patient means we understand. (We cannot be patient if we don't). Because of patience and understanding, we can now compromise with the kids. They need to know and feel that we do understand them, and that they also have to understand.
When I say tolerance, I mean learn to tolerate some habits and likes of our children. Maybe we can consider the music they listen to, the study habits that they have developed, the tv shows they enjoy to watch, and other things related to this. This will help us bridge what they call the generation gap.
Some Rules to Follow
Though we try to tolerate some of the things the kids do, and we compromise with them most of the time, they should still have in mind that they are our children and that there are still rules that are needed to be followed. My rules in the house are the same rules I give to my students. Maybe the following could be of help.
In everything that they do, in every promised time they tell me, they have to be there. They can leave the house and hang out with friends or stay out late after school only if they would tell where they are and what time they should be expected at home. If they fail, then there won't be a next time.
I told my kids, having crushes or puppy love is alright. But they have to tell me about it and that they won't be into serious relationships yet. If they cannot help the feelings and they really would opt to have a bf or gf, then, so be it. But then again, they have to let me know.
They should always be responsible to their actions. Cellphones are allowed. They can have apps on their cp, play games, and a lot more. But if their grades become low, gadgets are to be confiscated.
Basically, these are what I give them as rules. So far, we are not having any quarrels at all. I am happy, they are happy. We do not have any major problems so far. (Except that their dad does not want them to have crushes yet. Lol. )