ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Your Relationship With Your Teenager Is More Important Than The Rules You Try to Impose

Updated on November 11, 2015

I grew up in the '80's. I was the oldest child of three, so I was the first to try testing the boundaries my parents tried to establish. I remember being the quintessential lousy teenager. I lied to my parents about my location and activities with no moral repercussions. They, in turn, grounded me, forbid me to associate with certain friends, took away everything from my car keys to other belongings, and it was all to no good end. Every rule they tried to uphold became a challenge for me to break. My folks had the "because I said so" mentality of forbidding certain activities. We never had conversations about alcohol, drunk-driving, drugs, sex, pregnancy, or any other subject teens may face. My parents gave stern warnings about the punishment that would be given if their rules were broken. Needless to say, I learned many life-lessons the hard way. Looking back, I realize it is a miracle I lived through those years. I vowed to do things differently when I became a parent.

My son was exposed to conversations ranging from sex to drugs by the time he was in 7th grade. I would sometimes initiate these talks when subjects came up on television or in a rented movie. I always tried to be not preachy and often used my own poor experiences to reinforce the message I was trying to impart. When he reached 9th grade, I allowed him to come and go as he pleased providing his "chores" were done. His circle of friends consisted of three young men that were all a year or tow older than him. This made it possible for him to travel because one of the boys was old enough to drive. Most weekends these boys spent at the oldest boy's home. I had several conversations with the parents at this home. They were pretty permissive. The boys were allowed to smoke and drink beer.

When he was in 11th grade, I allowed my son to drive a car load of teenagers to Chicago for Lollapalooza. He had earned the money himself by holding a full time summer job. He had demonstrated being a responsible driver by never driving under the influence. I trusted him to keep in contact with me through out the weekend.

My son continued to talk to me about life and friends. He would tell me if he was going to a party with alcohol. I told him about drinking too much and how awful a hangover can be. I told him stories about my classmates and how they had died in alcohol related accidents. I did tell him that I hoped he wouldn't drink so much that he lost responsibility for himself. I asked him to stay at the house hosting the party. I made him promise not to get into a vehicle after consuming alcohol. I prayed he wouldn't change his mind when he was under the influence. I did allow him to go, The next day we talked about the previous night's events. He told me, freely, what had taken place and I listened without judgment.

My son and his friends rented a condo in Colorado the summer between his junior and senior year. He got a summer job with a catering company out there. They had a ball! I am envious of the experiences they had rock climbing, fishing, skiing, and just having that independence at that age.

He continued to attend alcohol/bonfire/sleepovers throughout his senior year. By the time he entered college he had pretty much lost interest in "party" weekends. I think it was a good thing for him to know what alcohol did to him before going to college.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering, obtained employment in his field and lives several hundred miles away. He is grown, but we still have meaningful conversations regarding the choices life offers us. The fact that we can do this openly and without judgment makes me proud of my parenting style. My son learned self-confidence, money management and map-reading skills as well as self-respect. I learned the right environment and communication helps to bring a wonderful boy into adulthood. He is getting married in July of 2016.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • annasmom profile image
      Author

      annasmom 2 years ago

      Larry, Those baby years, they are truly awesome! It is so fun to see everything as "new" the way a child does. Actually the whole process of parenting is a blessing and you will learn as much from your daughter as you teach her!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great analysis! My girl just turned a year old, so it will be a while before I raise a teen for myself.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)