I'm Terrified of the Teenage Years
My Confession to You
I have a confession to make; I am terrified of the teenage years. No, I'm not terrified of my own teenage years. Those are behind me now. However, they are not far enough behind me that I do not remember them. The teenage years I am terrified of are those of my three daughters. All of them will be teenagers at the same time and I only have one bathroom in my house. I can already hear them fighting over it in the mornings.
My daughters' personalities are far enough developed that I can tell each of them will be a girly-girl. I simply do not think I can deal with three teenage girly-girls at once. My 7 year old is already boy crazy and defiant about doing her homework. The other day I found she had written the name of her little crush on her notebooks! And this crush started in kindergarten. My 4 year old thinks she is a princess and strives to please everyone. And my 3 year old does not respond to discipline and has more energy than she knows what to do with. When I look into my future, I see lots of discussions about boys, peer pressure, and choices. I am also concerned about my children driving, working after school, and staying safe when I am not around. Right now my children are happy to see me show up unexpectedly at school or at a friend's house. I know that will not be the case in the future.
I know I have a tendency to be overbearing and I do not want to push my kids to dishonesty, risks, and danger due to my overly protective habits. I consider myself well-versed on the raising of a child anywhere between newborn age and 12. I only hope the teenage thing comes to me as naturally as the baby, toddler, and kid thing did.
Boys and Exy-say Clothes
How do you talk to your child about boys? How young is too young to have ‘the talk'? And more importantly, should I have ‘the talk'? Also, how do I monitor how my children dress without hand-delivering them to nerd status? I often find myself appalled by the clothing teenagers are wearing today. I don't know how they do it, but some of the girls in high school today look like fully mature women. To top that off, I have seen many young girls wearing items I saw in last month's Victoria Secret catalog. Am I being too prudish, or am I right to think our young people are growing up way too fast?
How do you explain to a girl that she shouldn't always do something just because her friends tell her to, or because all her friends are doing it too? When I was a teenager, I had a strong personality and I didn't let myself get peer pressured into too many things. Notice the words too many, eluding to the fact that there were some instances where I made a poor decision because of peer pressure. If I had a strong personality and didn't care what others thought and still felt pressure, how can I keep my ever-so-ready-to-please daughter from being pressured into poor decisions?
The most important factor when learning to make good choices is the consequence of acting on a choice. However, if you have a child who is oblivious of the consequences or who finds the consequences worth the choice, will she ever truly learn how to make good choices? I know I am jumping the gun on this one because my youngest just turned 3. So she very well may change her ways and realize consequences for her actions. But for right now, this is my article and it's about my fears at this moment. And right now, I fear my youngest knows no consequence harsh enough to stop her fun. And honestly, I think that trait is my Mother's fault. See, I often heard my Mom wishing I would someday have a child just like myself. And my youngest, well, she is that child. The only thing keeping me sane right now is that I see I turned out alright.
My Plea to the World
All in all, my ramblings are pretty unjustifiable. I am lucky to have good children, all things considered. I just remember how I was when I was a teenager and how my friends were (they were pretty bad) and I have these reoccurring nightmares that my children will grow up to be the same way.
If anyone has any suggestions for parenting a teen, please share them with me and I will file them for future use.