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Can You Admit a Mistake to Your Teens? I’m About To.

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You know, I always kind of thought I knew what I was doing with this parenting thing. And then I had teenagers. And it went out the window.

It’s been a week since “The 24-hour/Sit on the Couch/ My Mother is a Horrible Human Being/Laundry Boycott/Summer 2017 Manifesto.”  Since that time, a LOT has changed. And much of it has to do with my thinking. What I’ve learned is that sometimes, as parents, the hardest thing to do is realize that we’ve made a mistake – and one in particular in our home is so gigantic that it’s turning our family dynamic completely upside down.

Post Recently Revised

When I first posted this, I went into specifics about what those dynamics were. I will again, but for now, it’s not really appropriate. (Annoying fact: My kids never read this blog – heck, they haven’t even read my book all the way through – why should I care? Plain and simple – because they aren’t babies anymore. I can’t just write what I want and post embarrassing photos and changes they aren’t even aware of. All parties need to be talked to first. On one hand, this is very annoying. On another, it’s called respect. I owe them that.)

 

The Power Struggle is Real

Someone I trust called me out on my dilema a few days back. I had mentioned to him that I was going to sleep at the neighbor’s house one night a week just to get 8 hours of sleep based on current living arrangements. To me, this seemed brilliant. To him? Not so much. Forgive me, Christian readers, for quoting my friend exactly. when he responded, “Are you FUCKING insane?”

To which I replied, “I’m not aware of that. No.”

To which he went on to prove wrong.

“You’re so used to giving away your power you don’t even realize that you’re living like a trapped animal. Tell the kids you made a mistake. That the way things are set up in the home currently causes too much discord. That there is no room for peace, love and tolerance.”

Me: (horribly guilt ridden)”They are going to Freak. Out.”

Him: “They will get over it. And when they see you and your husband calmer and more of a team they will, on the inside, jump up and down for joy. For you, my friend, will be stepping up as a parent – a parent who does the hard thing in the long run even when it hurts in the short term.

We Are Not the World’s Perfect Couple

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I admit it. We struggle like everyone else (sometimes more – sometimes less). But one thing we do not struggle on is giving our kids a solid place in a home that is structured fairly. I’m grateful that Rex and I are willing to team up on this, bring our lives back in balance, and love our kids enough to rip their delusions from them  admit we made an error in judgement last year with one decision.

I’ll let you know what we decide. Wish us luck.

Do Your Kids Have Too Much Power?

I really want to know. Do you do over indulge your kids without realizing? (Note: I really want to give my kids better enrichment classes. I’m not talking about education – I’m talking about arrangements in your family dynamics that put them above you or your partnership which could, potentially, harm them long term.)

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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Is Your Kid Joyful or Feral? It’s a Fine Line!

 

It’s Saturday. I slept until 10am – a rarity for this tired mama.

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I just lingered under the covers until I felt like shuffling toward the kitchen for a lovely cup of Starbucks in my favorite mug. It was, dare I say, peaceful? Which of course could only mean one thing:

There would be hell to pay.

My son was found hunched over a video screen with his buddy, Tyler.

Me: “Stink, how long have you been on that thing? Be honest.”

Him: “About one hour.”

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Me: (Attempting to be calm.) “Really? Because isn’t one of your friends coming over at 1 to play with you?”

Him: “No.”

Me: Sigh of relief.

Him: “Two more are coming. Holden and Adrian.”

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Me: (Blood now rising like hot air balloon…. in Hades.) “If you only get two hours/day on the computer (picture Patience with Control Issues rising) and you’re now playing for one hour (insert the image of a harpie on steriods) then do you mean to tell me you’re only going to play for one hour when your buddies come over?”

Him: (Instantly shutting down the screen) “Sorry, Mom.”

Me: (Determined not to go into a full on lecture. Going into a full on lecture.) 2

“You are 13! Thirteen! I don’t want to micromanage you, dude, but apparently I’m going to have to because if I can’t trust you to be responsible with your gaming limits then clearly I can’t trust you in the future when you are driving and going to work… if you even qualify for anything besides playing Mario Cart… and really is this what I am going to have to do deal with first thing in the morning FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE?

Him: (Calm as a cucumber) “No, Mom. Just for today.”

Me: (Taking a deep breath) “Okay. You’re right. I’m sorry I over reacted.”

Him: (Hugging me) “It’s okay.” (Then) “To make it up to me, can I have a few more minutes?”

Con artist.

I could have gone loco. (Like just yesterday, when I had the grand idea that the way to stop an arguing ADHD teenager is to put my hands on his mouth and see if it would block the noise from coming through the pie hole. Um, note: That totally doesn’t work.)

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Instead, that’s when I took the high road. I put my arms around him, took a deep breath, told him how much I loved him, and invited him into a moment of prayer to bond and connect with our Lord, Jesus then reached my long arms down and pinched his butt.

He retaliated by grabbing a bag of gluten free bread and smacking me on the side of the noggin.

GAME. ON. (And this one didn’t require a plug.)

The moral of the story: Sometimes turning a potentially explosive moment into a joyful one can keep you from killing your offspring.

Underlying points of the moral of the story: I can be controlling sometimes. The kid is not a baby. I don’t need to be policing his every move.

The flip side of my controlling tendencies: If I don’t teach him consequences and boundaries, who will? And even more to the point (yes, I over think… like you don’t, readers?) if I don’t keep my anger in check, what’s the point of keeping him off the games in the first place if he’s only going to deal with a crazy mother who screams at him first thing in the morning with bad hair and no caffeine in her pre-menopause body GOD HELP US ALL!!!?

No, as Farmer Stacey always reminds me, relationship trumps being right.

This kid will be out of my house of my house (idealistically) in five years. While I want him to grow into a man of discipline and respect, I want him to remember being a boy who experienced silliness, laughter and love.

For me, this area is difficult, because I don’t always have the most boundaries with myself.

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I don’t care about time restraints and house tasks and being on time for important meetings (Dear God, please let me work on my time issues) as much as I value chatting up the random shopper at Trader Joes about her guinea pig business and the pros and cons of fresh tumeric vs. cholesterol meds. If only I could be paid for being a chatty Kathy human being instead of a warehouse worker!  Life would be perfect! (Oh yeah, I scored the perfect job for me! More to come!)

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How about you, mamas?

Where is your happy balance in this parenting deal? How do you find the balance between a kid who is joyful and a kid who is feral?

The line is shaky, is it not? (Especially when you have a kid like mine.)

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Until next time, May God grant you the serenity to accept the tics you cannot change, the courage to change the tics you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

My book is available on Amazon. Follow me on Twitter@AndreaFrazerWrites or on FB

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