Friday, July 2, 2010

I Wrote The Book On 'Boy Crazy'

When I was a kid growing up my mom would often tell me that I was going to learn from her mistakes.... I had rules growing up -rules to protect me - rules to help me become responsible - rules to help me live in the real world... Of course, I thought my mom was over protective... completely irrational and extremely old fashion... So when puberty hit and I knew more than my mom ( every teen is smarter than their parents) - I looked for ways to work around her rules....

Now I have two girls... both are teens... both are "smarter" than me.. both think I am over protective... completely irrational and extremely old fashion.... Looking back on the things I did in my youth - I am lucky (seriously) that I wasn't hurt... or worse... It's funny how my daughters believe I have no idea what it is like to have my hormones take over my mind and body... They believe I have no idea what it feels like to be crazy about a boy or two or three.. When I was a teen - I could have written the book on "Boy Crazy" They don't believe that I "get" peer pressure... Oh my girls, I remember the pain and the joys of being a young teen... I remember wanting to grow up faster... I remember wanting my first kiss... my first boyfriend.. my first.....

Because of the things I did growing up - I am a stricter parent... (I did things that my parents never found about it.) I became the master of sneaking out of the house... Remember "party lines" that was the 1978 - 1981 version of the Internet to meet the opposite sex.. I got caught once and my phone was taken away for a couple of weeks.. The next time I wasn't caught and met a much older teen - I was 15 and he was 18... I climbed out my window and went to a Queen concert over 20 miles away.... other nights I was at "much older" crowd parties - hanging out at the beach .. I thought I was cool - I thought I was safe.... Now that I am a forty-four (44) year old mother of two daughters - the idea of my kids doing those things scares the crap out of me.... I was lucky.... In today's world - that kind of behavior may not be so lucky..... My youth may have made me become even more sensitive to what's out there thus being more protective... maybe..

So the other day - my oldest got caught doing something that she knows she shouldn't do.. She's been caught a few too many times lately - so she is being punished... She has lost all her privileges - Everything - her phone, TV, IPOD, computer, and has to go to bed early.... She can earn back her privileges but it will be only one privilege at at time.. All we ask is that she have a good attitude and use good judgment... Ten consecutive days of good behavior she can earn 1 privilege back.. I don't know if we are doing it right - I have to pray that I am making the right decisions.. that she will learn the consequences for good and bad behavior.. The world can be a scary place....

So my kids will continue to think that I am over protective, completely irrational, and extremely old fashion and that's okay..... I love them so very much and my goal is to give them the opportunity to have a life that is far better than mine... Just like my mom's dream was for me... So I really Have Become My Mother...


  1. My sister and I were just talking about the stupid things we did as teenagers that we thought nothing of. It's amazing we made it ok too. We know more than our kids think!

  2. I think it's a good thing to "become my mother" as shocking as it feels!

    Sounds like you're being pretty fair to me, and your rules and conditions sound clear. Rosie is only 4 so I'm taking notes!

  3. No worries.. your girls will come around and actually think you were pretty cool for keeping them accountable for their actions. Too many parents out there are fluffing up their kids and when they actually are confronted with a situation without a parent around to fix it.. they will be lost. Your girls know there is a action and reaction.. a choice and a consequence/reward. Hang in there!

  4. It was a first date last night, and we chose to go bike riding. Eventually, we ended up at a restaurant. There, a woman recognised my date and came to the table for "girl talk".

    The line that caught my attention from this "mom" visitor was this:
    "I have three girls and one son and I can tell you I would rather raise boys ANY day!"

    She was most emphatic!

    Since I have two daughters and no sons, I inquired why such a difference in raising genders preference? She replied:
    "When you raise a boy, you don't have to go through all the drama".
    I loved that line for it made me recall all the drama of raising my girls to womanhood.
    I was a single dad.

    The table visitor itemized a series of girl "drama" from the behavior you discuss, to backbiting peers, and more.

    So, your post lament is most common; most true.

    But as I read your "punishment".....and agreed wholeheartedly, because I did the same with my daughters....I looked at the list of things taken away, and the time frame to "earn" each back (10 days).

    I do not know what your daughter did.
    I can imagine easily, for I have eight sisters in addition to my two daughters, so girl life is embedded in my brain.

    But I ask a favor from you as a total stranger.
    It is a difficult walk to make from child to many things to learn.
    We must teach the disciple, but we must allow room to learn love, compassion, and even serendipity!

    After 20 to 30 days (assuming good attitude by your daughter and no beligerence), I was wondering if you would add a single "forgiveness" to one of the essentials of teen life you have taken from your daughter (it matters not which).

    Suggest to her that her attitude has been as marvelous in the direction of right living, as her prior deed/behavior was in the wrong direction.
    Add that you want her to know you understand compassion and forgiveness, and need her to learn both as well.

    At that point, bring serendipity in her life by returning a sole "girl toy" that you have removed, forego the ten days for that sole item, and give it back unmerited for her deeds, but merited by her new attitude.

    And ask her to one day surprize HER child with a "get out of jail free card" when the time comes.

    And ask her to remember YOU, and this very day you did it for her, when she does that in the future.

    I have found my daughters responded very well to such moments of serendipity, and they became moments of love, compassion, and hugs-without-arms, long remembered.

    While I understood the mom who preferred raising her son over three daughters, I would never trade raising my two daughters. As they grew from child to woman, they taught me how to raise myself from a physical dad who had a baby, to becoming a father.
    We learned our roles together.

    I yelled at one once and said:
    "The Bible says "CHILDREN, obey your parents!"
    She was no taller than my thighs, and looked up at me immediately with her eyes and said:
    "Fathers, do not exhasperate your children"...
    and we howled in laugher together.
    (The lines are in Ephesians 6:1-4; we both chose to remember the parts that suited us, eh?)

    May your dwelling have much laughter and howling together too!
    Many blessings to you and your children.

  5. YES! You ARE doing it right! We did crazy sh*t when we were young precisely because we thought we could get away with it. It's funny - listen to the public service announcement commercials on helping your kids steer straight and the modern ones all have one thing in common:Know your children's friends, their whereabouts, interests, - basically get under their skin as much as you possibly can. Prior to having a teenager I thought this was the same old "Just say NO!" failed rhetoric, but you know what? I think they finally got it right. It's not our job to be our kids' friend. It's our job to get them from the cradle to 18 years old alive and healthy. Bonus points if their moral compass is also calibrated :)

  6. I think about all the things we used to do, too, and I'm horrified to think my kids might do the same when they hit their teens. Sounds like you're handling it all well. :)

  7. Stay strong Kelly!! I know it seems now that your daughters see you as the enemy, but TRUST ME there will come a day when they will understand and thank you!!!

  8. I think you made a VERY wise choice on how you handled it! My sister and her husband recently had to do this with his son -- he had everything taken away, iPod, phone, Facebook, etc. He has to earn it all back over the summer. That even includes *church* trips. He has been helping them *at* the events (they do photography and videography), but obviously that isn't the same.

    My sister was the handful of the two of us, and she knows that you have to be firm and fair! Sounds like you learned that and are acting on it too!!



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