This is a big one. I am sure that my children hid stuff from me. They wouldn’t be any different from any other child. I know as they went through the teen years, it was one of the toughest times for them. Maybe not for all of them but for some.
When I think back to my teen years, it was a scary time. This town was full of bikers, drugs and it was the late ’60s. Need I say more. As a teen I spent every waking hour with my boyfriend thinking that was my life. Getting picked up in a hot car by someone who was already out of school made my day back then. We thought we were pretty cool.
Let’s go back a bit to the early teen years. The years of hitching a ride from one community to another, Yeah, we did those things back then. We didn’t see the implications of how dangerous that was. We were lucky. Did my children do the same? I don’t know. Times have changed and some of the crazy things we did back when I was a teen are not done today.
You see, I did things that my mom didn’t know about. Who doesn’t stay over at a friend’s house overnight to climb out a window to go to a party? Puts hand up. Who doesn’t drink before they are of age? Puts hand up. Of course, there are my siblings who did even crazier stuff and they will laugh if they read this. You grew what in your closet dear brother?
How could I expect my children to be any different from how I was as a teen? I couldn’t but I could hope. I think many parents think being strict with your teens is the way to go. I think it makes them want to cross you even more. It’s that bit of rebellion in us. Like telling us we can’t do something just to make us do it. Tighten the leash and they pull even harder.
The big thing I knew was I had to trust my teens. I had brought them up with good values. I hoped they would use them. Did it work? I like to think so. I never had to pull them out of jail or deal with the police. They made good decisions to sleep over at a friends if they had too much to drink. Or they could call us if they needed us at any time, day or night. We would always be there for them.
I think trusting your teens is also about respect. They are becoming their own person and think they have it all under control. I am sure my children may jump in if they happen to read this. Now that they are all adults, it would be fun to hear all those crazy stories I never knew about. All my children have grown into responsible adults. They are caring, good-natured and the best kids a mother could have.
This month I am blogging over at the Nesting Place with many other bloggers from around the world. I chose to write about family life which is a very different avenue for me to take. Even though I write about gardening, bringing up children is not too different. You plant a seed and it becomes a perfect flower, just as my children have become. It’s all about how you nurture them.