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Two Writing Teachers
Raising teens can be fun - they get your sarcastic jokes and funny comments. They have some decent reasoning and usually understand the reasons you refuse to let them do something. They have great stories to share about their social lives (if they decide that you can hear it!).
It's a bit more tricky to raise teens who have a driver's license and access to a car. There's a balance between over-parenting and under-parenting. I'm still trying to find ways to keep track of my daughter, allowing her to run errands and even get a bite to eat, without both of us feeling like she's being micromanaged.
I've asked for a message when she moves from one place to another. That's worked pretty well. Some days I'll be told earlier in the day that she plans to head for the mall or food after practice. Some days there is "radio silence."
On those days I'll send out a message, asking if she's still in the place where she started. Then I get the "sorry... we went..." message. I try to contain my frustration. When did a driver's license give you the freedom to jaunt all over town? I know - when I gave you access to a car.
We are trying our best to get along and keep the communication lines open. I'm jealous of time she spends with her friends, away from home, but at the same time we have little to talk about when she is home. Sometimes I'm accused of talking to her too much when she's home.
I'm feeling the stress of walking on eggshells, trying to preserve our relationship. I don't want to fall into the overly dramatic mother/teen dramatic-I-hate-you/you-are-ungrateful but I feel like I'm working too hard to watch my steps and what I say. I've heard from other mothers of teens that you should stay true to your mothering style and the teen has to deal with it.
One thing I want to become better at doing is to remind both my girls each day that I do love them to pieces. That's hard to express when "I love you!" is a phrase we use sparingly in my house. My husband and I are mushy when it's funny. We need to find a way to express our love and feelings of pride to our kids.
I never thought I would say this, but parenting teens is tiring and wonderful, all at the same time.