Parenting 101 – The Teenagers

I was watching an episode of TV with my daughter and it was about a young teen boy and his mother. The mother says to her husband: “he’s pulling away from me, we’re not close anymore.” Guess what? She’s right. My kids are 15 and 17 and you need to know that that’s what kids need to do, individuation I believe it’s called. But it still hurts like hell when it starts. I’ve heard that they come back to you but it’s not for awhile. Luckily, I’m somewhat used to the separation because our kids have been going to sleep-away camp for 7 years now. NEVER did I think that they would want to do that. Ok, never did I think my son would ever want to do that, my daughter wanted to go to sleep away camp since she was 3!!!

My son (by the way no offense to my husband, I know they are OUR children but…) is a Junior in HS. He, at some point, has to start thinking about college. As of now, he will do anything to avoid talking about it-he’s just not ready.If he could he would cover up his ears and scream “Nah Nah Nah.”  I continue to prepare myself because that separation is way more than sleep away camp and I know it. There are no visiting days every two weeks. It’s just not the same. (I have to admit I’m getting a little teary eyed right now). There’s only one school year between my son and my daughter so after he is in college for one year, she will be going away too. Empty nesters? How did THAT happen? Wasn’t it yesterday when I was crying every day and night because I couldn’t get pregnant?  The days slip by, even the months now..not that I mind that in the winter.  But as great as it is to parent your children and watch them grow, it’s sad too. Since the first day I was pregnant and maybe even before I remembered something from Khahil Gibran and I AM paraphrasing: Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters….they are lent to you, you do not own them.”

Parents, don’t worry. They will always love you. But, it is different. What can you do to make it easier?  One answer is:  Be prepared.  The real answer:  Nothing.

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