There’s a lot of research that goes into single-parenthood. Lots of academics and psychologists spend a lot of time and a lot of money trying to figure out what makes kids great kids. Why are some kids motivated and curious and others checked-out and bored?
I hear, all the time, about the chemicals in a teenager’s brain. In fact, there seems to be some sort of free-pass to teens because their brains have not yet been wired for reason or even common sense.
I think that’s a load of shite to be honest. (here’s where the smug part comes in
I have 2 daughters. They’re 11 and 14. I don’t really know any other kids that are as awesome as they are and I know you may be thinking that I have to say that because I’m their mom but I’ll bet that once this article has been circulated a little there will be enough comments to convince you that they’re pretty much epic. (even if their mom writes massive run-on sentences
When I meet other kids I categorize them into 2 groups: those who can look me in the eye and talk to me and morons. I know, I know, that’s probably not fair but, to be honest, I don’t have time for a kid who isn’t interested enough in me to communicate correctly. Depending on the kid, and the opinions of my kids about them, I may be willing to cut them some slack, but not always.
I have, on several occasions, had people ask me to divulge the secret for raising great kids. Most of the time I just want to say, “you’re too late, you should have started 15 years ago!” I find that there are a lot of parents out there who still think that the way they were raised is enough to raise good kids. WAKE UP!
Things are so different today that you have to adapt.
My mom (who was/is a great parent btw) used to say “I’m not your friend, I’m your mother.” Well guess what? That doesn’t work anymore. You have to be friend and parent nowadays because if you don’t open that friend door and constantly communicate with your kids, from the time they arrive in the world, then you’ll find it impossible to get them to talk to you when they’re teens.
It used to be that our parents thought that our friends should be our confidants. Today, if you’re a teenage girl and you confide in your friend, the minute you piss her off all of your secrets appear in print for the world to see.
Bullying is crazy now. When we were kids it was confined to the hours that you were in front of the bully. Today kids are bullied 24/7 with no relief and no recourse. Can you imagine the stress of this, coupled with no one to help you figure out what to do? God, its must be agonizing.
I don’t think its ever too late to open the door to your kids. You have to really see them. You have to care so much that you are willing to go to bat for them. You have to trust them so they will be trust-worthy. Most of all, you have to love them more than you love yourself and be willing to, literally, put yourself between them and harm.
I love my girls so much that it hurts my heart sometimes. We are closer than anyone I know and we tell each other everything, keep each others confidence and trust each other fully. As a result, my kids are growing up to be the most amazing, beautiful, brilliant citizens of the world.
Imagine how great you would have done (or did do) in life if you always had someone in your corner you could rely on.