How to Handle a Bad Day From Parenting Teens

Sunday, December 07, 2014 0 Comments A + a -

You Tube mass today.
t is one of those days on my difficult parenting-my-teens life.  I feel like I am going nowhere managing my teens.  Some parents who my teens hangout with imply I am too strict.

Why? I think it is because I give consequences for misbehavior and violation of rules. What are my rules?

Rules for Teens 

  • Not drinking alcohol as a habit
  • Refraining from smoking in any form
  • Going to school regularly
  • Going home before curfew

If there are rules, there must be consequences for violations.

Consequences for Teens

  • Loss of privilege to earn cash allowance (they still earn credit but I have to shop with them)
  • Postponement of applying for Student Driver permit
  • Loss time in accessing home Wifi for the day
  • Grounded for 1 day to infinity (just kidding, for a week or so)
  • No chauffeur service to and from school from me (they can take the bus)
  • No new clothes, new makeup, Henna, or haircut for the week

“It is not a crime to be a teen.”
“She is not a child. Don’t treat her like one.”
“Don’t tell them what not to do.  Just monitor them.”
That’s what the other parents said to me.
One parent, texted me, "Take a look at yourself . . . "

Who me? I wondered.  I don't violate school and community rules over and over and then make my parents pay for my fines.  I don't call my parents names repeatedly. Not years ago, not now.

Then I thought, why am I listening to these people?

Why do I not believe them? I know my children are teens but . . .

The truth about teens and parenting teens

  • Teens are not immune to punishment by doing crimes. 
  • Teens are not adults.  
  • They are minors.  Their brain and decision making skills are not fully developed.
  • The reality is, I have to pay for my teens’  fines, for the violations they did.  
  • In addition, watching teens violate rules is neglect on its own on the parents' part.
  • Lastly, the sad truth is, knowingly letting minors do crime is a felony (especially if it’s over and over), and definitely not good parenting.

Contrary to what those parents said, the parenting books written by experts say different.  I have to set limits.

I have tried to apply the recommendations from Have a New Teenager by Friday.  Since then, both my children (fourteen and fifteen-year-old) ran away in more for than one occasion.  It has been three weeks.  They have not changed by Friday, that is for sure.

What I am learning though, is, I need to control myself and my reactions to situations.  With this, I am improving.  I did not have a breakdown crying and screaming when I find out both of them sneaked out in the middle of the night, for example.  Or when they call me names, I tried to remove myself from the scene after saying their behavior is unacceptable.

How to Handle a Bad Day as a Parent

I did not sleep last night waiting for my daughter to come back.  She had been gone for two nights now upon my refusal to pick her up from the orthodontists’ office.  On the way there last Friday, she kept call me names I would not even call an enemy.  Trying not to lose it, I told her she had to find her own way going home.  It is four miles away.  She can walk it.  I know she can survive that as she ran away many times, obviously without me. Besides, I was not sure how long I can hold myself as she repeatedly call me names.
Baked Filipino lumpia I made for sharing.
Want some?

She has not come home since then.  Her boyfriend suggests to me she is in a friend's home.  I tried to look for her and did not find her.  I reported her as a runaway.  My son, in the meantime, leaves the house and comes back as he pleases.  He was gone Friday night and tonight--Sunday.

I did not have the energy to get up for church this morning. Thanks to You Tube Catholic online mass. It brought the mass home all the way to the comfort of my bed.

Get up.

Paul called in the morning saying he is coming to my Nursing Volunteer group party with his kids.
If he is coming, then I had to come.  I had to get up.

A true laugh from me during the hold-
the-man's-belt game--an awkward but
 funny game.
With renewed spirit, I got up, and my some lumpia (Filipino spring rolls).  I even drove to a friend’s house to share some.  She and her husband helped us out numerous times including picking up my son from Juvenile Assessment Center after he was found on a run.  It was nice to see them.

In the party, I came late.  Paul and his children got there before me.  I miss my teens but this “other family” came here to be with me.  Today, they are my family.

Do something fun

I am glad I came.  I joined some games.  I actually laughed . . . a lot.  I did not know I have the ability to laugh today.  I chatted with my family, friends, and co-nurses.  I listened to my native language—Tagalog Christmas Carol sang by volunteer choir.

It is so nice to hear 
Tagalog Christmas carols from this group.

Today is not that bad.  I made it through.  I got up, did something fun, talked with good people, and heard from some parents who support my parenting style.
I managed a true smile by the tree.  Perhaps this will be
my Christmas greeting picture--minus my teens this year.


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