Parenting a teenager can be quite the series of maneuvers. I liken it to complicated choreography. You’ve danced this dance before but now you are the seasoned hoofer battling to lead the feisty young talent . Both of you certain you are the expert and at times so led by ego you’re unable to see what the other brings to the dance. Like any well executed performance though, it takes team work and sometimes it can feel more like a dance battle than a waltz.
As I’ve stated many times, I have great kids but that doesn’t mean life is seamless. There is always a new challenge, a series of ups and downs. As an example, currently we are debating whether it is a good idea to allow our sons to have parties in our home. Not the pop and chips, streamer filled ballyhoo’s I enjoyed throwing for them but the boys/girls/rowdy/ who brought beer/teenage make out /pong fest, where my possessions can get broken. The kind of party I threw in my youth. The difference is that back then I owned nothing of value. Now, I’ve got some nice things. Not Kardashian level wealth, since I clearly didn’t market my tape as well as she did hers, but some things I really like. This brings about the question;
To be or not to be….the cool parents.
I trust my kids, I really do. It’s the other hoodlums I’m not sure about. After all, most kids are afraid of angering or disappointing their own parents but they aren’t always as afraid of the opinion of their friends parents.
“Your big screen t.v got smashed? Dude, that sucks. It wasn’t me. I gotta go home. Great party!”
So, yes I have reservations. Will I let them have the parties, probably. Will I regret it, maybe. It is just one of many decisions to be made on a daily basis. Some more agonizing than the next.
There is so much pressure on us as parents to provide our kids with a Disney movie, idyllic childhood filled with endless fun, sports, activities, parties -never a care in the world. Where does this pressure come from? Movies? T.v? Books? Magazines? Internet? Yep, but mostly from within ourselves. That overwhelming urge to give our children all the things we never had. To protect them from even the slightest disappointment in life. To have the trophy child(ren) who is/are the cutest, best dressed, most talented and popular. Everything we wanted to have and to be.
Hopefully in there, somewhere, is the voice telling you that teaching them to be good, decent, kind, appreciative people is more important than anything else though. It is the ultimate test of ego to put the good of your child ahead of your own need for their approval.
So, we dance. Not always as gracefully as we’d like and quite often in the teen years , battling to lead, but we keep trying until we get the steps right. Not without stepped on toes and invisible bruises but eventually, with perseverance, we can take our bow with pride knowing we survived dancing, the Parent of a Teenager Waltz.