Tilling & Teenagers
Thanks to social media- it is easier than ever to get called out by the moms who want to judge your every move. I have read all of the funny blogs that discuss various types of moms; the mom who overshares (NO ONE CARES WHAT YOUR 3 YEAR OLD SAID TODAY MARTHA), the mom who makes everything seem perfect (LIES), the mom who freaks out if you occasionally feed your kids non-organic hot dogs and kraft mac-n-cheese for dinner (GUILTY).
So, in these time of perfection, oversharing, judgmental parenting styles that 2018 has brought us…. How do we, as parents of teens & tweens, deal with the inevitable situations where our kids are going to ask us; “Have you ever smoked a cigarette?”, “Did you ever drink at a high school party”, “Did you ever bully anyone?” I usually say… “The 80’s and 90’s were a different time” 😊
I think Moms are afraid to ever admit that they once pushed boundaries, weren’t perfect teenagers and MADE MISTAKES. If you tell your children you have smoked pot does that justify the fact that then they can smoke up? Hell, even picking my clothes up- if my room isn’t picked up- why should they pick-up theirs. You LEAD by EXAMPLE right?? Or at least the old adage… “Do as I say, not as I did in 1997”
The 3 kiddos in my house have gotten older, and they have questions. A lot of the questions are about what I was like in middle/high school. I mean surely, I was always perfect 😉?
Somewhere my mother’s eyes just rolled so far back in her head they may not return.
Full confession- I have not 1 but 2 tattoos (cannot be seen by a judge). When I was in 8th grade, I tried to smoke camel light cigarettes. I was in a sorority in college (Go Zeta’s) so, there was totally underage drinking going on. I had someone who bullied me in middle school. Then I was kind of a bully to one girl in high school. I broke up with my college boyfriend in a “not nice way” to date a professional baseball player (full disclosure we’re totally cool now and keep in touch and he doesn’t hate me for being 20 and dumb). Here's the big confession~ I once didn’t take the kids to school when they were little because I was HUNGOVER. OH yea… that totally happened.
I mean the stories could go on…but we’ll save those for another blog day. 😊
So as an imperfect person & mother- how HONEST should I be with my Big Kids? And, if I’m honest about my imperfections, will these little sh*ts use it against me in future stand-offs that may occur? What happens if one of my kiddos does break a rule in Casa Schleifer?
So here is my advice~ for what it's worth.
Don’t tweens/teens deserve forgiveness if they do try something or make a mistake in life? It’s like touching a hot stove. You can tell them “watch out the stove is hot!” but they won’t always believe you until they touch it for themselves. I feel for my parents now, because I WAS DEFINITELY the kid who had to get burnt before she learned her lesson. I was a strong-willed child and I have 3 strong-willed children. Being parents to them is not always easy. So, I’m trying to navigate these questions and life encounters that we have with honesty, humility and grace. In our house, we have mandated- if you tell me the honest truth, I will not yell (at first), and we will talk through the situation together.
I don’t have all of the answers (CLEARLY) but we’re really keeping this total honesty, no screaming (usually) open door policy going. Its pretty amazing what my teenagers are willing to share with me.
I’m sure we’re going to encounter many more life questions and challenges. Hopefully, by my admitting to my children that I have not always handled every situation perfectly, will let them know they can come to me and we will figure it out together. I also think that my honesty makes them come to me for advice versus jumping into situations. Maybe this is going to BACKFIRE on me- but for now- this how we roll in this house...Honesty, and forgiveness- none of us are perfect.
Tilling Tip of the Day~ Did you know you can regrow a pineapple from a pineapple top? Here is blog about it and I find it super fascinating! http://www.tickledred.com/planting-a-pineapple/
Teenager Tip of the Day~ I've been struggling with whether or not the boys should be allowed to work during school~ Here is some sage advice from the University of Portland...
High school students benefit from part-time employment, but they need time management skills
Learning to budget time and to use it well is a skill that many students don’t learn until they’re in college or in their actual careers. Yet knowing how to handle numerous responsibilities helps students prepare for the academic vigor of college.
Going from school to extracurricular activities and then to a job means having to do homework late at night, or, in some cases, working ahead during the weekends to ensure everything is complete for the coming week. It’s possible for students to overcommit themselves out of a desire to make more money or because they are not yet adept at time management.
While the line between how much work is too much may seem nebulous, experts have found that students who work more than 15 to 20 hours a week see a decrease in academic performance. Teens shouldn’t exceed the recommended number of hours at their jobs, nor should they spend sleeping or studying time at work.