They look darling, right? Well, you're right. They are darling. . . most of the time.
Being a teenager is sort of like a yellow traffic light - sometimes it's hard to know when to go and when to stop.
As parents to my two boys, I know I'm doing my job when they tell me how much they dislike the consequences I'll impose when I find their going the wrong way. Does it hurt when my kid says, "I can't stand you, Dad or I'll never be like you or mom!" Does it hurt when my kid says "just wait, when I'm 18 I'm moving out and joining the Army and You Can't Stop Me!"
Sure it hurts, but only for a little while. . . I get over it.
I promise you that G-d forbid, should something terrible occur because I'm asleep at the wheel on my watch as a parent, I'm going to really be hurting!!!
This past New Year's one of mine was grounded. He knows the rules, but thought he'd bend them anyway. Dad's busy, he'll never know.
So we got to spend New Year's Eve together - I was upstairs and he was downstairs, but we were both under the same roof and most importantly, he was safe on a potentially dangerous evening for most teenagers. (temptation, temptation, temptation).
Sure, we're busy: Annie and I have made it our business to be present as much of the time as possible; we decided to NOT raise our kids behind Blackberrys!
But as I said when I first started out, being a teenager is like a yellow traffic signal. Most of the time they have no problem going -- stopping, that's the problem. In real driving situations how many accidents occur when a driver decides he can make the yellow light that's just about to switch to red? And on the other side, is another driver ready to punch-it just as soon as "his" light turns green?
To my children, I'm Crosstown Traffic - when I see the signals have turned from Green to Red, my job is to slow them down.
Wow wee - helping navigate our children through adolescence can be very challenging. But seeing the alternative is also disturbing. I know too many young kids who never made safe passage through their teenage years. One, I know, got frustrated; she felt like she wasn't fitting in at school. So, her solution to her pain was to take her own life. Now that's a tragedy! I don't know of the words that can describe the shock and pain her parents are going through. That kind if pain just doesn't go away.