Archives for May 2014

It’s ok for a child to be disappointed

True story…..a friend of mine came over with her kids to my house for a play date. One of her kids had pink eye, but she did not want to disappoint her, so she took her over anyway, risking passing the bacteria on to my kids.
As if that was not bad enough, they wanted to go to the swimming pool, and she intended to have child hide her condition from the lifeguard and others by keeping her goggles, on. Ok, that’s where I drew the line! I had to explain that it was ok for the child to be disappointed…and she was! she cried :-(.

I explained to the mom and child how selfish it would be to pass the infection on to an entire community to satisfy one person. They now understand that they were being as selfish as the person who might have knowingly passed the sickness by coming to school. After our conversation, I think the child was more understanding than the mother. The mother then asked if they can now go to the swimming pool, but go to the movies instead just so that the child would not be disappointed. My response was that it’s ok, if that’s what all the kids wanted to do.

I really want to emphasize that it’s ok for your kids to be disappointed at times, we can’t shield them from all natural consequences and rob them of the growth and learning experiences that they will need to deal with real life.

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Working mom and the challenging teenager

What do you do if you are a working mom raising a challenging teenager who is heavily influenced by his peers, the culture and ignore many of your values? I have one of those, and boy is he a lot of work! He has been keeping me busy and away from my blog 🙂
Here are some of the steps I take. They might be controversial to some new age parents, but might appeal to others, read on.

What are some challenges?

  1. Monitoring his activities. Lately my teenager had gotten involved in what’s called the sneaker game, he used his money to buy “cool” sneakers, wore them for bragging rights, then tried to put them back on the market. This was a shocker as it’s a dangerous activity, plus it’s totally against my value system.
    On the buying side, I refuse to accept that a teenager should spend $200 for a pair of sneakers, I don’t care if the money was saved from grandma, birthdays, or earned. On the selling side, I think the kids who buys these sneakers for status are being exploited, and I won’t allow my kid to be a part of that even if he makes a profit. Who knows where this activity could have lead, and what dangerous people he could have gotten involved with if I had not been vigilant.
  2. Monitoring his text. Some of you might disagree with me here, but it’s my personal opinion that until they start paying for the phone, and the bill, or reach 18yrs of age, I reserve the right to monitor what is sent or received. We have had many fruitful and valuable conversations around some the texts that are exchanged. Some of these texts were hints that lead me to the ongoing shoe buying/selling activity.
  3. Monitoring his friends. I try to meet all my teenager’s friends and their parents. These are not always folks who would normally be in my social circle, but I have to make the effort if I want to know what his environmental influences are outside the home.
  4. Having meaningful conversations. I don’t like monosyllabic answers, and I don’t allow him to get away with just “ok”, “hmhm” or “good”, I always like to probe for more. I can tell when he’s have a bad day and just don’t want to talk right then, in those cases, I will let him have his own space, but since every day can’t be bad, I do expect to have conversations, and we do. When riding in the car, just the two of us I don’t accept the headphones on, I actually consider that to be quite rude. I ask for them to be off and encourage conversation, you’d be surprised how soon the annoyance goes away and we connect with each other.
  5. Monitoring the grades. Have you heard, “mom everyone failed, so a C is actually good.” Well, no it’s not! I am very involved in my kids’ school, but not in school work, I expect my children to be self motivated and driven so I step in only as needed, so this makes the grades monitoring a bit hard, as on one hand I am trying to encourage independence, but on the other, I don’t want the grades to slip, so I do jump in and offer help or suggestions if I think it’s needed. I have heard, “mom I have this under control.” In that case, I just move on and give an expected date to see improvement, if there is none, we move on to consequences.

These are only some of my challenges, I will continue soon….reply if you’d like and share your challenges.

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