Those of you whose kids are still under 12, I am sure you have heard horror stories about raising teens, and in some way I think we all think to ourselves … yes but that will never happen to us, our boy/girl is a real good kid. We communicate. They are sensible. They have never got into much trouble, and are near the top of their class academically. We may get some slight bumps in the road, but I am sure they wont be like the horror stories we hear.
Ask me how I know.
Of my three kids, one is now a fully fledged teen (which happened very suddenly when he turned 15), and one is a pre-teen with all the signs… girls mature faster in so many ways.
And we are definitely on the roller coaster ride. Because that is the only way to describe the huge lows followed by the tremendous highs… up and down, up and down… and you never know really what today is going to bring. I am hanging onto my safety bar, screaming my lungs out as we rocket down the slope, sometimes turning completely upside down… and then I feel the gears engage and we are chugging back up to the top again, and daylight breaks through.
And for some reason the other day as I was being taxi driver again, the Brady Bunch (the old TV series, not the more recent movies) popped into my head. And this raised two things in my weary brain:
- I remember clearly the episode where Mum and Dad Brady were horrified at the monthly phone bill, so they replaced the phone in the den with a pay phone. Hands up how many parents these days would love to be able to do something that simple to stop the phone calls, the SMS-ing, the instant online chatting…
- I also recall each episode being about some drama or another, in the way of sitcoms everywhere – no story otherwise, right? But somehow, that is what life is like with teens. Each downward slope of the roller coaster is an episode… and we DO lurch from one episode to the next… trying to remain calm and in control, clinging hard to family values and remembering to treat them with love, respect and trust.
So for all you out there whose kids are just about to enter this wonderful phase of their lives, buckle up, make sure the safety bar is firmly in place and hang on. I like to approach each challenge, each downslide, each episode with the intention firmly in place to 1. breathe 2. breathe 3. breathe, and 4. remember that, despite all outward appearances, you really do love them to bits.
cue exit music… the Brady Bunch, the Brady Bunch, that’s the way we all became the Brady Bunch…