Parenting a Teen – Seriously Awkward?

Parenting a teen can be really hard, I mean REALLY damn hard. But obviously it can also be good too. The good far outweighs the bad (doesn’t feel like it sometimes,I know) but in those (rare) moments where their face lights up in a smile you know your sweet kid is still in there somewhere.

As a baby/young child all he wanted to do was cuddle, he was a so-called “velcro baby” and I just couldn’t put him down.There have been many moments years on that I would give anything to go back and just have 5 more minutes of that. And it makes me sad to think of the times I inevitably shouted “just let me have 5 minutes”.

In no way in my teen “naughty” or however you want to put it but he can be really hard work sometimes. My partner of 8 years isn’t his biological father but he’s the only one he’s ever known. He does a bloody good job of providing for all our children and I couldn’t wish for a better bloke. However there is a constant struggle for Alpha Male as my 16 year old tries to establish his place in the house. You ask for help, it’s met with a flat out refusal which tends to lead to removal of his phone which in his mind is likened to removal of his right arm. Still won’t do what he was asked though, oh no, he has to drag it out for an hour or two of huffing, puffing and “why are you ruining my life” ing. His room smells like a cage of baboons but he seems to like it that way and to be honest we do ask him to clean it sometimes but I shut the door and pretend not to see it other times as it’s just not worth the row. If he can stand it then crack on kid.

We’re lucky we don’t have any problems with him being arrested or drinking to excess or drugs. Which are the things that terrify me as a Mum, as I’m sure it does many other Mum’s and Dad’s. We just have problems with him answering back and being sullen and sometimes if I’m honest downright blooming lazy! I think many teenagers are the same though I know myself and my brother were messy beggars too. Although my other half maintains he’s always been a clean freak and his room was always tidy! Hmmmm…….

The one thing that does make me feel I’ve failed slightly though is that he isn’t really all that interested in his little brother/sister, he shuts himself off in his room most of the time he’s at home and doesn’t really have a lot to do with them. They are 6 and 3 though so I’m hoping this is something that will change as they get older. I’d love for them to have a close relationship like I do with my own brother now we’re older. We always have been close but fought like cat and dog as kids.

If you came to this post hoping for help I’m sorry I don’t have the answers I’m afraid! The only thing I do know is if you sit down and talk to them like an adult they are more likely to respond as once I start shouting it’s a sure fire way to get a door slammed in my face!

I don’t pry but I do ask him if he’s ok regularly as I would hate to think there was something bothering him that he felt he couldn’t tell me about. This has worked for us as he has opened up about his worries in the past.

I have made sure all internet access has parental controls on it (although now he’s doing an IT A level he can probably bypass it quite easily!)

I do encourage him to come out with us when we go anywhere for the 9 times he grunts no, there will be that 1 time he surprises me and says yes. Usually to go to my Mum’s for a cooked breakfast. How much can teenagers eat?! It’s shocking I can tell you!!

Encourage them to have responsibility as hard as it can be to let go, this I struggle with as my fierce instinct to protect kicks in and I REALLY have to fight it but they do need it to set themselves up for life out there on their own.

“The most vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds are often in grave danger, facing hidden harm. They are more likely to go missing or be victims of violent crime than any other age.

They are a high risk group for domestic violence and sexual exploitation. Yet they are the least protected from abuse and neglect in law, and get much less support than younger children.

My son is lucky enough to have a safe, loving home that he can always come back to, sadly that is not the case for many teens. Please help by signing the petition below.

 “The Children’s Society is asking the Government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from abuse and neglect. We are also calling for more support for teenagers at this age and for them to be more involved in the decisions that affect their lives. We want as many people as possible to sign our petition, and help encourage others to sign this.”

The Children's Society - Key line logo - on white - RGB

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