Friday, February 26, 2010

Out of the mouths of teens....

Comes, amongst a host of other things, drama. While mine is not quite yet a true teen....he is close enough.

It is fun to watch as his world views change. He is gathering information here and there and applying it. He makes conclusive judgments about this world and the rest of us in it. He is certainly passionate about his views and willing, unfortunately, to defend them. Often his timing for discussion and the subject is off, which makes him a little more frustrated and gets him into trouble.

His most oft uttered embittered war cry is "You never listen to me!" I hear this several times each day. The reality is that I have heard, processed, understood, and subsequently disagreed with his premise and evaluation of whatever he is talking about. What he is really trying to say is that he is correct, I am wrong, and because I didn't agree with him that I must not have been listening.

Sometimes I don't have the time or energy to explain why I say no to some of his requests. The other day this happened again and he became very angry that I wouldn't let him go somewhere and I wouldn't take the 30 minutes needed to explain it and get through HIS process. I understand this, but he also needs to learn some patience and sometimes trust that things will work out in his favor. Escalation will often ensure that things definitely will not workout in his favor.

So I told him to have patience. To which he responded:

"Patience? I don't have patience. I want answers to my questions. I need to have those answers. I have YOUR intelligence! I have my mother's impatience! I have BOTH of your attitudes!"

And being that I couldn't refute any of those statements, I conceded that battle to him....but he still lost the war.



  1. I know exactly what you mean, my oldest has pleaded, begged me to let him get his d.l. I have explained over and over it is not going to happen when he wants... because of my schooling and low paid job, I can not and will not get him his d.l. until he is 18 years of age. We end going through this conversation about three to four times a month. It's enough to hit a wall.

  2. In the end, the child needs to understand that you ARE the parent, and they are the child. I'm struggling with some of this with my 17 year-old, who I recently shared a few of the rights that I DO have as a parent, most of which he was glad I do not exercise.

    There's a delicate dance we do, isn't there? If we "give in" on occasion, they feel they have "won." As if relationships with other people are all about winning.

    It sounds like you're refraining from the age-old "Because I said so." Lately, when the answer is "no," I end the conversation by saying "end of conversation." Surprisingly, it works half the time!

    As for winning, I assured my son that even when he thinks he's won (by putting one over on me), he's lost (by way of a lost privilege, or a "want" that I am not willing to make happen for him... which, to date, includes agreeing for him to get his driver's license).

    Hang in there, Mike. It's tough, but I'm told it eventually passes.


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