50: Believe Me…We’ve Tried That Too

For years, getting out the door on a school-day morning was a strenuous and laborious exercise.  The routine involved many phases, each more frustrating than the next.
     The days usually began with many wasteful gallons of water. Yes, his showers took forever, but that wasn’t the worst of part of the first phase.  The more frustrating mornings involved hearing the shower run for 30 minutes, trudging to his room to tell him to get out of the shower – and then discovering that he was still asleep in bed.  (He would get out of bed, turn on the water to warm it up, crawl back in bed – and fall back to sleep.)

     Now, I could go through all the typical “morning routine” phases, but I don’t need to.  Most phases of our day included examples of things that happen in every home where teenagers dwell.  My frustrations were not completely unique to M. And for years, advice (filled with good intentions) on how to raise a teen has come my way:

~  “He needs to know what your expectations are.”     (We’ve told him, I’ve written them down – I’ve even taped them to his mirror, his doctor has told him, and so have his teachers.)

~  “He’s a teen; he is going to push your buttons – be more firm.”     (Okay…I took his door off his room, I’m not letting him drive, and he is sitting down at the dining room table for dinner every night.)

~  “He needs consequences.”     (There’s nothing left for us to take away from him…seriously.)

     We even took him to the police station…twice.  Our thought was, perhaps a police officer could make him think harder about the choices he’s been making. If the intimidating, uniformed officers tell him that what he’s doing is going to get him in trouble, he might realize that we aren’t the only ones who feel this way about certain illegal activities.     (Nope – that didn’t work either.)

     Sitting on the bleachers, on the sidelines, in the school auditoriums, in carpool, or even driving down the street, I have wondered what people are thinking about me as a mom.  Are they thinking, “Does she know what M did last night?” or “Why can’t she control him?”

And so often I’ve felt an urge to cry out….”We are trying everything we possibly can.”



3 thoughts on “50: Believe Me…We’ve Tried That Too

  1. Jennifer, I think we live in the same house! We took the door off sooooo many times. J would just wait for us to go to sleep and sneak outside. :-/

  2. I rarely judge other mom's, simply because I am so busy worrying about my own kids, and my own family dynamics. We all are insecure as parents! And those who aren't are in serious denial!

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