Mothering Teenagers:"How Much Longer, oh Lord, How Much Longer?"
The Joy of Mothering
One of my sons , in his early teens, had just announced that he could not stand living under our roof another minute,
"I'm out of here!", he bellowed, "and don't expect me to come back!"
The door slammed and he tore off on his ten speed bike. Of course my father was visiting and witnessed the whole episode. After a few minutes, Dad turned to my husband and wondered,
" Aren't you going to go after him?" Michael calmly kept reading, then looked up and explained,
"Oh, I'm not worried. The only place near enough to bike to is one of his buddy's and they don't feed kids over there. He'll be back when he is hungry enough."
Sure enough, hunger brought my son home late that night. Nothing needed to be said. No ultimatums were pronounced because he had been humbled enough by the recognition that he still needed to live at home and attempt to get along with our rules and his family.
Teenagers also love to rile their parents, to flaunt rules and standards in a blind desire to figure out who they are in and of themselves. If I remember this fact, I don't overreact to obnoxious behaviour. I like to compare teenagers to two year olds because the very same dynamic is unfolding, only this time it is a stressful transition from childhood to adulthood that requires many years to complete. I read somewhere that 25 is the age that young adults finally get an adult brain! In our family, we actually celebrate that birthday and welcome our offspring into full adulthood.