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May 01, 2008

Comments

Re the 16 yo's Brazilian waxing: Might you try using the parrot analogy with her?

Your daughter wants to go to Brazil!?!?!?

Uh. I don't get it.

Does she like Bruce Springsteen too?

these aren't all my kids--these are things my friends and I are encountering w/ our teens lately.
LOL re: the parrot analogy...de-feathering of sorts...
And Manic, you so need to get a grip and accept Bruce as your Boss ;-) he he he

This made me laugh. My kids are a teen and tween, my younger sister (by 1 year) has 3 under 5's and while part of me is so happy to have passed the screaming tantrums, sleepless nights and food fads, the other part wonders if I really have it easier now?
It certainly would help a lot if they could be born with an instruction book huh? :o)

Wow, that instruction book would be awfully useful. I think the next best thing to that is other moms. Honestly today I was lamenting to a friend about something one of my teens was going through and she double-whammied back to me with something so similar hers was in the throes of and it was SO reassuring to know they're all pretty much on target for whatever it is they're supposed to be doing, developmentally (and I mean developmentally psychologically!)

Great Post Jenny.

I think that parents have forgotten that our job is not necessarily to prevent our kids (especially our teens) from failing, but instead to be there for them when they do and encourage them to try again (or try something else entirely).

"We don't allow teenagers the chance to make mistakes and learn from them." Well said. As scary as it is to watch our children in pain, isn't it better if they suffer some of these pains while we're around to cushion their landings with some after-mistake comfort?

I see this ahead. I believe this "failure training" has to start early...like now. Letting children fail when the stakes are very low should help train them for bigger decisions. I remember my dad telling me at 16, "honey, we have parented you all we can. You know what is right and wrong. If you ever get into trouble, we will help. We will back up any story you tell to get out of a bad situation, but we are done. DONE." It was a startling amount of power, but he had a good point. By that time I was making my own decisions and now had the freedom to make good ones without doing it only because mom and dad are making me.

Hi, I think I have taken over the blog. Alot to think about. Great post...my future with 3 teenage boys has me up at night...

So insightful. It certainly puts my problems with spilt milk and tantrums into perspective. Thanks for enlightening some of us undergraduate mothers.

We do send them out sorely unprepared for real life. But what is the alternative when as you said letting them fail in this day and age can have some bigger than anticipated consequences. I agree with HRH above that at some point they need to make their own decisions (even about Brazilians) and have us there as a safety net.

The bigger the child the bigger the problem and the grayer the hair gets. And please, forget the M & Ms go straight for the hard liquor.

As always, you've caused me to hyperventilate, sigh, and laugh all in the same post.

I'd be rich if I had a dollar for every time I've said to my kids, "By the time I was your age, I ..." and yet, whose fault is that? Oops.

I love, love, love the flight-feathers analogy. And I agree, 100%.

The local school board here is considering eliminating free periods for high school kids, so as to keep them at school all day and reduce the possibility that they wander around the city for 70 minutes during the day ...

Grades nine and ten have full schedules, with no room for spares, so we're only talking about grades 11 and 12, kids who, in a year or two, are going to go off to college -- and we don't think they're ready for an hour's unsupervised time???

ARGH. When are they supposed to learn to handle this vast responsibility, then?

As other commenters have said, "failure training" starts early and gets more complex/risky as they grow. Far better they start to step out while still under the parental roof, with us there as their safety net.

thanks everyone for your comments! And I do think it's time to hit up the hard stuff, to hell with the M&M's ;-)

In the meantime I read such an interesting letter to the editor in the Washington Post about all of these uber-scary-ultra-perfect-over-achieving teens --the ones who populate the Ivy League schools, etc. This woman went through Princeton and is now at Yale Law and her point was that while these kids are all the scariest most perfect people on the face of the earth, at the end of the day, a lot of them aren't particularly NICE people. I found that interesting. I'm really happy to have really nice kids whose company I greatly enjoy. The rest is icing on the cake, you know?

What about the happiness study in the NY Times sometime last fall, which found that parents of teens were the unhappiest people of all? I talk about it in this post

I strongly recommend to anyone reading this and nodding to read these books:

The Price of Privilege
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee

You can read my revhttps://www.typepad.com/t/app/weblog/post?__mode=edit_entry&id=14694890&blog_id=498530iews of them here:

https://www.liveandletdi.com/my_weblog/2007/06/the_price_of_pr.html

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