|Tuesday, Mar. 07, 2006 || Do all 14-year-olds have multiple personalities?|
I am seething right now.
Well, maybe seething isn't the right word, but I am angry. I am very proud of myself though, as I didn't lose it on the person to whom the seeing of red would be directed.
Someone asked me yesterday about our daughter. I remarked that she is in that stage where she is wonderful and kind and helpful one moment and then her head is spinning Exorcist-style the next.
She turned 14 a few weeks ago and was immediately launched at light speed into full-blown teen angst-and-attitude.
Rob remarked that it was by the grace of God that we only have one child of the female gender.
Having grown up in a household of the fairer sex (poor, Dad, even the cat was female), I know that much of this is a phase. Much of the attitude is her way of figuring out who she is, what she believes, testing the rules, seeking more independence. I am not na´ve enough to think that my, nor her dad's, opinions really matter all that much to her right now (though I actually think they do, but God forbid she let us know that). I know that her peer group reigns supreme, and much of her time online is spent harping with her friends over our rules.
Which brings us to a little while ago.
Well, let me back track a bit more. Right after K's birthday, she asked if we would lift her scheduled bedtime. We have always had a set bedtime, and while I know many, if not most, 14-year-olds probably don't have a set bedtime, we also know our daughter, and she is a needs-10-12-hours-a-night kiddo. Since we home school, I don't have the pleasure, I mean option, of seeing her whiny, I-didn't-get-enough-sleep butt off to be the joy of some other educator. So, I guess, in a sense, the mandatory bedtime is selfishly in place to keep me from killing, or severely maiming her, when her already-has-attitude demeanor morphs with I-didn't-get-my-beauty-sleep mode.
But, K does have a point. Rob and I talked it over and decided we would start by extending it a half hour. Then, over time, we would continue to extend, likely lifting it completely once she starts high school.
Since that decision and before we had a chance to share it with her, K has decided that she thinks our current rules concerning bedtime and computer usage and phone calls are so stupid that she will break them whenever she feels like it (it's very random). When confronted, she responds with "Well, that's a stupid rule anyway."
Last night she did it again. When confronted, she gave what has become the standard flippant answer.
"You know, K, if you can't respect the current rules, why should we change them?" I asked.
Of course, such logic falls upon deaf ears. But, I feel very strongly about this. It's preparation for the future. If you break society's rules, there are consequences. If you don't fulfill your responsibilities in college or on the job, there will be some type of fallout.
Part of our job as parents is to prepare them to be adults. Rob and I have come across so many adults that have no life skills because mom and dad or whoever the parent figure was in their lives spoon fed them or always came to their rescue or set no boundaries.
"What do you mean you are going to take my car if I don't pay the note???"
Back to this morning. K is way too much like me in that she feels like she must have the last word. She also feels things profoundly, but has yet to learn how and when to say something (expressing emotion without being disrespectful of the other person). She wanted to discuss my and her dad's position (translation: try to talk us out of our decision/stand). I once again reiterated that though her dad and I want to lift some of the restrictions and ease back on some of the rules, until she shows us that she is responsible with the current rules and respects them and us, we aren't going to allow her more freedoms. I then had a slight moment of insanity, thinking that a 14-year-old would somehow be able to grasp that all of this is ultimately preparation for the future and how it is our responsibility as parents to help prepare her for that and teach her how to be a productive part of society
"Are you done yet?" she asked.
That's when I saw red. That is also when I looked at her pointedly and calmly said (this is where I am proud of myself for not allowing this to turn into a screaming match), "You need to go ahead and go to your room and get started on some of your school work. Now."
I am going to stick to my guns. But is there any hope of helping her understand why we are doing this before she's 30?
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007