Sunday, July 8, 2012

Being a parent of teenagers is HARD.

I thought it was hard with Ian because of his ADD.  I grew up with a sibling with ADHD and have 4 kids, only one of whom has ADD.  I know that there are a LOT of people who think it's a BS diagnosis, that really it's an excuse for bad behavior and lazy parenting.  But I can't stress it enough - I came from a household where bad behavior wasn't accepted.  My parents held the bar high and called us when we fell short.  I think there a lot of differences in my parenting style, but tolerating bad behavior isn't one of them.  But ADD often has academic consequences, which can often leave behind a wake of self confidence well as a number of other challenges.  It's hard for a kid with ADD to keep his shit together all day long, and after he has, he will lose it a little home.  And I'd rather that happen at home than at school, work, church or in public in general.  Is it encouraged? No.  Was he given free reign? No.  But it was sometimes a challenge.  Is.  Is a challenge.  He's 21, works full time, still takes medication to help him focus.  And sometimes those issues still flare up.

Maggie had been easier.  Dreamy, in fact. Especially by comparison.  But part of being a teenager is pushing the limits.  Pushing mom and dad away.  That's how they gain independence. It's the cycle that happens in every home, to some degree or another.  Yes, some kids are easier while some kids wreak havoc on their homes.  So even though she's been on the easy end of the spectrum we've still butt heads on plenty of occasions.

We've had a rough week around here.  And I bare some responsibility in this: if you've stopped by at all in the last 7 weeks, you've certainly read that I'm in over my head with the class I'm taking this summer.  It's put me on edge and I am REALLY trying to hold my shit together for my kids.  Where the little kids haven't really picked up on my edginess, Maggie has noticed and has - wisely - given me a wide girth.  But her wide girth translated into some miscommunications and then - unwisely - some non-communications.  It came to a head tonight - not in a yelling, screaming kind of way, but a calm and civil discussion about expectations, respect, perceptions, family, being a teenager, growing up, consideration and then a whole other slew of things.

WHY am I telling you all this?  Sheesh.  Over sharer of the year. But here's the thing (and I've said this before): I don't think that sharing our struggles is a bad thing.  Because if one person reads this and feels a sense of relief because they, too, are experiencing a less-than-perfect existence, then all this typing was worth it.  I think the front of perfection is bullshit and bad for humanity. :)

Also, I tried to share this layout yesterday and I had nothing to say.  I love the layout, the picture, the journaling.  But yesterday my head and heart weren't able share this.  The sentiment of the layout held, but it felt, somehow, like a lie.  Today, with things ironed out, I can happily share a layout about my daughter.  The daughter I am deeply proud of.

I wish I could easily share the journaling, but apparently I didn't save it.  At this point I'm sunburned, dirty and beat and I just don't trust myself to try to retype it.  If you can make it out, I think it's worth the read.

Thanks for stopping by. At the risk of sounding schmaltzy, I hope all is well with your families.

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