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Teenagers - A support thread (1 Viewer)

Tough with teens. Kids go through stages. They adore you when they're young. Then in middle school things get different. They are embarrassed by you, they want to create separation. Then they go through a stage thinking they know everything in the world and you know nothing. Around 15. Then they come back around after going to college, realizing they had it really good. They even start repeating stuff you said that you never thought they heard. I know this is a broad brush stroke but I've seen the exact same pattern happen with our own kids and others. They key is to not irreparably damage your relationship with them while going through this. Think big picture/long term. The one thing I never compromised on though was respect. You disrespected Mom (even more than me) and there would be consequences. Non-negotiable. I've seen parents just get run over and never respected because they were too soft on this.
I think you should always address disrespect. I don't think a constant upping of consequences is necessarily the best way to handle that with every kid though.
 
Obviously, we don't always know what is going on in their world either. I can give you an example I just dealt with today. It's a very long story but lets just say I am mentoring/life coaching/counseling a teen girl who has had an extremely difficult life. Like you think of some of the worst things that could happen to a kid and she's been through it. I am friends with the family and for whatever reason, she adores me. We are extremely close. We obviously don't live together or anything but at this point it's sort of like I've partially adopted her in spirit.

So Sat night, she ran into the boy who sexually assaulted her for several months last year. It freaked her out and made her feel really uncomfortable. She also found out someone she thought was a good friend is actually still good friends with him despite knowing what happened. Then today, her family took her and her niece to the zoo. She freaked out thinking about it and said she was a total jerk to her aunt (guardian), her aunt got upset, they fought and she spent most of the afternoon just sitting at the car by herself. For whatever reason, she refuses to talk to her aunt about anything that happened. She just doesn't feel comfortable. So to the aunt, this appeared like the kid is just in a total **** mood for no reason and is being difficult despite them being nice, taking her to the zoo, etc. I am sure the aunt thinks she is so ungrateful, etc. The reality is that the girl is in a situation she's totally unprepared for, dealing with emotions she can't process, etc. She feels really bad about how she treated her aunt but she also has her head spinning right now about who she can trust, who is really even her friend, etc.

I am not saying that any of your kids have things that heavy on their mind but they might or things that to them seem equally as weighty. Or just their hormones are going and they literally can't get a handle on them. I always try to focus on the situation/action and not the person. Someone may make a mistake, do something disrespectful or find themselves in an impossible situation but that doesn't make them a bad person, a disrespectful person or a broken person. Not always easy, but a healthier way of looking at things.
 
Tough with teens. Kids go through stages. They adore you when they're young. Then in middle school things get different. They are embarrassed by you, they want to create separation. Then they go through a stage thinking they know everything in the world and you know nothing. Around 15. Then they come back around after going to college, realizing they had it really good. They even start repeating stuff you said that you never thought they heard. I know this is a broad brush stroke but I've seen the exact same pattern happen with our own kids and others. They key is to not irreparably damage your relationship with them while going through this. Think big picture/long term. The one thing I never compromised on though was respect. You disrespected Mom (even more than me) and there would be consequences. Non-negotiable. I've seen parents just get run over and never respected because they were too soft on this.
And I would add, what is your long-term goal as a parent? My goal was always to raise a person that was a functioning adult as soon as possible. The main goal of having kids isn't to make little people to be friends with. They are a great joy in life, but I see lots of parents not have the courage to instill the values in their children that made them the successes they are in their lives. You do have to choose your battles but having your child's respect is a hill you have to die on.
 
Tough with teens. Kids go through stages. They adore you when they're young. Then in middle school things get different. They are embarrassed by you, they want to create separation. Then they go through a stage thinking they know everything in the world and you know nothing. Around 15. Then they come back around after going to college, realizing they had it really good. They even start repeating stuff you said that you never thought they heard. I know this is a broad brush stroke but I've seen the exact same pattern happen with our own kids and others. They key is to not irreparably damage your relationship with them while going through this. Think big picture/long term. The one thing I never compromised on though was respect. You disrespected Mom (even more than me) and there would be consequences. Non-negotiable. I've seen parents just get run over and never respected because they were too soft on this.
And I would add, what is your long-term goal as a parent? My goal was always to raise a person that was a functioning adult as soon as possible. The main goal of having kids isn't to make little people to be friends with. They are a great joy in life, but I see lots of parents not have the courage to instill the values in their children that made them the successes they are in their lives. You do have to choose your battles but having your child's respect is a hill you have to die on.
For sure respect is important and I agree on the functioning adult thing. Just saying pressuring a kid to force them to respect you can have the opposite effect. I don't think I've ever respected someone in my life who tried to force me to respect them. As a matter of fact, that's the quickest to lose my respect.
 
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Tough with teens. Kids go through stages. They adore you when they're young. Then in middle school things get different. They are embarrassed by you, they want to create separation. Then they go through a stage thinking they know everything in the world and you know nothing. Around 15. Then they come back around after going to college, realizing they had it really good. They even start repeating stuff you said that you never thought they heard. I know this is a broad brush stroke but I've seen the exact same pattern happen with our own kids and others. They key is to not irreparably damage your relationship with them while going through this. Think big picture/long term. The one thing I never compromised on though was respect. You disrespected Mom (even more than me) and there would be consequences. Non-negotiable. I've seen parents just get run over and never respected because they were too soft on this.
And I would add, what is your long-term goal as a parent? My goal was always to raise a person that was a functioning adult as soon as possible. The main goal of having kids isn't to make little people to be friends with. They are a great joy in life, but I see lots of parents not have the courage to instill the values in their children that made them the successes they are in their lives. You do have to choose your battles but having your child's respect is a hill you have to die on.
For sure respect is important and I agree on the functioning adult thing. Just saying pressuring a kid to force them to respect you can have the opposite effect. I don't think I've ever respected someone in my life who tried to force me to respect them. As a matter of fact, that's the quickest to lose my respect.
It sounds like we mostly agree on this, and it is important to acknowledge that the parent should be worthy of the respect they are asking for, or it will ring hollow. But if a parent is involved in the kid's life and is providing shelter and food let alone luxuries in life the kid should be respectful to the parent. As a parent this should be reinforced and taught when the child is young.
 
Tough with teens. Kids go through stages. They adore you when they're young. Then in middle school things get different. They are embarrassed by you, they want to create separation. Then they go through a stage thinking they know everything in the world and you know nothing. Around 15. Then they come back around after going to college, realizing they had it really good. They even start repeating stuff you said that you never thought they heard. I know this is a broad brush stroke but I've seen the exact same pattern happen with our own kids and others. They key is to not irreparably damage your relationship with them while going through this. Think big picture/long term. The one thing I never compromised on though was respect. You disrespected Mom (even more than me) and there would be consequences. Non-negotiable. I've seen parents just get run over and never respected because they were too soft on this.
And I would add, what is your long-term goal as a parent? My goal was always to raise a person that was a functioning adult as soon as possible. The main goal of having kids isn't to make little people to be friends with. They are a great joy in life, but I see lots of parents not have the courage to instill the values in their children that made them the successes they are in their lives. You do have to choose your battles but having your child's respect is a hill you have to die on.
For sure respect is important and I agree on the functioning adult thing. Just saying pressuring a kid to force them to respect you can have the opposite effect. I don't think I've ever respected someone in my life who tried to force me to respect them. As a matter of fact, that's the quickest to lose my respect.
It sounds like we mostly agree on this, and it is important to acknowledge that the parent should be worthy of the respect they are asking for, or it will ring hollow. But if a parent is involved in the kid's life and is providing shelter and food let alone luxuries in life the kid should be respectful to the parent. As a parent this should be reinforced and taught when the child is young.
Great point about starting young (though that doesn't help people with teens now, no time machine). It's easy as a parent to become more lenient, it's really tough to become more strict.
 
And I would add it is important for kids to learn the concept of respect not just for family harmony. It will do them well in life when they can give and receive respect to other people in their lives and understand what good attributes should be respected in other people.
 
And I would add it is important for kids to learn the concept of respect not just for family harmony. It will do them well in life when they can give and receive respect to other people in their lives and understand what good attributes should be respected in other people.
No doubt. Even learning how to fake respect is key- self control for situations with teachers, judges, cops, bosses, etc. that you might not like or respect but it's to your benefit to play nice with. I’ve definitely pretended I’ve respected a lot of jerks who tried to force it upon me so I could get a better grade in class or get more PT on a team or get off with a lesser ticket.
 
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I could reprimand my daughter in the voice of Ferris Buellers teacher, and she’s still say “why are you YELLING at me?”
 
Obviously, we don't always know what is going on in their world either. I can give you an example I just dealt with today. It's a very long story but lets just say I am mentoring/life coaching/counseling a teen girl who has had an extremely difficult life. Like you think of some of the worst things that could happen to a kid and she's been through it. I am friends with the family and for whatever reason, she adores me. We are extremely close. We obviously don't live together or anything but at this point it's sort of like I've partially adopted her in spirit.

So Sat night, she ran into the boy who sexually assaulted her for several months last year. It freaked her out and made her feel really uncomfortable. She also found out someone she thought was a good friend is actually still good friends with him despite knowing what happened. Then today, her family took her and her niece to the zoo. She freaked out thinking about it and said she was a total jerk to her aunt (guardian), her aunt got upset, they fought and she spent most of the afternoon just sitting at the car by herself. For whatever reason, she refuses to talk to her aunt about anything that happened. She just doesn't feel comfortable. So to the aunt, this appeared like the kid is just in a total **** mood for no reason and is being difficult despite them being nice, taking her to the zoo, etc. I am sure the aunt thinks she is so ungrateful, etc. The reality is that the girl is in a situation she's totally unprepared for, dealing with emotions she can't process, etc. She feels really bad about how she treated her aunt but she also has her head spinning right now about who she can trust, who is really even her friend, etc.

I am not saying that any of your kids have things that heavy on their mind but they might or things that to them seem equally as weighty. Or just their hormones are going and they literally can't get a handle on them. I always try to focus on the situation/action and not the person. Someone may make a mistake, do something disrespectful or find themselves in an impossible situation but that doesn't make them a bad person, a disrespectful person or a broken person. Not always easy, but a healthier way of looking at things.
I hope this doesn’t sound like I think you are doing a bad job or that I have any clue what’s going on but it seems wrong that you know about sexual assault that a girl’s guardian does not. I’m not sure how they wouldn’t know and how you would keep it from her guardian. That’s big news to hide. I’m assuming you are more on the age level of the aunt so it seems odd that you would protect a teenager’s wish (to keep your relationship good) that her family not know about that trauma. How can her family have a normal relationship without knowing that? Same thing with the friend still being friends with the assaulted. Does the friend really know the whole story?

Again, I clearly know very, very little but just reading that makes me feel like her family will never have a normal relationship with her because they don’t know likely the biggest event in her life. I may also be assuming her “current” family is anything good or normal.
 
Obviously, we don't always know what is going on in their world either. I can give you an example I just dealt with today. It's a very long story but lets just say I am mentoring/life coaching/counseling a teen girl who has had an extremely difficult life. Like you think of some of the worst things that could happen to a kid and she's been through it. I am friends with the family and for whatever reason, she adores me. We are extremely close. We obviously don't live together or anything but at this point it's sort of like I've partially adopted her in spirit.

So Sat night, she ran into the boy who sexually assaulted her for several months last year. It freaked her out and made her feel really uncomfortable. She also found out someone she thought was a good friend is actually still good friends with him despite knowing what happened. Then today, her family took her and her niece to the zoo. She freaked out thinking about it and said she was a total jerk to her aunt (guardian), her aunt got upset, they fought and she spent most of the afternoon just sitting at the car by herself. For whatever reason, she refuses to talk to her aunt about anything that happened. She just doesn't feel comfortable. So to the aunt, this appeared like the kid is just in a total **** mood for no reason and is being difficult despite them being nice, taking her to the zoo, etc. I am sure the aunt thinks she is so ungrateful, etc. The reality is that the girl is in a situation she's totally unprepared for, dealing with emotions she can't process, etc. She feels really bad about how she treated her aunt but she also has her head spinning right now about who she can trust, who is really even her friend, etc.

I am not saying that any of your kids have things that heavy on their mind but they might or things that to them seem equally as weighty. Or just their hormones are going and they literally can't get a handle on them. I always try to focus on the situation/action and not the person. Someone may make a mistake, do something disrespectful or find themselves in an impossible situation but that doesn't make them a bad person, a disrespectful person or a broken person. Not always easy, but a healthier way of looking at things.
I hope this doesn’t sound like I think you are doing a bad job or that I have any clue what’s going on but it seems wrong that you know about sexual assault that a girl’s guardian does not. I’m not sure how they wouldn’t know and how you would keep it from her guardian. That’s big news to hide. I’m assuming you are more on the age level of the aunt so it seems odd that you would protect a teenager’s wish (to keep your relationship good) that her family not know about that trauma. How can her family have a normal relationship without knowing that? Same thing with the friend still being friends with the assaulted. Does the friend really know the whole story?

Again, I clearly know very, very little but just reading that makes me feel like her family will never have a normal relationship with her because they don’t know likely the biggest event in her life. I may also be assuming her “current” family is anything good or normal.
The guardian knows about the assault. The girl just won’t talk about it with her aunt but the aunt knows. The aunt knew before I did. As did her biological mom, grandmother. If they ask her about she just shuts down, runs away, gets angry, etc.
 
The aunt doesn’t know about her running into the boy again or how her friend seemingly has betrayed her by staying friends with him secretly. But I don’t feel any obligation to mention that. I always encourage her to talk more with her aunt but it’s been a slow work in progress. She’s going to apologize for her poor behavior so I’ll take that as a small win.

It does get very tricky though with abuse. Most experts and victims seem to say it should be 100% the victims choice on with who and when and what details they share. Doesn’t have anything to do with preserving a relationship with the person (in this case I’ve told her aunt things about her drinking before and told her if she hates me for it, so be it). It’s just a question of who owns that trauma and who really has the right to share it?
 
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I am happy to see everyone being supportive here. That being said, I would never get involved in public discussions. I am never comfortable posting real life stuff online as it is, especially on social media. Someone always has an issue with something it seems. It's more exhausting to me than dealing with my eighteen year olds nonsense, lol. So I'll just watch from afar. If anyone needs anything, even to vent, my DMs are always available.
 
I don't have a teenager, but I do have a 3.5 year old boy and my god is it heaven. We play with hot wheels every night for an hour before he sneaks off to sleep in the bathroom because of ghosts (ie central air blowing the curtains).

I can't think of anything for carefree and innocent. So how long do I have before things.... pivot.
 
I could reprimand my daughter in the voice of Ferris Buellers teacher, and she’s still say “why are you YELLING at me?”
Yelling has little to do with volume. It's about the tone.
Which is why I said “in the voice of Ferris Bueller's teacher”. Kids…mine anyway…don’t know how to handle the concept that they might have done something wrong. Merely pointing it out is “yelling”.
 
I could reprimand my daughter in the voice of Ferris Buellers teacher, and she’s still say “why are you YELLING at me?”
Yelling has little to do with volume. It's about the tone.
Which is why I said “in the voice of Ferris Bueller's teacher”. Kids…mine anyway…don’t know how to handle the concept that they might have done something wrong. Merely pointing it out is “yelling”.

I think this is human nature - I know a lot of adults who can’t own their mistakes and get defensive and even angry when it’s pointed out. Use it as a teaching moment - “you aren’t perfect, no one is. Everyone makes mistakes, even me. You need to learn to realize that making mistakes is ok. Being wrong is ok. But acknowledge it, learn from it and move on. It’s a fantastic trait to have.”
 
I could reprimand my daughter in the voice of Ferris Buellers teacher, and she’s still say “why are you YELLING at me?”
Yelling has little to do with volume. It's about the tone.
Which is why I said “in the voice of Ferris Bueller's teacher”. Kids…mine anyway…don’t know how to handle the concept that they might have done something wrong. Merely pointing it out is “yelling”.

I think this is human nature - I know a lot of adults who can’t own their mistakes and get defensive and even angry when it’s pointed out. Use it as a teaching moment - “you aren’t perfect, no one is. Everyone makes mistakes, even me. You need to learn to realize that making mistakes is ok. Being wrong is ok. But acknowledge it, learn from it and move on. It’s a fantastic trait to have.”
It’s something I am not good at and have really tried to be better at. I’ve definitely had many a disagreements with my wife get worse because of my attitude when presented with often reasonable suggestions for me.
 
I could reprimand my daughter in the voice of Ferris Buellers teacher, and she’s still say “why are you YELLING at me?”
Yelling has little to do with volume. It's about the tone.
Which is why I said “in the voice of Ferris Bueller's teacher”. Kids…mine anyway…don’t know how to handle the concept that they might have done something wrong. Merely pointing it out is “yelling”.

I think this is human nature - I know a lot of adults who can’t own their mistakes and get defensive and even angry when it’s pointed out. Use it as a teaching moment - “you aren’t perfect, no one is. Everyone makes mistakes, even me. You need to learn to realize that making mistakes is ok. Being wrong is ok. But acknowledge it, learn from it and move on. It’s a fantastic trait to have.”
It’s something I am not good at and have really tried to be better at. I’ve definitely had many a disagreements with my wife get worse because of my attitude when presented with often reasonable suggestions for me.

I used to be horrible in my younger days and it would cause some fights with my wife as we would both “dig in”. But something clicked for me about a decade ago - I no longer felt like I needed to be right all the time. It’s ok to admit mistakes and when you are wrong. It wasn’t helping me or anyone to have some facade of perfection. I now apologize all the time, sometimes even when I still think that I’m right. It’s almost therapeutic.

I’ll still argue for a point that isn’t meaningful if I think I’m right but for the most part I have a “who cares” attitude and think it’s made me a better person for it.
 
I could reprimand my daughter in the voice of Ferris Buellers teacher, and she’s still say “why are you YELLING at me?”
Yelling has little to do with volume. It's about the tone.
Which is why I said “in the voice of Ferris Bueller's teacher”. Kids…mine anyway…don’t know how to handle the concept that they might have done something wrong. Merely pointing it out is “yelling”.

I think this is human nature - I know a lot of adults who can’t own their mistakes and get defensive and even angry when it’s pointed out. Use it as a teaching moment - “you aren’t perfect, no one is. Everyone makes mistakes, even me. You need to learn to realize that making mistakes is ok. Being wrong is ok. But acknowledge it, learn from it and move on. It’s a fantastic trait to have.”
Believe me I’ve tried. She’s headed off to college and I am optimistic that she will learn some perspective. And hopefully how to clean her bleeping room.
 
Obviously, we don't always know what is going on in their world either. I can give you an example I just dealt with today. It's a very long story but lets just say I am mentoring/life coaching/counseling a teen girl who has had an extremely difficult life. Like you think of some of the worst things that could happen to a kid and she's been through it. I am friends with the family and for whatever reason, she adores me. We are extremely close. We obviously don't live together or anything but at this point it's sort of like I've partially adopted her in spirit.

So Sat night, she ran into the boy who sexually assaulted her for several months last year. It freaked her out and made her feel really uncomfortable. She also found out someone she thought was a good friend is actually still good friends with him despite knowing what happened. Then today, her family took her and her niece to the zoo. She freaked out thinking about it and said she was a total jerk to her aunt (guardian), her aunt got upset, they fought and she spent most of the afternoon just sitting at the car by herself. For whatever reason, she refuses to talk to her aunt about anything that happened. She just doesn't feel comfortable. So to the aunt, this appeared like the kid is just in a total **** mood for no reason and is being difficult despite them being nice, taking her to the zoo, etc. I am sure the aunt thinks she is so ungrateful, etc. The reality is that the girl is in a situation she's totally unprepared for, dealing with emotions she can't process, etc. She feels really bad about how she treated her aunt but she also has her head spinning right now about who she can trust, who is really even her friend, etc.

I am not saying that any of your kids have things that heavy on their mind but they might or things that to them seem equally as weighty. Or just their hormones are going and they literally can't get a handle on them. I always try to focus on the situation/action and not the person. Someone may make a mistake, do something disrespectful or find themselves in an impossible situation but that doesn't make them a bad person, a disrespectful person or a broken person. Not always easy, but a healthier way of looking at things.
I hope this doesn’t sound like I think you are doing a bad job or that I have any clue what’s going on but it seems wrong that you know about sexual assault that a girl’s guardian does not. I’m not sure how they wouldn’t know and how you would keep it from her guardian. That’s big news to hide. I’m assuming you are more on the age level of the aunt so it seems odd that you would protect a teenager’s wish (to keep your relationship good) that her family not know about that trauma. How can her family have a normal relationship without knowing that? Same thing with the friend still being friends with the assaulted. Does the friend really know the whole story?

Again, I clearly know very, very little but just reading that makes me feel like her family will never have a normal relationship with her because they don’t know likely the biggest event in her life. I may also be assuming her “current” family is anything good or normal.
That is the other problem with the situation. Her whole family, current and otherwise is a challenge. The reason she doesn't want to talk with her grandmother and aunt is because when they found out (from her mom) about the original assault, they told a ton of people. They told friends, "oh guess what happened to ____" and told other family members, etc. So now, rightfully so, she doesn't want to share anything with them. Her family are just very open people and will talk about anything to anyone while she's just not like that and is very private. So it's a big clash of personalities there. It doesn't help that when the original assaults were happening her mom and a different aunt knew about it, let them happen multiple times, told her she was overreacting, it was just how boys are, she should get over it, should keep hanging out with him, tried to make her forgive him, etc. Luckily despite being pretty young, she knew they were wrong and that was terrible advice. That was all before I had met her.

So based on past experiences, she's rightfully not keen about sharing anything in her life with anyone in her family. She's basically been through nothing but trauma, neglect and abuse from birth. It's actually incredible how well she is doing now given everything, she is an amazing person. 6 months ago, she was debating between killing herself or just running away and living on the streets. Now, she's got her drinking down from 7 days a week to maybe once every 3 weeks. She has cut out all other drugs except weed. She has stopped cutting and all her scars are healed. She is excited to go back to school, she's cut out a bunch of "friends" who were garbage, etc. For whatever reason, I am basically the only adult in the world she actually trusts and feels safe with. It's one of the strangest things that's ever happened to me- like I had a daughter materialize out of thin air. It's a work in progress, but I think she's got a really good shot of escaping this generational curse that is her family.


Also to say that makes it seem like her aunt/guardian and grandmother are awful. They aren't. They are good people and really trying. I like them a lot. They've taken her in multiple times when her parents failed. They provide for her, take care of all the basic needs, do love her, etc. She's just a really complicated kid and has a lot of resentment for everything and everyone connected to her family/parents.
 
15 and 14 YO sons here. The 15YO can be a bit of a handful sometimes with attitude but is otherwise a good kid. The 14YO is pretty easy so far. My biggest challenge is coping with the fact that I’m not the center of their universe anymore – actually, far from that – mostly the older one – all he wants to do is hang out with friends at other houses. It is odd to be so close for 14 years then the dude just bails and we don’t see each other or talk all that much. I give him his space and hope he’ll come around again, sooner than later. We both love football so when the real games start back up in a month, I’m hoping I can use that opportunity to reconnect a bit.
 
15 and 14 YO sons here. The 15YO can be a bit of a handful sometimes with attitude but is otherwise a good kid. The 14YO is pretty easy so far. My biggest challenge is coping with the fact that I’m not the center of their universe anymore – actually, far from that – mostly the older one – all he wants to do is hang out with friends at other houses. It is odd to be so close for 14 years then the dude just bails and we don’t see each other or talk all that much. I give him his space and hope he’ll come around again, sooner than later. We both love football so when the real games start back up in a month, I’m hoping I can use that opportunity to reconnect a bit.
Yeah, this is the hardest part of them getting older. I'm having a really hard time with this. And now my 13 year old daughter is doing the same things.

It's part of the deal, and now I just have to be thankful for the time I do get.
 
Thankfully my son's biggest interests right now are fantasy football and baseball so we still have a ton to talk about
Same here. My 19 yo is heading out next week for his first year of college, and one of the things I am going to miss the most is sitting down with him and watching sports, talking about our favorite teams, going to live sporting events together, etc.

It will still happen over text when something big happens but it just won't be the same as talking smack to each other about our fantasy teams on a Sunday morning in the living room before the games start.
 
16 and 19 year old boys here, they are half brothers and we adopted them when they were 6 months and 3 1/2 years old. That becomes important because we know a little of their mother and younger ones father but no info at all on the 19 year old's father. 16 year old is a pretty typical teen I think, does great in the classes he likes, slacks off if he doesn't like the teacher or they aren't organized because he isn't either so it leads to him missing things. Basically a solid B student, knows what he wants to major in already at college. Very talented soccer player (most obvious trait that he is adopted) and has college coaches talking to him. Got his license this spring and his first girlfriend so it's been a big summer growth wise. He can be cranky and miserable one minute and a charming fun to talk to young adult the next, again pretty typical from what all our friends say of their kids.

Older son is completely different. He is on the spectrum but very highly functioning to the point that if you just met him briefly you wouldn't notice or would think he is just a little odd but once you spend time with him you notice. He struggled in school, while he always had IEP's and accommodations because he was so high functioning every year it would take awhile for new teachers to really understand him. Finally part way through his junior year we got him into a school that met his needs but while he did graduate he sabotaged himself there. Issues really started in his Sophomore year, he made statements in school about wanting to kill himself which led to going to the hospital and a shorty stay. He said at the time it was over bullying on the bus to tech. We believed him but it always seemed off given the kids he named he had played baseball with for years and while a couple I could see giving him some grief a couple of the others had always treated him really well even given his issues. Long story but fast forward through Covid and the end of his senior year he had been hospitalized 5 times for threatening to hurt himself. He had counselors coming to see him 3 and 4 times a week, had been put on anti-depressant meds but kept getting worse. After graduation he had a summer job at the school and was enrolled in a sort of work co-op program in the fall through the local IU that was helping with the things he struggles with like one on one interaction. Well about a week into the summer job (he had the same job the previous summer and it went really well) he started refusing to get up, would stay in bed until 3 or 4 pm when his counselors arrive and finally had to quit. When the fall program started he got up for about a month then the same thing. He also started refusing to shower during the is time, would go 5 and 6 days without a shower. After a couple weeks of refusing to get up and go we pulled him as to not take up a spot for a kid who wanted to be there. Last December he finally decided after another hospitalization that he needed help. Working with his counselors got him into a program for 18 to 24 year old's where they live at a house with staff there 24 hours, daily group sessions, one on one sessions twice a week and weekly visits with the psychiatrist with a long term goal of helping them at least get part time employment and be able to live on their own. He was hospitalized again in March for leaving without signing out, later fainting while walking along the road and telling people he planned to just step in front of a truck. Since June he has shown signs of turning it around, he is getting up everyday by 8am to take his meds, he showers 3 or 4 days a week and has started looking for a part time job. Hopeful he will continue to work through his depression and anxiety issue they have identified so far an make progress. We love him dearly and just want him to be safe and functioning even if he has to move back home as long as we feel he is safe, The stress was insane at home when we were worried about his safety,
 
Tough with teens. Kids go through stages. They adore you when they're young. Then in middle school things get different. They are embarrassed by you, they want to create separation. Then they go through a stage thinking they know everything in the world and you know nothing. Around 15. Then they come back around after going to college, realizing they had it really good. They even start repeating stuff you said that you never thought they heard. I know this is a broad brush stroke but I've seen the exact same pattern happen with our own kids and others. They key is to not irreparably damage your relationship with them while going through this. Think big picture/long term. The one thing I never compromised on though was respect. You disrespected Mom (even more than me) and there would be consequences. Non-negotiable. I've seen parents just get run over and never respected because they were too soft on this.
And I would add, what is your long-term goal as a parent? My goal was always to raise a person that was a functioning adult as soon as possible. The main goal of having kids isn't to make little people to be friends with. They are a great joy in life, but I see lots of parents not have the courage to instill the values in their children that made them the successes they are in their lives. You do have to choose your battles but having your child's respect is a hill you have to die on.
For sure respect is important and I agree on the functioning adult thing. Just saying pressuring a kid to force them to respect you can have the opposite effect. I don't think I've ever respected someone in my life who tried to force me to respect them. As a matter of fact, that's the quickest to lose my respect.
You can't force someone to respect you. You have to earn that respect. However, when dealing with your kids they have to be respectful to you as you have to be with them. No matter how mad/angry/etc.........but it is your job as a parent to teach them how to do this.
 
Tough with teens. Kids go through stages. They adore you when they're young. Then in middle school things get different. They are embarrassed by you, they want to create separation. Then they go through a stage thinking they know everything in the world and you know nothing. Around 15. Then they come back around after going to college, realizing they had it really good. They even start repeating stuff you said that you never thought they heard. I know this is a broad brush stroke but I've seen the exact same pattern happen with our own kids and others. They key is to not irreparably damage your relationship with them while going through this. Think big picture/long term. The one thing I never compromised on though was respect. You disrespected Mom (even more than me) and there would be consequences. Non-negotiable. I've seen parents just get run over and never respected because they were too soft on this.
And I would add, what is your long-term goal as a parent? My goal was always to raise a person that was a functioning adult as soon as possible. The main goal of having kids isn't to make little people to be friends with. They are a great joy in life, but I see lots of parents not have the courage to instill the values in their children that made them the successes they are in their lives. You do have to choose your battles but having your child's respect is a hill you have to die on.
For sure respect is important and I agree on the functioning adult thing. Just saying pressuring a kid to force them to respect you can have the opposite effect. I don't think I've ever respected someone in my life who tried to force me to respect them. As a matter of fact, that's the quickest to lose my respect.
You can't force someone to respect you. You have to earn that respect. However, when dealing with your kids they have to be respectful to you as you have to be with them. No matter how mad/angry/etc.........but it is your job as a parent to teach them how to do this.
It definitely is your job as a parent to help show and teach your kid what respect is. I doubt anymore would disagree with that. How to go about it where people might disagree.
 
My 12YO daughter is spreading her wings a bit; likes going down the street to Starbucks to hang with a friend or two. If she's not there, she's at church youth group or in her room watching Netflix. There were a few months there where things looked like they could get rough but she's doing OK. She is very social and the "COVID years" really put a damper on her mood.

My 10YO son is a gamer with only one real good friend. I'm glad that he's found flag football as an outlet, though. And when I told him NFL season was starting soon, he said that he wants to watch games with me. I would do backflips if he improved at the sport and somehow makes the HS team in a few years. He'll be going to a football powerhouse, so it's unlikely... but I can dream.
 
An update on the 15 year old I've been mentoring or whatever you would call it, Monday marked 1 month sober for her. Wasn't even a goal she set for herself or anything and I've never ever pressured her to get sober. It just kind of happened. She said she doesn't want to drink because she doesn't want to disappoint me. Said this is probably the longest time she's gone without getting drunk since she was 10. I have no way to explain whatever her and I have gone through in the last 7 months but the word miracle is something we've both kicked around. I can't believe I have been so lucky to have been a part of something so profound.
 
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An update on the 15 year old I've been mentoring or whatever you would call it, Monday marked 1 month sober for her. Wasn't even a goal she set for herself or anything and I've never ever pressured her to get sober. It just kind of happened. She said she doesn't want to drink because she doesn't want to disappoint me. Said this is probably the longest time she's gone without getting drunk since she was 10. I have no words to explain whatever her and I have gone through in the last 7 months but the world miracle is something we've both kicked around. I can't believe I have been so lucky to have been a part of something so profound.
Holy smokes.... 10? I can't even imagine my 10-year old boy drinking or doing drugs. Good on you for being there for this person who obviously needs a positive role model in her life.
 
An update on the 15 year old I've been mentoring or whatever you would call it, Monday marked 1 month sober for her. Wasn't even a goal she set for herself or anything and I've never ever pressured her to get sober. It just kind of happened. She said she doesn't want to drink because she doesn't want to disappoint me. Said this is probably the longest time she's gone without getting drunk since she was 10. I have no words to explain whatever her and I have gone through in the last 7 months but the world miracle is something we've both kicked around. I can't believe I have been so lucky to have been a part of something so profound.
Holy smokes.... 10? I can't even imagine my 10-year old boy drinking or doing drugs. Good on you for being there for this person who obviously needs a positive role model in her life.
I know right and I am someone who started drinking very heavily at what I thought was a young age (13). Her family is really bad. They were the ones usually pushing the stuff on her. Her life was never ever good and her mom was physically abusive but around 11 her cousin was dragging her into situations with guns, drugs, fights, etc and she basically said she felt so small and defenseless in these situations that she just flipped the switch off in her head, went into a black bubble. That path leads to obvious places: addiction, abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, etc. Neither of us are really able to explain why meeting me made her feel like it was ok to come out of the bubble and take another crack at life.
 
If anyone is going through struggles with a teenager, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and they will turn into amazing adults.
My dad had a stroke last Friday sometime (my brother stopped by his house to check on him Friday night). He was in the hospital until yesterday when we decided to pull him off all machines because no progress was being made and he was starting to regress rather than progress. It was me, my siblings, our spouses and my now 29 year old daughter and husband there. I said that I was not staying because I had been through that before and did not want to go through that again. I feel terrible now because I did not stay, but my daughter did stay until his last breath. My brother said she never left his side for 3 hours. I cant express how proud I am of her and the woman she has become despite the bumps we had when she was growing up. I told her that and she told me:
I was "denied" of so many opportunities to say goodbye to the ones I love, and I can't be fully mad about that as sometimes it was out of my control. But this man, that I had all my life was leaving me, and I was close by, so I KNEW I needed to be there. It has really brought me a lot of peace with the whole situation, knowing that I got to be there to see him off. I understand why you couldn't.
So whenever we get frustrated with our teenagers or when they say they hate us or will never be like us, know that deep down we are raising people that we will look at some day and realize that despite all of our mistakes, turn out to be great and caring adults.
 
An update on the 15 year old I've been mentoring or whatever you would call it, Monday marked 1 month sober for her. Wasn't even a goal she set for herself or anything and I've never ever pressured her to get sober. It just kind of happened. She said she doesn't want to drink because she doesn't want to disappoint me. Said this is probably the longest time she's gone without getting drunk since she was 10. I have no way to explain whatever her and I have gone through in the last 7 months but the word miracle is something we've both kicked around. I can't believe I have been so lucky to have been a part of something so profound.
Be careful she doesnt develop a crush on you and start making wild accusations or maybe Ive seen too many tv shows.

Great job by the way!
 
An update on the 15 year old I've been mentoring or whatever you would call it, Monday marked 1 month sober for her. Wasn't even a goal she set for herself or anything and I've never ever pressured her to get sober. It just kind of happened. She said she doesn't want to drink because she doesn't want to disappoint me. Said this is probably the longest time she's gone without getting drunk since she was 10. I have no way to explain whatever her and I have gone through in the last 7 months but the word miracle is something we've both kicked around. I can't believe I have been so lucky to have been a part of something so profound.
Be careful she doesnt develop a crush on you and start making wild accusations or maybe Ive seen too many tv shows.

Great job by the way!
Of course that was and I guess still is a concern but she’s never ever given a single hint of that. As a teacher, I’ve certainly had many kids with small crushes and there are obvious signs. She hasn’t ever commented on my appearance, made unnecessary physical contact, intruded on my personal space, etc. She asks about my wife and has never exhibited any hint of jealousy. Luckily that’s just not the direction this has gone. Could it happen? Sure but like she was literally in a deep stage of personal emergency so I figure better to tackle the problem that is happening than worry about a problem that might happen. But yeah if she does develop a crush, some things will need to change. I’ve always made sure to never meet her anywhere but in public, she’s never in my vehicle, etc. I keep a record of all our texts. That said, I would be really really shocked if she ever made up anything about me. That would be really out of character for her and she knows it’s like the one thing she could do to destroy this.
 
Have a 14 yo daughter who has always been a bit of a challenge......becoming a teen did not make anything easier.

My wife said something one day that I always say in my head when I want to punch a hole in the wall......"we will love her through it."

That helps me to keep it all in perspective......being a teen is tough.
 
This thread is a great resource for people. Personally I thought my kids all were the most difficult to deal with (thus far ha ha) around the 15-16 year mark.

Wanted to chime in on the respect thing. My wife and I have made many parental mistakes, but one area where I think we did pretty well is developing a two-way street of respect, because it does necessarily go both ways in any good relationship. The respect a parent shows a kid is different than the other way around of course because the parent is in charge, but it is still important. I think giving them choices and autonomy when possible and also treating them in a way that shows empathy for their situation are areas that show them respect and then in turn encourage them to give respect back. For instance, I had a relative who insisted on reaming his kid out verbally in front of everybody on multiple occasions, and it always bothered me. Who wants to be told off in front of group of spectators when you can easily have the same conversation privately, preserving the child's dignity?
 
Just tried to have a heart to heart with the youngest and it went….. poorly.

She ended up screaming something about how I never listen to her.
















OK that was a joke but I 100% don’t have an actual Fn clue what she’s talking about. I’m not saying she’s wrong, In fact, she’s probably right, but I do t have the slightest clue.

:shrug: I just do my best, try again tomorrow.
 
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Just tried to have a heart to heart with the youngest and it went….. poorly.

She ended up screaming something about how I never listen to her.
















OK that was a joke but I 100% don’t have an actual Fn clue what she’s talking about. I’m not saying she’s wrong, In fact, she’s probably right, but I do t have the slightest clue.

:shrug: I just do my best, try again tomorrow.
Yeah that sucks. Not much you can do other than walk away and try again another day. Does she respond better to mom?
 
The miracle continues with the girl I’ve befriended/mentored. Still hasn’t drank since July 28 and says she has no real interest in it. Starting the school year she set 2 goals: not skip class/school and not get in trouble at home. Tomorrow makes the end of the first month and she hasn’t snuck out and has been doing her chores without being told. At school she has no absences, 2 tardies and has gone from a C/D student in “drop level” classes to an A/B student in all “regular level” classes. She couldn’t believe when she got an A- on her first Algebra and Chem tests on the same day. She was beaming and in total disbelief. Even did better than her one friend who she thinks is like the smartest person she knows. Pretty incredible. She told me she still has the first math test she PASSED in our district on the mini fridge in her room. It was from 8th grade. She started in the district in 6th grade. Now she’s on a trajectory for the honor roll.

I can’t get too complacent through, she still has anger issues and issues with not eating that need working on but at this point I think we both believe anything is possible.
 
Also I have to admit it was such a sense of relief when she got those high scores on her first tests. Like I thought she could be successful and I’m the one who pushed her to get out of the drop level classes but you still never know for sure. If she would have done poorly I would have felt like such an ***.
 

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