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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Teen fear

I've been thinking lately that I need to get a really excellent book about parenting teens because I'm basically terrified.  Parenting is rather an undiscovered country for me anyway, not having access to that all important village that they're always talking about.  And starting so darn late.  But the teen years are looming before me like that black obelisk in 2001 A Space Odessey.

Perhaps it's because of my anxiety and minor preoccupation, but I feel like I'm barraged by teen fear.  For example, I recently read this excellent article about parenting in The Atlantic magazine.  One of the online comments said that people always talk about how hard it is to have kids, but they're always the parents of little kids, and they have no idea how hard it's really going to get when their kids get older.

A couple days later I turned on Morning Joe and Mika was talking with some politician, I think Pawlenty, and I guess they'd been swapping stories on parenting teens, and he said to listen to Martina McBride's song called Teenage Daughter, which talks about how "you used to like me but now you think I'm a fool" and stuff like that.

Even on the bus, just this week a guy was talking about how easy his younger boy is, but the teenager is so difficult.

Ack.  I'm completely surrounded by validation of my deepest fears.  I know we'll get through it, everyone does (except the occasional parent who commits teen filicide, like Julie Schenecker).  Of course it doesn't help that Larry and I are rarely on the same page when it comes to the kids, and teens have radar for that sort of thing.  They'll exploit the heck out of it. 

All I can really do now is lay the foundation for a decent relationship with my kids and then wade into the tempest when it arrives.



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