My loving message to teens


As a lot of you know, I’m a Wizard101 fanatic.  I like this game for several reasons: (1) the game centers around a school of wizardry.  Harry Potterish – yes, but the game is quite different.  (2) I have met some really interesting people, both young and old, on this game, two of which turned out to be aspiring authors, and (3) I get to participate in a lot of online discussions with young people and teens (yes, they know I’m a parent).

Late last night I was playing the game when another player joined in a battle I was in.  After we chatted for a while, moving from one level to the next in a dungeon, she said she was a teen, and then decided to tell me she was very, very angry with her mom because her mom snooped in her room and found some pot.   Her mom also went through some other things in her room and took some things away.  She couldn’t get over the fact that her mom was so disrespectful of her privacy and it wasn’t like she was “doing crack or something.”

I offered my ‘ear’ and listened, but gave no advice.  You have to be careful in these online games.  However, it got me thinking after I logged off.  Part of me sympathized with her.  I remember times as a teen feeling angry at my mom for reading my diary and going through my things, especially since I was a ‘good girl’.  I didn’t smoke, drink, sneak out of the house.  I was an honor roll kid, polite, a member of Who’s Who Among American High School Students.  I was a goody two shoes.  In that sense, I could relate to this poor girl’s feelings of betrayal.  There should be a room in a home where kids can go and feel safe, that their things are their things.

But then the mom in me kicked in.  Her mom was probably worried, scared.  She probably noticed a change in her daughter that she couldn’t pin point.  Maybe her mom tried to talk to her and the daughter withdrew.  Maybe there was a horrible relationship there to begin with.  Maybe, mom is just a snoop and wanted to know everything and anything going on in her daughter’s life.

My mom told me once:

“You live in my house. You have no privacy.”

That always stuck with me.  “You live in my house.”  To a teen, that one word ‘my’ can make one feel so isolated, like a visitor in your own home.  I remember thinking then, “I thought this was our home.”  Sad thing is, I’ve said the same thing to my kids, but I digress.

To the young girl online and to all other teens, please listen up.  Parents aren’t perfect.  We make mistakes.  We say things perhaps we shouldn’t say, but there is one thing that holds steady for 99% of us – we love you.  We care about you and what happens to you.  Sometimes we have to rely on our gut instincts, especially if our kids aren’t honest and opening up to us.  Don’t get me wrong.  I totally get it.  I was a teen once, too.  That’s why you as a teen are at such a disadvantage.  You can’t see both sides of the coin.  While it may make you angry that your parents snoop and interfere, try to imagine your life with parents who didn’t care what you did or where you went or who you went with.  Love makes us do some extreme things.  Our only thoughts are to keep you safe.  And while we know we can’t protect you from everything, that doesn’t stop us from trying.

As for the pot:  I’m not going to preach.  I’d be a liar to say I didn’t try it when I got older.  I can’t tell you I didn’t get involved with the wrong crowd in my early 20s.  I can’t say I didn’t do other drugs I wish I hadn’t done.  There was a time in my life I felt so alone, like there was no way out.  A time when I felt no one loved me or needed me.  A time when I wanted to forget…to not feel the pain.

But I was wrong.  Oh, God, how I was wrong.  To all you precious, unique and beautiful teens…you may think pot is okay, but it’s not.  It’s a band aid, sweetheart.  Getting high, whether with drugs or alcohol, is not the answer.  I know.  I’ve been there.  If you can’t talk to your parents about what’s bugging you, find someone you can talk to.  Drugs aren’t the answer.  Believe me.  Someday you’ll meet someone who cares about you and loves you, and someday you will have children of your own.  Someday, you’ll understand what it means to love someone so much that you would lay down your life to protect him or her.  That’s the life of a parent. That’s the pain we live with every day.  We worry. We love.  We care.

Please, don’t be angry for our interfering.  Instead, be thankful you have someone who loves you enough to interfere.  You are blessed more than you know.  I wish you all the best.  (((hugs))).

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7 thoughts on “My loving message to teens

  1. Amen, my friend. I am terrified when my youngest gets older. He looks for bad things to do to get us upset. Hopefully he will get out of this stage that he’s been in since he’s been two (he’s almost six now) and follow in his brother’s footsteps.

    Unfortunatley, most teens probably don’t realize their parents have brains until they get out on their own, and then want to run home.

    I was lucky, I had a great relationship with my parents. Unfortunatley, many kids aren’t so lucky.

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    1. I’m sure it’s nothing you’ve done. My oldest son is 20 and we’ve had issues since he was born. I love him dearly but he knows how to pull my strings and push my buttons. We’ve had the talk many times but he’s still trying us,…trying himself. It’s a constant struggle. Someday they learn. They do. And so do we.

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  2. I agree with everything you’ve said, Jenny. My mom and I argued. She didn’t ‘get’ me, but sometimes their rules gave me excuses to not do things I knew were wrong. Their refusal to let me go to a particular party saved me from being arrested when the place was raided.

    My daughter and I argued, mostly when she wouldn’t call to let me know she was going to be late – really late! She hated the rules in the house and moved in with her boyfriend when she was 19. I wasn’t happy about it but loved her enough to let her live her life as she felt fit. About a year later, she called me up and said, “I’m sorry, Mom.” Confused, I asked her what she was sorry about. She apologized for all the times she made us worry when she stayed out late. Apparently the boyfriend had gone out with friends a few times and didn’t call to tell her he wouldn’t be home. She now knew how I’d felt and realized that the rules weren’t to be mean but to help keep her safe. Too bad it took several years for her to realize this, but at least she could admit that Mom was right. 🙂

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  3. Oh, did this ever speak to me, Jen.

    “As long as you live under my roof…”

    Been there, done that, too on filling an inexplicable hole in my soul (as I called it) with self-medications both legal (wine) and illegal (marijuana). Left the marijuana behind after my early twenties. Vino? Not until I was mumble-mumble years old.

    My “kids” were grown when I married my husband. The only time I snooped in my stepsons room was one cleaning day when he left his English notebook on his desk.

    I had a vested interest in his graduation.He was a smart kid and has grown into a wonderful father with a fantastic career in computer maintenance.

    But, in high school? Gaaah! I learned algebra again,so I could tutor him. I read Jane Eyre to him; got up at 5 a.m. and taped the book most mornings so he could listen to it while he showered and drove to school.

    So, yeah. I tipped open that English notebook.

    He’d been carrying Tale of Two Cities to and from school for two weeks. I kept asking about it. He told me they hadn’t yet started it. I found GOOSE-EGGS for homework assignments and quizzes on the Tale of Two Cities. Steamed! I was steamed. I called his English teacher. We discussed catch-up options. When he got home, it was “sit down, shut up, and let me tell you what you are going to do” time. He tested boundaries. Teenagers do that.

    But, he walked across the stage and received his high school diploma eight weeks later. He’s the father of those two grandchildren I brag so much about.

    Thanks for a caring message. Brought back the memories!

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  4. Thank you for giving some much needed hugs and positive attention towards teenagers. 🙂 I don’t have any kids of my own, but I do have a classroom full of them each day – they are so full of energy and have such great personalities.

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