Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Any Advice On Raising Teens?

I've written a few posts earlier this year about my oldest child turning 12, him entering his last year at elementary school, and just the fact that my little children, aren't so little anymore.  But is wasn't until this past week, that it really hit me.  My 12 year old is trying to become more independent, and I kind of don't like it.  

I'm realizing now that I need to wear different hats; not the just mother of preschool, elementary school age children hat, but now the hat of the mother of a pre-teen.  I am by no means the best parent out there, there are plenty other mothers scoring higher points than me... but I can honestly say I feel like the choices I've made in raising my children so far, I am comfortable with.  But now?  I'm not so sure.  I hope the way I'm raising this pre-teen of mine will prove  to be effective as he grows into a full blown teenager, and then a man.  (I should clarify right now, I am not excluding my husband in this at all, we try to make all decisions together, but for the purpose of this post, I am speaking for myself.)   

I want desperately to keep my children from encountering anything that will pollute their mind, such as pornography, which is EVERYWHERE!!!  It doesn't matter where you look..... the magazine stand, the phone, ipod, computer, movies, television, music.  Where ever you turn, it is there, lurking to find you, to get you addicted, to destroy families, relationships.  It is not something that was as evident when I was a teenager, as it is now.  That scares me.  Yet, I cannot keep my children immune from the world, and to technology. And it's not just what can be found on the internet, but also in a drugstore, or someone's pocket.  It's drugs and alcohol too.  I don't want my children near ANY OF THAT, for any reason, at any time, with anyone.  Oh, and then there's the sexual promiscuity that they don't need to be any part of too.  The list goes on and on, doesn't it?

I'm sure many of us would love to keep our kids in a bubble, so they won't be confronted with any of the above mentioned activities.  But we cannot live like that, nor would I want to.  There is much to be learned IN this world, but that doesn't mean we need to be OF it. At least the drug induced, sexualized part of it.

I heard a great quote the other day in church, while listening to a young man speak who had just returned from his 2 year voluntary mission for our church.  I can't remember who actually said this, but he had quoted it. (This is not word for word, but sums it up.) "When a choice is to be made, the time of preparation has passed."  I just LOVE that.  It is absolutely true. When that kid offers my son drugs, or a drink, I sure hope he will automatically say, "NO!" because he's been taught all these years to stay away from it.  I hope that if he ever happens upon a questionable site on the internet, that he will get off whatever it is he's looking at and never go back because he simply knows that ANY of that junk is NO GOOD.  I hope that when these temptations arise, that he will be able to withstand them.  And I hope that I have been a good enough parent to instill in him the desire to do what is right.  That's not asking for so much, is it?

Would it be easier to just ban all technology from my kids until they turn 18 and then say, "Well, you're on your own, hope you survive?"  That might be the right route for some, and that's for each parent to decide, but I can't do that.  So I guess my purpose in writing this post was to just get this off my chest, that we parents need all the support we can get while raising teenagers.  What have YOU done that you feel has worked for you and your family? Or, the other way around, I suppose too.

We all need each other.  It's a big, wide world out there, and our kids are going to be a part of it regardless what we do. I just hope I've armed them with the right standards and values to protect them from the many darts that will come their way.

No comments:

Post a Comment