Shit will still happen

I have come to the conclusion that there comes a point in our children’s lives, when you have to step back and trust and hope. Instinctively, I have known this for a while, but it is only now that I am allowing myself to openly admit it.

You see the thing is, shit will happen. Whether you are a parent who hovers or a parent who doesn’t have the time and/or the inclination to, shit will still go down.

Daughter 2 is 15. She’s the third 15 year old who I have parented. It’s taken me this long to acknowledge that sometimes their take on life is ok. Sometimes, when I judge their perspective on things, I am wrong to do so. Not always, but sometimes and probably a lot more than I ever thought.

Teenagers don’t use desks. Some do, of course, but many don’t. It is quite normal for you to come home and find your teenager wrapped up in their fluffiest of dressing gowns, in bed, duvet pulled up with a laptop positioned precariously on their knees…at 2pm on a Sunday. No, they are not still in bed from the previous night. Under their dressing gown they are fully clothed and have been for a while. This used to make me mad. “What are you doing in bed?” I’d holler. Then I noticed a sister was doing it and then a cousin. Now, it may well be that it’s genetic, but I suspect it’s a teenage ‘thing’. I don’t like it, because it seems slovenly. They do it because it makes them feel comfortable and cosy. Does it affect whether they get that required level 6 in GCSE Maths? Probably not. Perhaps I should step back and let it go.

You certainly have to pick your battles with the teens. You can’t be a one-man army, firing shots in all directions at every thing you don’t like or agree with. Those teens will be off like a shot – jumping into the nearest fluffy dressing gown and diving under the duvet for cover.

When Daughter 1 was revising for her GCSE’s, she announced that she was going to revise with a friend – on Face time. “No way!” I responded. “You will never get any work done!” She dismissed my worry and did it anyway. I decided to step back and observe, rather than to keep piling in. It’s not how I could ever have imagined revising, but she’s not me. She got fantastic grades. She attributes this partly to her working with her friend. I couldn’t argue.

Music was blaring out of her bedroom last night. I went to investigate and there was daughter 1 at her desk. The only reason being, that daughter 3 was on her bed, surrounded by maths books. “Why aren’t you working?” I shouted (over the noise of Will Joseph Cook). They both looked at me incredulously. “We are!” they chorused, as a Snap chat buzzed through. I was skeptical. I hovered. Do I turf daughter 3 out? Or, do I trust them? Do I step back and tell myself that their world isn’t my world, or do I take the hard parental line? I left them to it. Because you know what? They know what my expectations of them are. I’ve laid the ground rules over the years. I continue to be interested in their grades and their progress at school. I make sure that I still involve myself with how the personal statement is shaping up and how the math’s test went. But at the end of the day a large part of being a teenager is learning how to do things their way. Yes, shit will happen. It will happen at some point whether we are there or not and this is the step to independence, resilience and ultimately, success.

So, my new parent mantra is: don’t worry, hope. Stand back, take a breath and hope.


35 thoughts on “Shit will still happen”

  1. Brilliant! Oh the dressing gowns over clothes and the studying in bed despite a desk – music, the snapchats, the Skype study – all of it goes on here too and, you’re right, they’re doing OK – pick your battles all the way I say! #BigPinkLink

  2. Chuckled at the dressing gown in bed with computer doing homework, you screaming scenario. I do that everyday to Teen 2 whilst nagging her about the fact she will turn into a hunch back if she keeps working cross legged on her bed rather than sitting in proper chair with support. Teen 1 always studies with music blasting into his ears – just how is that possible? I have had so many “but you can’t possibly concentrate” conversations with him. You are right and your mantra is perfect. #bigpinklink

    1. They change in an instant and you will feel that you are playing catch-up with their world. However, it is wonderful watching their personalities and interests develop and if you use my mantra, or something similar, you will be absolutely fine 🙂

  3. With a 12 year old, I am well approaching this stage and it terrifies me. I think picking your battles is SO important, I have learned not to sweat the small stuff as before you know it those niggles can be blown up into full scaled hormone fuelled wars! #mg

  4. I think it is something that the generation above just can’t understand. Teens are always looking for something different to ‘rebel’, bonus points if it winds them up!! I think you’re doing very well if this is their only attempt to rebel. 🙂 Thanks for linking up with the #bigpinklink

  5. Revising on facetime is seriously some thing new! I don’t know what my toddler will be doing when he enters teen!! When I was a teen I did many of these weird stuffs, I wonder how my parents didn’t throw me out of the house!! Love to your family.

    1. Thank you for your comments. When I look back at my teens I think I got away with a lot 🙂 I’ll keep that quiet though!

  6. I am still a Mother of a Toddler but yes, I can relate to it when I was a Teenager. My Mother knew all my lies,even though she did not stopped me every-time I had broken the rules. May be she trusted me that whatever I would do, I would not sacrifice my values. It needs lot of patience to observe your Kids from far without poking a nose. Hats off to all those Mothers. I wish I would learn this art when time comes.Loved the title 😉 #mg

  7. I find I have to pick my battles already and my oldest is only 7! I never used a desk either, I preferred to work sprawled across the living room floor, I don’t know how the hell I did it, these days I’d be in agony within five minutes!

  8. My 12 year old does all her homework on her iPad and yes she does it in her dressing gown, so don’t stress it is happening world wide! #mg

  9. I totally agree. I don’t think it much matters how something gets done as long as it does. And just because teens do things differently, doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂

Leave a Reply