Parenting

Apparently teenagers turn into adults eventually

KyleSo my baby boy has just returned from his bi-annual visit to his dad in Cape Town and suddenly the kid looks more ‘man’ than ‘kid’. Not impressed. Not impressed at all. I don’t know what sorcery you Capetonians practice, but if you could return my baby boy to me in baby form next time, that would be great. Oh wait… I forgot, teenagers turn into adults, apparently. I believe it’s a condition that is most likely not reversible (unless you’re Benjamin Button, that is). So I guess I’m stuck with an ‘almost adult’ child.

You kinda always know that your child will eventually not be a child anymore. I mean, it just makes sense. It’s how nature works and all of that. But as much as you expect it, you also just DON’T. You don’t expect it. Which is why parents are so surprised when their little one does something new. “Oh my word Harry, you just wiped your own bum! How did you even know to do that?! You’re only 13 years old!” Yeah, we can get a bit over the top, right Moms? (It’s okay, you can agree with me here. It’s a safe place, No judgies allowed.)

teenagers turn into adultsI realised that I had been fighting my boy’s “coming of age” and by this I also mean that I had been fighting with my son like, permy. We argue about everything. So as much as co-parenting with someone who lives 9 hours away is a challenge, I do appreciate that when my kid goes to his dad, I have time to put things into perspective (it’s hard to argue with him when he’s not here). Usually the putting into perspective shows me what I need to change about my attitude. I mean, contrary to my popular belief, I’m not always right. (Okay, you don’t have to tell everyone, sheesh) Anyways, so this time around I realised that I had been fighting this boy’s new season. He will be 16 years old in a few months time! The kid is growing up and he is maturing.

I do believe that children – anyone’s and everyone’s – should show respect to their elders and all of those other important things written in the “How to raise good kids” manual. But I’ve realised (yep, only now) that this kid is almost a grown up and at this stage of his life, he is also yearning for respect of some sort. He wants his opinion and feelings to be taken seriously. He wants to be heard. And he wants to be able to make his own choices.

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-26 at 11.10.29 PMI must admit, it’s a lot to wrap my spreadsheet brain around. I mean, control freak over here! (Yeah, I own it like a boss) I need to learn to let go… without reaaally letting go (let’s not get too crazy over here, Martha)… but still make him feel that I trust him enough to let go, to some degree. Make sense? Well, it does to me anyways. I don’t know who else this vent is for, but if you can relate, Mom, please drop me a comment below. Sigh… new seasons… they suck but also they are cool and necessary and exciting. Don’t you think?

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