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Hey everyone..I've been thinking and I would love your Honest advice and thoughts

LaMareOssa's picture

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I realized this would be the perfect place to come for the advice I need. A place where real people have actually dealt with difficult teenagers in real life, not someone who wrote a book about teenagers, who never had teenagers in their home!

DH and I have two kids together, DD8 and DS5. DH has full sole custody of SD13. Ever since SD was about 6 or 7, I realized that I was NOT going to raise our kids the same way BM raised SD. DH now has custody of SD, but it seems the damage from living with BM and her crazy family has already been done. SD13 is in 7th grade and SD has never really cared about school, BM never made SD do homework and school was never a priority in BM's house, SD playing soccer was the priority. So, it's like DH is having to undue nearly 10 years of bad parenting on BM's part. Anyway... I told you all that to tell you this: SD doesn't care about anything or anyone and now that DD is 8, I'm starting to think about the future. I am so afraid of DD8 turning out like SD. DD is very ambitious and does great in school, the teacher is thinking DD might need a gifted program. DD has always tried her hardest when it came to school because she actually WANTS to have good grades and she actually ENJOYS learning new things. DH and I have always made school a priority for DD and she knows(or seems to understand) how important an education is. She is always talking about her dreams of what she wants to do when she goes to college.

Now, I can't say "Oh, I'll raise DD the way I was raised" Nope. NO WAY. I've never talked about this, but my own BM didn't give a damn when I dropped out of school in 9th grade. She even helped me drop out by lying to the school. Anyway.. I just want our kids to stay focused on their education. I want DD to be happy and healthy and I would hate for her to hit middle school and think "screw this, I'M GROWN NOW!" With everything happening so much earlier than when we were kids, I am just scared to death for DD. DD and I are very close, but she knows I'm mom and not her friend. At this point, DD feels she can talk to me about anything and I would hate for that to change when she is 11 or 12 or 13. It seems there is a very fine line to walk and I'm just worried. DH said he has talked to some of SD's friends' parents and they seem to be having the same issues with their kids that DH is having with SD. I know 12 is a very difficult time and teenagers are challenging, but I'm hoping to get advice now so I can better deal with DD when the time comes....


LaMareOssa's picture

Thank You. I remember thinking "wtf am I doing" when I was about 15 or 16.

LaMareOssa's picture

No, soccer or any other activity are not bad, but when when the parent thinks that school is not important, then it becomes an issue. Bm loved being the soccer mom, but never cared that her kids couldnt do simple multiplication in 5th grade. As long as bm was seen as the soccer star mom, then she didnt care if her kids could spell soccer. Sd13 is in soccer now at school..but if she refuses to take school seriously, dh will pull her out of soccer. I am just trying to mentally prepare myself for the day our dd8 may become the typical difficult teen. Smile

LaMareOssa's picture

That is great to hear about your girls! Thank you for your advice and sharing your story. I hope my dd is the same.

moeilijk's picture

I'm really curious about all the responses you'll get, this is such an interesting query.

I remember that I tried to be 'perfect' to get my parents' attention. I was on the honour roll, one year I won all but 3 of the sports activities for girls my age, etc etc. But they kept telling me grades weren't important, that being a 'winner' wasn't important, that kind of thing. It really had an effect on me - I am naturally ambitious and smart, so I tend to work hard and succeed. But I think that no matter what I do, it isn't good enough. There's more to it, ofc, but that's the gist.

Recently, like in the last year or so, I asked my mom about why she'd tell me grades didn't matter. She told me that she just didn't want to pressure me. Same with sports. It was her way of giving me space. (Wow, did that not go as planned!)

What I'm doing now, with my kid - only 1 year old, so teenage years are far away - is helping her take pride in her accomplishments. When she obviously tries to do something and finally succeeds, I stop and clap for her and say "yay!" It's so funny because she really is ready to keep going onto the next thing, but I think it's so important to help her succeed and to take pride in her success. But now when she does something she's worked at, she claps for herself. Closing doors and drawers, putting things in the garbage, sitting on her chair, getting onto her walking-car-thing (whatever it's called). So cute.

Anyway, I guess my point is... look a little at your kid and his/her basic personality. Look a little at the circumstances - peers, home life, etc. And look at little at what you want/don't want to encourage. And seek a balance.

And good luck! I'm sure your kid will turn out happy, with a loving and involved parent trying to find a good answer for the long term!

LaMareOssa's picture

Sueu2, you have been around a long time and I've read people giving you a hard time because you don't filter your thoughts and many times most members dont agree with you, but you have always given me sound advice. I have gotten nothing but great advice on this particular topic. Thank you for taking time to read and post. I sincerely appreciate it. And on a side note, I do limit dd and ds tv exposure. The crap thats on disney and even the family channel is quite inappropriate for younger ones that they broadcast to. It shows the changing of times ..and it sucks!

hatemyhusband's picture

Just a caution about gifted programs. Investigate the pros and cons. I know most parents would jump on it. I've known of kids who burn out in gifted programs and have issues in the later grades or high school. My daughter a full grade level to two grade levels ahead for years and tested in the gifted range, from kindergarten to third. She was often bored in school., she is in 6th, she's very bright and scores very well on standardized testing but not in the gifted range.

Her first grade teacher discouraged me from putting her in the gifted program. She is one of those rare teachers who goes way above and beyond, so I took her advice to heart. The issues are that she pointed out, a lot of "gifted" kids are bright but not genuinely "gifted" as it appears early on. They end up struggling and burning out in later years in a gifted program. There is also social/emotional development to consider, as well as academic development. Sometimes those can suffer at the expense of academics.

But of course, gifted programs are right for some kids.