Consequences Shmonsequences


Today started fine. Typical Wednesday. Wake up, self-assess, nothing too far out of joint, so you allow the day to commence. Wake the sleeping teen, do all the am Mom things, then repeat the whole act for scene 2 with the pre-teen.

Breakfast ☑️

Kids all on busses☑️

On time for work WITH coffee (made at home) and a packed lunch☑️

Work day goes well despite it being Covid Wednesday and the frontier is getting more and more barren due to all the absent/missing humans in quarantine.

Get home and do all the things, mistrust kids who say they did their homework, blah blah blah.

Cut to this evening. Teenager is glued to phone. Agreements are made…in English. Everyone involved acknowledges the plan. Out loud, in English.

Agreements regarding the phone are broken by sneaky teenager. Shocking and so out of the realm of possibility, right?!?! I know.

Consequence happens. Hormonal teen human loses device and as such will not be having the goodnight shmoozy phone call with the boyfriend.

Heres the shitty part of parenting teens you dont realize: Enforcing consequences is the shittiest part. I have a good kid. My kid is mostly reasonable. He’s not a monster teenager so when he makes a mistake- a repeated mistake- and needs a consequence to drive a point home, to have to be unwavering feels shitty.

If it were a deliberate “F you!” kind of reason, thats easy. I’ll enforce a consequence for that all day long and bring popcorn just to watch the show. But when it’s something you can so easily bend on for the sake of making the night go smoothly and have your 15 year old like you and have an overall peaceful house, its shitty. It feels awful and you’re left questioning if he will actually make Thanksgiving plans with his husband’s family or come visit you in 10 years.

And the more time goes by before you interact, the bigger the anxiety grows. Will this be the night he sneaks out?

No, because he isnt that kind of kid….or is he? (But really, he isnt)

Will he still talk to me excitedly about his newest idea? Will he ditch me and the next Schitts Creek episode because he’s still mad? Will he want my opinion anymore? Was it worth it? Should I have just let him have his phone call and let everything smooth over?

No, damnit! I know deep down this was the right thing. I know it because he’s a good person and a great son. He is that way mostly because of all the other times we’ve been on this damn carousel.

But it still sucks. And teens are so many levels of complicated! Its not just a hormonal rollercoaster for them. You are strapped down and locked in for that damned ride also- and lets not brush aside fates effed up entertainment of screwing with YOUR hormones at the same time. What kind of evil fuckery is that?! I have to weather your storm and keep the unraveling frayed ends of my sanity together?!

The older they get, the bigger their world gets. I want him to navigate it responsibly and reasonably, but mostly I want him to want me in the audience for it for always. Now, and in the future.

Its just one conflict, but in my tired, underhormoned, middle-aged, frazzled and numb mind, it can quickly become a rabbit hole for insecurities and anxiety.

Anyone else? Just me?

2 thoughts on “Consequences Shmonsequences

  1. Teens are hard. The younger child is 19, and it’s still hard. I don’t like punishing, and thankfully, I haven’t had to do it in a long time. But it’s no easier to watch your kid stumbling, even if you know it’s not that bad.

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  2. I had many such moment with my 4 children. It helps them get the courage to go out into the world. And when they get their, they understand limits and boundaries in their jobs and that the landlord isn’t going to let them skate on rent. And in a few years, they realize how home was a really good place. We teach them rules and boundaries, because that is the way the world will treat them when they leave home. And it if it done with loving discipline and not spite, then they come back when they realize what a good thing it was. And the next thing you know, your relationship is great, adult-to-adult. Because they become adults instead of staying spoiled kids. It’s hard on everyone, but it works.

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