Thursday, December 29, 2016

Raising a Teen...AGAIN!!!

I think raising a teen is way up there as far as challenges are concerned with going through a divorce, I know that much because I've raised two teens, a girl and a boy and I've also been through a divorce.

But what happens when I'm done raising my teens, come full circle through the divorce, gotten stronger and better than ever, gotten happily remarried and all of a sudden I find out I'm about to help finish raising a teen only this time it's not my own. I haven't had a chance to love him unconditionally I didn't raise and hardly know him so he comes to me with somebody else's life hangups and challenges, mom couldn't handle him so I said yes because I want my life partner to have a chance at the same thing I have, the satisfaction that I was always there for my children and they turned out to be two wonderful human beings.

I'm not going to lie and say that it's something I do from the heart because at times it has been very challenging and I've had feelings of resentment because it has come to take away the peaceful private and enjoyable atmosphere that my husband and I had created in our environment.

At first I allowed for the situation to settle down and adjust because I could imagine how difficult it must be for him to come from this little beach town where he grew up where he was in a very negative relationship with his mother. She never saw anything good in him, hyperactive child medicated by a very neurotic and hypochondriac mother, never put any effort into school, all he ever wanted to do was play soccer.

Mom leaves him behind and takes along the good son, the one who likes to study and learn, who is self contained, who caters to her by giving her hugs and kisses and moves very far away. So this kid who had a terrible relationship with his mother is never able to heal and close a circle.

Aren't we supposed to help those who need something we have in us to give? Wasn't I there one day when my ex-husband wanted to have a relationship with his father because he too was raised by a very dysfunctional and negative mother? Didn't his father's new wife make him kick us out of their house just because she was jealous of the re-birth of father and son relationship?

All of that is well and good, I want to be the cause of something good coming out of all this effort we have tried to put into my husband giving birth to the relationship he always wanted to have with his son, but there is also me and my desires, my rules, my needs, my privacy, my relationship with my husband.

So instead of running away and not being a part of this coming of age event in the life of a teenager in partnership with his father, I decided to make the rules very clear.

I will give up the things I've gotten accustomed to that bring me joy and peace, the time to help, the space, the patience, the guidance, but in exchange for that I will need to see passion and interest in learning and making the best choices. I will want to see appreciation for all the opportunities that life is giving him at a time when he didn't know which way to go to become a productive human being.

Now the ball is on his court, he arrived here an arrogant know it all cocky 19 year old who behaves like a 13 yr. old if I'm being generous. The first thing he did was asked dad to buy him video games and collection cards, he begrudged the cell phone we gave him with  unlimited everything. His father signed him up for the gym where I didn't sign myself up because of finances and we had strong disagreements because if I am going to have to clean up someone else's dirty work as far as raising a child is concerned it will have to be my way, otherwise this will never work.

I believe you always have to do the right thing for everyone concerned and that includes me. The other day I told my stepson. If I am stern and strong with you is because I care, the day I stop caring you will never hear from me again. So you have a choice, you either do it in this house with our rules or elsewhere with yours.

I don't care how many times I have attended these meetings with parents with problem children and how much I believe I'd be doing it a different way if that were my child, if when it happens to me I make the same mistakes I see everyone making, trying to be your kid's friend, trying to have him approve of you and like you. I rather he doesn't like me and becomes the best version possible of himself, than like me and become a loser.

There is no doubt that "Raising a Teen" is not easy, but if the Universe sent him to me at this stage in my life it must be for a reason, so I'm going to give it my best shot and see what goes...

It's starting to rain outside again, just like "Raising a Teen"...

Hugs xoxo

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