When you have little baby children, you think that things are very difficult. You have to feed them, change them, and suck the boogers out of their noses with those little bulb things. They cry and vomit and don’t sleep. Life seems like one endless sucking maw of baby bodily fluids. Oh, when will they grow up?
Then they become toddlers. I’m far too tired this evening to recount the joys and horrors of raising toddlers.
Then they kind of go through a cool phase. They get to be around, oh, seven or so, and from then up until around ten or eleven, or even twelve if you’re lucky, you get to interact with what appears to be an actual human being, in miniature form. You do fun things together and talk about everything. You are buddies. You are best friends. Furthermore, you are the coolest parent in the world.
Then they become teenagers.
Suddenly, you find yourself looking back wistfully on those diaper changing days. Needs of the body are easily met, but meeting the needs of the teenage mind is a problem that is unlikely to ever be solved.
My son is fifteen years old. I know the child I gave birth to is in there somewhere, but some days I wonder if that little boy hasn’t been replaced by some alien from Planet Attitude.
Teenagers know everything. I mean, when did I miss the class in middle school that taught literally every thing about every topic and every possible scenario in the history of mankind? Because teenagers certainly seem to know it. They can argue about anything. They can argue with you if you tell them it’s raining outside.
Now I am starting to run into the real difficulties of raising teenagers. Sure they are obnoxious and know-it-all and they never listen and the eye rolling thing, oh LORD don’t get me started on the eye rolling thing, and they are so dramatic that they could give acting lessons to soap opera stars, and they think their lives are just so tragic and no one understands them and their parents are totally lame and old and —–
Sorry, I got carried away there.
My point, in case you forgot, was that raising a teenager has to be the most difficult parenting stage, hands down. The issue that I have been struggling with lately is privacy.
I’m an advocate for privacy. I love my own. I want my son to be able to have his space and set his boundaries and know that no one is messing in his personal business. I can truly see it from that point of view. It’s part of treating our children like adults.
Where is that line? I want my son to be responsible and be able to have his personal space, but I cannot allow myself to forget that this is a fifteen year old boy that I am talking about! His decision-making capability at this stage is right on par with that of a hamster, or maybe a really smart potato. I’m not singling him out! I’ve known his friends since they started kindergarten, and they are all the same. Remember when I said I thought maybe they had been abducted by aliens from planet attitude? Actually, I think they have been abducted by Hormones, and the Hormones don’t care about consequences or mistakes or grades or anything like the future. The Hormones care about one basic topic–sex–with many sub-topics, such as jokes, tv, games, videos, movies, all related to the main topic, which was, in case you forgot, sex.
So, what do you do? Do you read all the texts? Do you stalk the email and the Facebook pages? Do you snoop in drawers? Do you hire private detectives to track your child’s every move? (Just kidding.) ((Sort of.))
Help me, dear readers. How far is too far? My job is to be his parent, and I am going to push into those boundaries all the time, much to my son’s distress. At what point do I officially become a stalker?
I’m all ears.