Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is That A "Monster" in Your House?

I am sure that most of you are aware of my interest in Lady Gaga's work. Yes, I am a "little monster". But today, we will be discussing a different type of "monster".

Some of you have them in your house. They are mostly recognized for eating a lot of food, sleeping a lot (careful when waking them up, they might bite), bad memory, disagreeing with everything you say and of course thinking that they know everything better then you. Have you guessed yet? Yes, I am talking about teenagers. And sometimes they seem like "monsters".

I am the lucky "owner" of one of those "things". He is a 16 year old boy. My son Daniel. Don't get me wrong, I love him tremendously. But lately...

One of the biggest issues right now is school. Unfortunately, my son decided that taking less challenging level of courses will be best for him since there is not much work (Homework? What homework?). Now, he is miserable (his own words) at school since this level is not challenging for him and he is bored out of his mind. Thus, come the phone calls from school: "Hello, this is your son's school calling. Your son has been missing from period......". I really hope he's learned the lesson moving forward and will have more enjoyable Grade 12.

Another interesting item is having a job. Daniel has been working since he was 14 years old (none of his friends even had a job at the time). He LOVES downhill mountain biking and plays hockey. So, working at SportMart was the best job: working on bikes, sharpening skates, waxing skies and snowboards. What fun! And don't forget the great discount the whole family gets!

But lately he's barely getting any hours. So, he agreed that he needs another job to "feed" his LOVE of DH (downhill). But here is the dilemma. The weather is getting better and he much rather bike (night and day) then be at some work. Just yesterday we had this interesting conversation. It went like this: "Dan, it's raining, why don't you go and drop off few resumes?" "Well, I want to get a job, but I don't want to go drop off resumes." WHAT??? What does this mean? After several attempts to get an explanation, this is what I got: "You know, I want to get a Ferrari but I can't." WHAT???

Keep it calm and breathe! It will all come together.

Here is another interesting aspect. Trying to have a conversation. It goes something like this:
Question: "How was your day?" (I've read somewhere now that it's the worst question to ask a teenager). Response: "Argh!"
Question: "What are you plans for the weekend?" Response: "Argh!"
Question: "Could I speak with you about....?" Response: "Argh!"
Question: "Who was at the trails (DH)?" Response, you guessed it: "Argh?"

"Monster" anyone?

I don't think there is a point of giving any more examples. Those of us that have these "creatures" in our home know all about them and their behaviour. What I'd like to offer is a solution of how to deal with them. Here are few tips that I use:

- Pick your fights
- Remember yourself as a teenager (now go call your parents and apologies)
- Do not overpower
- Do not nag (repetition only works for small children)
- Try to offer advise starting by "Do you know what I was thinking?"
- Most important, TALK TO THEM (do it when they are in a good mood) and LISTEN TO THEM

They love you, they are just scared to show it. Unless they need something, then lots of love comes your way.

My son is a great kid and I know this is just a phase. We all been there. But he cannot fool me with tough approach. He still loves to cuddle and give hugs and kisses to me for no reason (well, does not happen as often now but still takes place from time to time). He's finally learned that little things matter in life.

Here is the final note. Perhaps you have your own approach and rules. Even if you do, you might want to try one of mine. I also would love to hear from you about your approach and challenges. It says, that it takes a village to raise a child. I hope you are part of my village.

Have a fantastic day and remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman! ARGH!

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