Not So Strictly Speaking…

A couple weeks ago I was chatting with one of my preschool moms.  She was very stressed out and worried about how she was going to deal with her daughter when she became a teenager.  I told her that the teen years are nothing compared to the preschool years.  Interestingly enough, I don’t think she believed me.

For the most part, I do think that the teen years are fairly smooth.  We’ve had years to teach our children exactly what is expected of them and that there will be consequences if they don’t act appropriately.  Of course, there are some problems, but honestly rolling eyes, talking back or a slamming door is nothing compared to a screaming tantrum in the middle of a busy grocery store.


Lately, we’ve had a bit of a problem with one of our girls.  It seems that her social life has taken on a bigger priority than her studies.  Our usual method of lecturing talking hadn’t been working so we had to figure out something that would work. 

It started calmly enough as we laid out a plan to reinforce proper study habits.  Our child didn’t really seem to care much and had a zillion different excuses as to why our ideas weren’t really valid.  So Shaun and I took turns piling on a bit of punishment consequence.   I think it ended up with  no TV, no computer (except for supervised school work), no phone, no sleepovers, no music, no hanging out with friends, no IMing…oh yeah, and she was grounded. 

It’s possible we may have over-reacted. 

On Friday afternoon, at the start of the four day weekend, our girl asked me if she would be allowed to go to see the movie that she and her friend A had already planned on.  I knew that she was “grounded” but we never were very clear on what exactly that meant.  My mind started to race, Iknowthatshe’sgroundedbutshenevergetstoseeAandI’mnottheonethat groundedheranywayshmmmmwhattodo???  “Talk to your dad about it”  is what came out of my mouth.  Not too surprisingly, her soft-hearted father agreed to let her go as a special exception.

When Shaun came home later that evening he wanted to know where our girl was so he could talk to her.  When I informed him that she had left for the weekend to spend some time with her grandparents he just burst out into laughter.   Um…sleepovers…I had forgotten that she wasn’t to have any sleepovers. (Does it really count as a sleepover when it’s at Grandma and Grandpa’s and you haven’t seen them in over a year?)

Apparently we aren’t so great at being strict parents.  I’m actually okay with that as long as our girls work hard at their studies, are good respectful people and don’t throw temper tantrum in the grocery store….

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23 Responses to Not So Strictly Speaking…

  1. Patsy says:

    It’s not our fault! You never told us she was not suppose to watch TV! You never told us that she wasn’t suppose to play on the computer! You never told us that she was on restriction! You never told us that she wasn’t suppose to sleep over! But, we sure did have fun; watching tv late into the night; playing together on the computer; she had to stay over night; for three nights, cause you didn’t come and get her; so what if we turned off the phone and moved to a different RV park!!! and she sure did love that coffee that she wasn’t suppose to have!!! But we love her!!! She is suppose to be spoiled!

  2. bcjenster says:

    I think teenagers are a ton of fun! Mostly, anyway. :o)

    You handled the situation quite well, IMO. Just like I would! Especially the “what do I do” part. lol

    And the comment from grandma made me giggle!!! Me thinks the girl is loved. :o)

  3. I don’t think grandparents count as sleepovers. But then again, I’m not a mom so I have little experience to got by. 🙂

    (Your mom’s comment is a hoot.)

  4. Susan says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have a couple boys that I am having trouble with ( one in particular, I’ll give you a hint his name begins with “A”). May I send them/him your way? I was told last week by a certain young man, “This is the United States of American and I have choices and I am not going!”. Oh and “Go ahead and ground me, I am still not going.” I tried not to laugh- hey at least he his a strong sense of self. Some day I am sure we will miss these days but I am ready to be done.
    Take care,

  5. Tylor says:

    Hmmm, it would be a sight to see to see two teenage girls throwing a tantrum on the floor of a grocery store. Well, that is unless you’re their parents.

  6. Kathy says:

    I think that having children of any age is frenetic, exhausting and wonderful. ….Small children; small problems – big children; well you know how it goes.

  7. Beckie says:

    I think we may have gone to the same school of parenting.

  8. Renate says:

    I agree with you Susan. I much preferred the teenage years to the preschool years. My boys were, in general, very easy during their teens. The worst I ever got was a lot of eye rolling and “whatevers”, and this despite the fact that I was going through a divorce at the time.

  9. Kellan says:

    I too believe that the teen years are not as difficult as we had feared, but I have twin 16 year olds and we have our moments – like you. Your girls are darling! Take care – Kellan

  10. lucy says:

    haha I can SO relate to this post! It’s so difficult to stick to consequences And to clearly state them!! Lately, I am very ‘into’ being as reasonable as possible and LETTING him (16) KnoW and value that I am being reasonable. Also,picking my battles carefully!!
    I have to say.. I think I would take the grocery store tantrum over these difficult teen years and eSPECIALLY over the upcoming driving stage!! I really don’t do well with them in the car!
    NICE Post.. found you through mommyville!

  11. Mary Jenkins says:

    No grandparent visits wouldn’t break the rules. When I was a teenager I would have considerd it punishment!

    Wednesday is Link Day on my blog so come by and link this or any post you’d like!

  12. Linda says:

    So I have a teen and a preschooler in the same house. I can honestly tell you, the preschooler is way more difficult and frustrating. The teen years are going pretty good here. I do not fear teens … preschoolers on the other hand, I have to have a strategy to get through the day!

  13. Linda says:

    Oh yeah, and here’s what my teen girl wants for Christmas …
    … or just gift cards that she can spend on the above items any way she wants. Just isn’t the same as opening a gift, but at least she’s made it easy.

  14. Susan says:

    Mom~Sigh…and that’s why you are only allowed to see them once every few years! 😉

    Jenn~We do adore her

    Susan! I just fell off my chair!~I tell ya, it’s the Second Child Syndrome rearing it’s head again.

    Tylor~a sight I’d rather not see…at least not my own kiddos!

    Kathy~Well said.

    Beckie~Wait…there’s a school for that? 😀

  15. Susan says:

    Renate~That’s impressive that they could go through all the extra stress and still be fine.

    Hi Kellen~Thanks

    Hi Lucy~I figure they are nearly ready to head out on their own…they should be able to make good choices at this point. My oldest is driving…it wasn’t *too* bad. It’s the younger one that scares me!

    Hi Mary~It’s amazing how well this one adores her grandparents. I just signed up, looks fun!

    Linda~My hat is off to you, having both of what most consider the most difficult ages! That’s pretty much the same list I have…I was hoping for something really, really great! They are so picky at this age.

  16. Peace says:

    Yes, but toddlers can be picked up, tucked under the arm and escorted where ever you want to take them!
    And my tactic with toddler tantrums was to say, “oh, you don’t want to go with me, you want to lay on the floor and scream? well maybe that guy over there will let you go home with him.” And then walk away. Works every time. With toddlers, teens want to go home with the other guy!

  17. Tylor says:

    I don’t know, Shaun might be big enough that he could still tuck a girl under his arm if he needed to.

  18. Lisa's Chaos says:

    I don’t think sleepovers with grandparents count. It may be one of the few ways grandparents still get time with teens. 🙂 I can’t decide if I like toddlers or teens better. I think I liked the control I had over the toddlers best. 🙂 But I also liked watching my young people gain independence and make good choices.

  19. tommie says:

    I was just wondering today how different the teen years would be.

    But yes, just recently…as in the last month, I carried a certain four year old kicking and screaming out of TJMaxx because I wouldn’t buy her a Polly Pocket doll. Not to mention that she only has a bajillion polly pocket dolls and her miniscule pieces already!

    I know for my friend’s teen kids, taking away the cell phone and computer is the ultimate in consequences!

  20. Susan says:

    Peace~True…but I still think (most) teens are easier. I do work with preschoolers and I’m always glad that I’m able to give them back.

    Tylor~Well, knowing Shaun as I do, he’d be more apt to sell tickets and take on the roll of ring leader!

    Lisa~I think it really is a toss up. If I had to pick one age, it would probably be about 7 or 8.

    Tommie~Isn’t being a mama fun? 😀

  21. I have the punishing gene–my mom was always soft and let me off, so I stick to my guns. I think the sleepover with the grandparents is an excellent compromise though.

  22. Peggy says:

    Susan, it is POSSIBLE that you may have over reacted but not PROBABLE. Children, even lovely ones, are hard work and still need correction and boundaries.

  23. sillydreamer says:

    I do think my girls were were more “fun” to me as toddlers than now lol. There’s just not a lot of “fun” in dealing with PMS in three teenagers 🙂

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