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GETTING THROUGH THE TEEN YEARS
Sara Towe
My children have put me to the test many times, and there have been times that I have wanted to wring their necks, but through it all, we love and respect each other ...


Well, well Harry, your teens are showing.

As a mother of three children, ages 13, 17 & 19, I too have been down the road of anxious night and days concerning my children. I have brought my children up to be thinkers and to decide what is right or wrong. They were taught to know the boundaries, have far you could go before you had a price to pay? And would that price be too high?
We so wish we could protect them from all harm in this troubled world. But All we can do is teach them how to survive in it and how to recognize the dangers. If we protect them too much, we endanger them by not allowing them to grow up streetwise and to recognize the dangers around them.

At school I knew this girl who was so book smart and a teacher’s pet, yes I was a little jealous, every thing came to her so easily and me, being dyslexic and having missed many years of school due to illnesses, I envied her ease with schoolwork. Many years later I met her again at a party, I get on well with people and love to socialize, I went up to her to enquire on her life since school. After about ten minutes so called talk I realized that in a life’s element she was completely out of place, she could not hold a conversation with me nor any one else. Some people recite book knowledge, others absorb it, but the most important thing is to understand the knowledge so as to communicate with it. Knowledge is a powerful tool in life. but so is are the life experiences at home and in the neighbourhood with a family and your peers.


Some of this knowledge is not always what we want our children to learn, I was never taught sex education, or drug awareness. We learnt the hard way. When children are over protected they walk into trouble without knowing it; such as pregnancy, overdose, HIV problems, sex and violence, prostitution, and horribly all too often - death. So when my children were growing up, I wanted them to be aware of what was out there in this big wide world so as to protect them. I like to think I gave them real down to earth knowledge. It is very sad that we have to do this. It iwould be wonderful to keep them blissfully protected from this warped word with it’s drug dealers, pedophiles, alcoholic or drug addict abusive parents and controlling olders and bullying kids and negative neighborhoods.

This is the world that we have given our children, and keeping them safe is hard. I believe that we should give them as much knowledge as we can so they don’t get mixed messages from their peers and the media. We have seen the effect that movie stars and the media have on our children. We cannot choose what music they like, nor which stars they like, nor which fashion trend they wish to follow, even though it can be embarrassing at times to go out with them dressed in the way they do. We cannot choose their friends; only advise them on what we can see that they cannot. It is called freedom of thought and freedom of expression. They are young carefree, expressive, verbal, and very opinionated. They are with us some 19-20 years of their lives, we mould them and feed them, care for and nurture them. Now we must believe in them, they are our future, our leaders, and our destroyers. If they have grown up with love and knowing the boundaries, and know that there is a time for expression always in the realms of respect, they too will in time learn to respect themselves and others around them.

Loving them is not enough, education is not enough, sport is not enough, monitoring is wise if it done in an unobtrusive way, talking is essential even if they do get annoyed at you. Reminding them of the boundaries and the dangers within them, listening to them, understanding them, (as best you can) Caring for what it is that they have to say (we too had passion at their age) and always always always let them know that even though you might not like their choices at times that you will always always love them and be there for them, no matter the problem.

They only learn though trial and tribulation, they will overstep the line, they are experimenting with life, and all you can do is pray that they have learnt the golden lessons of life. Listen to your conscience, listen to your soul (and get to know it), listen to your elders (because they have been there before when they were young) and never do anything that will endanger yourself of anyone else, and to remember what you do today will be with you for evermore and can you live with that?

My children have put me to the test many times, and there have been times that I have wanted to wring their necks. But through it all, we love and respect each other. I know that their foundation is strong and honorable, even a bit daring, and that when it comes to it, their love of life is too great to destroy what they are travelling towards.

Love them, listen to them, hear them and they will inturn listen to you, even though they don’t want you to know that. So don’t worry Charles, Harry will be fine, just remind them of life’s payments and always tell him you love them, and in a childs case they need to hear you say it often. When they do something however small that you approve of, commend them for it so as to encourage them on to a positive journey. Yelling does not work take my word for it, they just shut down, yes you can get mad, but choose your moments carefully when you want to talk to them. Wait for that time when they are in a communicative mood. If not it will go over their heads or they will just get angry with you. Don’t forget those hormones guys are wicked things and definitely have a negative effect on our kids.

My code in life is "do on to others as you will have them do on to you" in others words nice begets nice. Honey sweetens just about anything.

Protect with love and respect and they will listen more. Do not let them walk all over you, stand your ground, this they will respect, be reasonable, at a certain age they are young adults and you are not going to like all their choices. So ask God to guide them away from trouble, and to choose carefully what kind of people are around them. That is all we can do folks. Pray and hope that our love and nurturing has been and is enough.

For those lost souls out there with parents that don’t give a damn, and are caught in a lifeless and lonely system of endless foster homes, reach out your hands and hope that one of them at least is able to accept it. We can not survive on our own, we need one another in all walks of life, so don’t blame the troubled child. Reach out instead and help before it gets to late. The children of today our the adults of tomorrow, we have enough screwed up adults we need a change. So start now with your own or even your neighbors kid, but start caring.

Positive Living to you all
© Sara Towe 2002
Vancouver -Canada.

email: positiveliving@telus.net

Previously by Sara Towe On Being Alone

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