Our Dear Parents, we appreciate all of the hard work that you put into raising your children. I have a stepson who is almost 16 and he is a handful. I see all of the patience that my fiancé uses with him and all of the wrong ways that I was raised (thanks therapy), but I also know how I was raised right. (I also have another stepson and stepdaughter who are 21, twins.) My fiancé and I butt heads on parenting techniques (behind closed doors, never fight about parenting techniques in front of your children and, yes, I consider them mine as well) and, I’m going to be honest, it’s a real sore spot for our relationship. “If you had kids,” is something I’ve heard more than once in the five years we’ve been together. But, as someone without children who has seen so many children as a therapist that were “out of control”, I can have an objective eye that can see how kids become “out of control” teenagers and some tips on what to do about it. Here are just a few issues that I’ve seen that pop up both personally and professionally:
I thank you for reading and, if you take offense as a parent, read it again. If you’re still pissed, then I guess I’ve made my quota pissing off at least one person for the day. My intention is to 1) educate and inform (yea, they’re too different things) and 2) to let you know what I see with an objective eye. War hasn’t been waged between people who do and don’t have kids. It literally takes a village. Without a village, I probably would have been dead a long time ago. Lean on other people when you need a break. A baby will not die from crying, but will die from being shaken. Put him or her down and walk away for a minute. The cool off time might need to be longer when they become teenagers. However, remember, thanks to social media, their childhood is not ours. We also have more kids getting sicker, younger (Just speaking from the Gastroenterologist’s mouth that I see for Crohn’s) too, which shortens their childhood. They only get to be a kid once. Let them do it with discipline.