Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Posts tagged ‘parenting teens’

Crime and Punishment, the Teenage Version

Sunday Tasmanian Version

Sunday Tasmanian Version (Photo credit: Tama Leaver)

I used to work in social media so I’m very familiar with the ins and outs of various social networks. I’ve been exposed to the good that happens because of social media and I’ve been exposed to the bad.

Because of this experience, I’m cautious when it comes to my kids using social media. We’ve discussed the merits and the pitfalls that are associated with social media. My oldest is on Facebook but she is also forced to have her father and me as her friends on Facebook.

A while ago she asked me if she could join Snapchat, I said No. Snapchat has a reputation for being used a lot when sexting and sending inappropriate photos around the interwebs. I know that not everyone uses it for that but I’m cautious, and I haven’t been sold on why my daughter needs to be on that particular social network.

During this past weekend I was perusing her iPod touch and found that she had joined Snapchat after all. Needless to say, I was not happy.

In the following “discussion” surrounding her having the app on her iPod, she claimed that she didn’t remember me saying that she couldn’t download the app, in fact, she claimed that she didn’t remember discussing the app with me at all.

I know for a fact that we discussed Snapchat more than once and I remember (vividly) telling her that she couldn’t use it when she asked me. Therefore I have taken her iPod touch and laptop for 2 weeks. At the end of the 2 weeks, she can have it back but she will have to remove Snapchat and review everything that is on her iPod touch with me. Of course she thinks I’m being extremely unfair.

After she spent the afternoon being angry with me she actually started talking to me again. She still thinks that I’m being unfair and she is using the argument that she has a bad memory and does not remember the Snapchat conversation. She isn’t going so far as saying that I shouldn’t be angry or that she shouldn’t be punished, she just thinks that I’m over-reacting and that 2 weeks is excessive.

Let’s say that she actually forgot the conversation, I mean, she is a good kid. She rarely gets in trouble. She rarely gets punished. I think that her father has never taken her iPod touch from her and I’ve only taken it for as long as the weekend in previous incidents. Is the jump from 2 days of punishment to 2 weeks of punishment too severe? I haven’t changed my mind but I am thinking about what she has said. Would one week have made the same point?

I’d love to hear other opinions. Feel free to share. Parenting is hard enough without trying to do it in a vacuum.

Keeping Calm and Carrying On

keep calmMy oldest is almost 13 and we have been butting heads    A LOT during the last few months. The raging hormones regularly declare their existence through bouts of moodiness and lots of attitude. A few times it got so bad that my ex had to talk me down when all I wanted to do was lose what is left of my mind.

Recently she went to the other side of the country on a Youth Exchange for a week. And then last week she spent the whole week at her Father’s. We did see each other for a few hours in between the exchange and the time at her Dad’s but it was almost 2 full weeks of not really being together.

What a difference it has made for us. I believe that the old saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” holds true in this instance. The last 2 days with her have been so much nicer.

I’m not sure if the change comes from both of us or not but I know that I have been dealing better since she has been back. For example, today she yelled at me when she was frustrated and instead of instantly getting upset with her for yelling at me for no reason, I pointed out to her that she was stressed and asked her if she really meant to be yelling at me. It immediately diffused the situation because no, she did not.

I have been off work for about 9 months now, which means that even on the week’s she is with her Dad, she comes here after school so she sees me all of the time. It’s possible that there just might be a bit too much Mom these days.

Part of becoming a teen means asserting her independence. That also means that she has more opinions about what we are doing and a greater desire to make her own plans. Sometimes when she shares her dislike, it comes across as having a bad attitude as it is often accompanied by an eye roll or negative tone of voice. And she is less than happy to drop what she is doing now to accompany the family on some type of excursion. Texting with friends or straightening her hair can often seem more important than whatever you are offering.

I can’t guarantee that this improved atmosphere will continue, but if I can see her actions as what they are as opposed to a personal attack, I think we might be able to make it through the teen years. I have seen that there is hope so if I can “keep calm and carry on” we may both make it through intact.

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