by Mrs. Crabcakes - Ketchikan, Alaska
Monday - February 16, 2004
is not intended to be taken to heart as serious advice.
Recently there was a dance at the high school, which my daughter, "Gena" attended. She went with the neighbor boy from a few doors down, "James". They are 14 and 15, and in some of the same classes. Gena also babysits for James' younger brothers a couple times a month. After the dance, they have both been included in some group social situations, and it appears they like each other.
This past weekend, James' parents asked Gina to watch the younger boys. After the folks left, Gina phoned me to say that James stayed home, and she wasn't sure of what to do. She knows she's not permitted to be alone with boys, so I went over there and asked James about his intentions. He had planned to stay home, but assured me it was fine, they were only going to play games, and they could be trusted alone. Long story short: we all played Yahtzee until his parents came home.
I have been told that James' mother thinks I'm being a 'prude', and that I should have shown the kids some trust. Your opinion please?
Good girl, Gina! Good mother, you!
The games James had in mind was probably Spin the Bottle or perhaps Candyland. The problem with leaving kids alone together is that teenagers can make babies, and NONE of them thought they were going to do any more than 'play games' for the evening. Unfortunately, too many young girls end up playing 'Solitaire' while the baby plays 'Monopoly' with mommy, and the boy plays the field with Barbie and Midge.
Gina and her family could end up raising a baby and she may or may not get to finish high school, depending on how much pressure she can take and how supportive her family is (you). So, unless you all want to end up playing 'Sorry', praise her for being so good and honest, and keep up the morals training. As for James' mother, she needs to learn to play 'Clue', her son needs to stop the scheming, and get back to his Playstation, because right now the only game he's playing is Trouble.
This is hard. I'll have my teen-aged children living at home for 2 and 3 more years. We have a good relationship between us all. I feel they are open and honest with me and I try to be understanding and withhold personal judgments and restrictions as long as they're using common sense and give me no reason to worry. I tell myself that their friends, their clothes, and their hair is a generational thing that we all did, and I keep silent about them. I know it will pass.
The problem is the music. I can't stand it. They've attempted to share their tastes with me, and fortunately, because of the limited radio stations in town, I haven't had to hear much of it. Internet and CD's have changed all that. I attempt to be open minded, but this is trying my patience to no end. The sound grates on me like fingernails on a chalkboard. Help me Crabby!
I too, have had this very same thing happen to me! I have learned to handle it in different ways, depending on the normalcy or lunacy of the teen in question at the time.
I think it is a well-documented fact that the average teenager can be the sweetest, most loving, helpful, supportive, intelligent, insightful, and beautiful person to be around. It can also be argued that, given the right amount of Mountain Dew, Red Bulls, lack of sleep, moronic influences, violent video games, and anti social music that the same teen can drive a devoted parent to the point of suicidal insanity.
Since music is such a big part of life at this crucial age, I have taken it upon myself to listen and study some of the lyrics, melody, screaming, rhyming, rhythm, and visuals of today's sounds.
I have decided that the long-legged lead singer in Nickelback is pretty hot. He actually makes boot cut jeans interesting again. And the fact that he's easy to look at distracts you long enough so the music doesn't penetrate your brain (except the songs I like). Everclear, Red Hot Chilie Peppers, and a few others can be mesmerizing enough to watch, but you may still find much of the music incredibly irritating when the kids are around. Some of it is OK when you are alone. Go figure.
Girls are easy. Get them into Disco. They call it dance music now. Boys tend to rush to judgment on the 'disco' music. Mostly because they look like monkeys having seizures when they dance and are aware of it. They need to be pointed in the direction of Clapton, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, then eventually Journey, Styx, even Alice Cooper. The point is, you must pick what you can live with. I can live with the above, and found that if you get them alone, they will even admit they like Simon and Garfunkle. They can be brought to the point of not ridiculing you when you are singing "On Broadway" with George Benson and dancing to Motown. The way you do it (once again: boys), is feed them so that while they are busy eating, you sneak over to the CD player and slip on your own stuff. If the food is good enough, they'll begin to enjoy the music whether they want to or not, because they associate a delicious experience with it. You use something that takes a while to eat, say, ice cream sundaes or banana splits. If they rush that, they'll get brain freeze.
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