Friday, August 31, 2012

Acceptance -- Tolerance -- Patience!

Why is everything to a teenager such an emergency?
I have to talk to this person! I have to resolve this conflict! I have to save the world from chaos!
No, really. You don't.

The friend-drama via texting is something that can propel the parent to find the nearest bottle of wine. But fear not, young child! It may feel like the end of the world as you know it, but I can assure you that it is not.

There are those times that it is unbelievably necessary to turn the cell phone off.
It is met with damned strong opposition, but don't give up! I have threatened (and they know I would be more than willing) to call the cell phone provider to cut the service to that line. The protests will continue, and the level of anguish will be great, but it will subside. I've seen it and know this to be true!

Like a toddler, redirection is very necessary. It won't be easy but the efforts are worth it. That redirection can be, for example vacuuming! Pushing around a heavy appliance can be therapeutic! Then there's mowing the lawn, going for a walk, taking a shower, or some type of family activity. The key word here is 'activity'. Television or reading a book can be an escape, but I have found that doing something that incorporates physical activity is more effective.

They won't forget about the precious device waiting for them, but a small break in the action can help them gain a little needed perspective.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hiatus? Hardly.

So upon the encouragement of friends, and the ever-present thoughts on topics for this forum (aka the voices in my head), I am going to work to keep this blog in motion! I wish I could say that I've been too busy, but that would be far from the truth. The girls are getting older, and that is creating a little more free time! I have a great need to be more productive than I've been, so instead of a New Year's resolution, this more of a Labor Day resolution. Well, almost.

Today's topic: 'So Many Misunderstandings, So Little Time'.
As toddlers, their world is about as big as the circumference of the living room. Teenagers' worlds are getting bigger and bigger every millisecond. The television, internet, texting, heck - even middle school and high school broadens those horizons more than we'd like to know! Some of the stuff we honestly don't need to know. Think about when you were a kid and the shenanigans you'd get in to that your parents never knew about. Those shenanigans still exist. With social networking, they have the real potential for getting out of hand. It's not easy to interpret the 'tone' of a text message, and God-forbid they should actually use the telephone feature of the cellular device. Perhaps it would help ease up on the drama. But they don't and, as such it doesn't.

So what do you do? I listen if they talk about the friend issues. Offering suggestions to 'let it go' typically don't go over well. Talking about similar dealings - even present day ones - with friends and how to overcome difficulties may work also. But I think the most helpful has been patience and reassurance that once they're face to face and hopefully NOT talking about the issue at hand may help ease them into the resolution to the problem. Either way, they're either going to work it out, or they're not. Unless there are some serious words being thrown about, it's prudent to step aside and let them learn to deal with it.