Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moms, can't we just stick together?

The work I do with teen girls has me handing out advice all hours of the day. One thing I wasn't expecting when I started this ministry was all of the calls and emails and facebook messages I would get from MOMS! It has been amazing helping moms hash out their relationship issues and being the sounding board for those who want to make sure they are giving sound advice to their girls. I have even had moms ask if I could run workshops for moms in between the workshops I run for teen girls!

I love BOTH sides of this coin. Walking girls through the most difficult times in their lives while standing firm with moms and supporting them in the drama of raising a teen girl. Whether you have a responsible teen or one who stretches you to the limits there is drama. Sometimes that drama is friend-induced and sometimes it is brought on directly by your daughter. Either way, we are in this together! And I always make sure I am NOT taking the place of the moms, I am constantly giving girls advice on how to go to their moms with the things they come to me with. The relationship between mother and daughter is SO valuable as they navigate their way through their teen years.

But, in the conversations I have both with moms and girls, there is a common thread that causes many of the issues. And it has happened enough even in the last 2 weeks that warrants a blog post!

Some (and I stress SOME so that you don't get angry with me) moms are getting lazy. I feel like the more drama that comes into their lives, the more laxed they become in sticking to their guns. Sure, it is EXHAUSTING being a mom of a teen girl and many of you have more than one (God bless you)! But this is all the more reason to stick to the boundaries you have set. If you think they don't know how to play their cards and push you to your breaking point just to get you to say, "FINE! Just GO! Do it! I don't care! Just STOP bugging me!" then you have completely forgotten your own teen years!

Let me give you a scenario -

Tamara asks her mom if she can stay out past the Cinderella curfew on her licence (which is 11pm) b/c her friends, Callie and Tessa want to go out for ice cream after a movie. Callie and Tessa live on the other side of town and will be taking Tessa's car to the movies. This means Tamara and Tessa will have to break curfew if they are doing ice cream after. Tamara's mom says "no" because that is breaking the law. Tamara flips out and says it's not fair b/c Callie and Tessa are allowed.

Tamara's mom calls Tessa's mom to chat this out and finds out that Tessa's mom HAS given Tessa permission to be out later than curfew, "because I just feel bad, they really want to go out for ice cream after. You know, I don't wanna be the bad guy all the time."

Moms, can't we just stick together?! Come ON!

Why are we getting lazy? Young teens are going to R-rated movies, the songs on their iPods are atrocious, the language they use and lack of respect they have for adults is insulting to say the least, and what they post on facebook - ooohhhhh, don't EVEN get me started on that!!

Why do we all of a sudden, during the years that will shape the adult they will become, do we take a break? We didn't take a break when they wanted to dart out into traffic, why now, when they are testing the boundaries with sex, drugs and alcohol do we decide it is our job to make their lives comfortable?

I am pleading with moms everywhere to TIGHTEN your reigns! Check their facebook, don't let them see movies that are intended for older audiences, don't let them drink in your home, don't give them permission to stay out beyond the curfew set by the law makers who KNOW the statistics of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers.

I talk to teens everyday who are SO confused about right and wrong because the lines have been blurred. Somewhere over the last 15 years society has trained adults to believe that the kids have a handle on this growing up thing and we should just let them do it, on their own.

Sure, Wally, that's why I made sure you had money with you.
Yes, honey, the condoms are in Aisle 7.
Have a good night. Be safe.

I don't need to ask you if there is something terribly wrong with this picture!

I had a mom tell me that she found naked pictures on her 15-year old son's phone sent from a girl he knew from school. Those pictures were accompanied with the "activities" she was offering.

You can imagine my shock when she told me she went out immediately and bought him a box of condoms.

I questioned her as to her responsibility to lay down some laws, her responsibility to tell him that having sex can mess up your whole life. There is no reason a 15 year old should think that his mom is condoning sex.

"I'm not condoning it. I told him it was unacceptable."

But by handing him the condoms after verbally setting this boundary she is sending the message, "I know you will screw up. There is no part of me that believes you can be trustworthy. I know you won't listen to anything I tell you so here you go. I am giving you permission to have sex even though I just told you it was unacceptable."

So, my questions for you today are...

Are you just lazy?
Are there things you allow your teen to do because you just don't have the energy to be consistent?
Do you give in because you hate the arguing?
...and, finally....
Are you READY for the ramifications of your laziness?

Pass this on to the moms in your circle of friends.
Agree to ALL stand up for those boundaries you have set.

And, most of all, agree to SUPPORT each other in upholding the highest standards for our teens.

Aren't they worth it?

Peace out, Mamas!


Trish Adkins said...

I love this post. I feel some of this lazy parenting starts early--like I'm preschool and kindergarten! It is impossible to parent your own child when others aren't parenting their own. Thanks!

Denise said...

Thanks! Amen, sister!!

susanm said...

Thanks Michele! I hope many parents read this. I am having problems with parents that condone a childs decision to leave a caring parent to move into an uncaring environment. People think they can substitute for the missing parent.... they can't and sometimes they make it worse.... praying for the return of my child...