Parenting a Teen
This is the challenge of raising a teen son who has literally written the book on everything called life. There are days when parenting is no bowl of cherries. What happens between infancy and the age of thirteen? I swear I am living with an unpleasant clone. It is bad enough the communication skills go out the window with a teen. Most of our conversations are filled with short one word answers, yes or no. I really believe my parenting is based on the moon, because on certain days of any given month he will actually sit and have a real conversation. I have look around like who is he talking to because there is no way this is happening.
In the past two years, I have drilled into him about getting a summer job. I was trying to encourage him to get some experience under his belt to build a resume. Mostly, it was a way for him to stop eating me out of a house and home. Secondly, to get off the sofa and find something productive to do during the summer. I was fed every excuse in the book, online applications are too much, I applied and never heard anything back, etc. Then I had to ask well did you follow-up? The first interview did not go well. Although, I was not present it was a hunch in light of the fact is was over in twelve minutes. My follow-up was probably more in depth than his interview. I asked him how it went and of course the invasive person he is just glazed over it. My next questions were whether he did research, did you ask questions, etc, etc. I guess I can say one down and more to come.
Money, Independence, and Experience
After more discussions on getting a job, he walks into a local business and gets a job on the spot. I wish I could take credit but it a discussion with one of his friends who suggested he get a job. Let me point out she’s been working since May. No better way to get experience than to get hired on the spot and start working three days later. His summary of working is his job is far more difficult than what I do every day. I am loving every moment of his week as he sees how working with the public is not for the faint at heart. The one silver lining is he is actually looking forward to going in each day. We must hear about how messy customers are, how rude some can get if their orders are not right, all the cleaning he is expected to do. I must preface all of this with the fact he is only working part-time 20-22 hours a week.
Teen Lessons Learned
He is actually excited about earning his own money and is motivated to get to work. A summer job has provided a sense of purpose and way for him to set goals for next year. He is already planning where to apply for next summer. I guess as much as my teen balks he does hear some things I preach.