Sep 12, 2010

Oh how you frustrate me, let me count the ways...

So, school's back in.  I have 2 more chapters to read, 2 assignments to do and 1 quiz to finish -- which evidently brings out the crazy in my family! So, instead of logging onto my school's website, I am here -- sipping a cup of hot coffee and preparing to write about *insert suspenseful music here* my teen.

Apparently, I can't call him a teen for much longer...he's a whopping 6 weeks away from his 18th birthday, which in the province that I'm living in, magically turns him into an adult.

Here's the deal though -- he's frustrating, stubborn, foolish, inept, blind to reality and ... well...pretty much a normal teen.

Let me tell you the story -- He's always been....likable.  He's always found others to like.  When we lived overseas, this wasn't a problem as there was a boys school and a girls school (not to mention the fact that he was just 12...not a big deal)....then we come back to Canada and he goes to a school that's mixed *gasp* and he falls in love with every girl who bats her pretty little eyes at him.

No joke.  He LOVES them.  He doesn't think about anything else but them.

But -- I digress -- we make it (barely) through his junior high years and slip and slide through the high school years.  There have been arguments, there have been explosive arguments, there have been bags packed, there has been animosity and hurt and fear and emotional pain on all sides.  Whatever, it is what it is.

At the end of last school year (grade 11 for him) he was once again, IN LOVE.   This time, he was going to marry her.  All we heard about was her...and we just rolled our eyes and nodded our heads.  (I should note here that Islamically, we are not supposed to have boyfriends/girlfriends - rather if someone is interested they should make their intentions known and the couple can meet together within acceptable boundaries and move on from there if it seems to be a good match -- not going into that here, but needless to say, we tried to convince him that what he was doing wasn't "kosher" with us, so to speak)  Anyhow -- as we suspected the relationship fell apart -- but dear teenager was so upset that he punched a stop sign in frustration.

That's right -- she called it off, he punched a stop sign...and to be a little more accurate, the pole of the stop sign.

This brilliant move resulted in a broken hand.  He and his brilliant friends see the knuckles of his hands in places where they shouldn't be and decide to pull on his fingers to "put them back".

Picture from which also has an interesting article read that right.

So -- I get a call from him in the hospital explaining the whole situation.  *let's just insert a le sigh right here, please*

We get over it, he gets a cast (and a booking for impending surgery) and life goes on.  In his case, it goes on quickly - because he's now engaged to another girl.

That's right folks -- you read that right too...the plaster of his cast was barely dried (okay -- a little exaggeration there, but not my much) and he's ENGAGED to another in not the girl he got upset about and punched a sign over.  As in, a different girl entirely.  As in...WHAT???

But -- he loves her, and they're going to get married as soon as they've graduated high school (so about 9 more months now)....and get this "he's a man now and I need to face that fact." Yikes.

Any parents of teens out there??  Am I the only one who thinks this is just a little whacko??


magimomsblog said...

OH... your boy must know my girl... She's 17 going on 35 and has reminded us on NUMEROUS occasions that in 11 months and 12 days we can't tell her what to do anymore... regardless of the fact that she will still be living here!
I feel your pain - hopefully this girl too will pass!

Erin said...

Oh, So intense, so incredibly short sighted. Good luck.

FlyBabySHE said...

He is a disgustingly stereotypical teen! Knows everything, and is in total control of his life. Or so he thinks...LOL If they're "engaged", has he bought her a ring?

Believe it or not, life will go on, and one day in the hopefully not too far future, he'll return to being a member of the human race!

Kathy Grill said...

I have just gone through the 16 - 20 y.o. stage with 2 boys and luckily, haven't had to face engagement or marriage yet. The infatuation "I'm gonna die if she leaves me...WAHHH" stage, but not engagement. Don't take this the wrong way because I know all parents mean well, but is his self-esteem ok? Does he think he needs to have this sort of attachment in order to be seen as 'acceptable' to the female population? We all know how girls preen and prep themselves, how hard they are on themselves. Boys are too, just in different, not so obvious ways. I learned this in the last 4 years. I thought my oldest was ok, I thought he was confident, but not egotistical.I thought his self esteem was where it needed to be for entering this esteemed "adult" world. 6 months into being 18 and his world (and mine) crashes. I was not and could never have been prepared for what followed.

I'm not one to tell other parents what to do or how to do it, but I would like to make a couple of suggestions. Please remember it is based on what I have gone through in recent years and may not be helpful in any way to you. But please read them and decide.

As close as my son and I were throughout his childhood and into teen years, our world fell apart after he graduated. (I know you're not quite there yet, but it seems your world is starting sooner than mine did) Anyway, I thought we had it all together, thought the world was perfect. He was seeing a girl, he thought he was going to be with her for the rest of his life and didn't want to hear anything to the contrary from me. Wasn't into engagement, but marriage as a whole isn't on his radar. Living together is, not marriage. That relationship ends, he crashes. Picks himself up, meets new girl, and a year later, that one ends. And so does my 'perfect' world. He enters the world of drugs. Drives his car in a perfectly suicidal/murderous(for his passengers) manner and cops are after him left right and center. (I hope the one person that I know personally on here doesn't think less of me upon reading this). Anyway. Ends up barely missing jail time,but losing his license, job, etc. Becomes a bum basically, except for still living at home. Through all this and through the re-building of our lives as a family, I learned, that maybe I didn't talk to him as much as I thought I had as a younger boy. Maybe I didn't give him the attention he needed. It all seemed ok. He seemed fine. Nothing appeared to be lacking. I became lax and accepted life as it was. I believe that was a mistake. He was, in fact, suffering from lower esteem, I didn't pick up on it. Maybe I could have prevented this to some degree, but of course, maybe not.

All I'm saying is, talk to him. In a quiet,non aggressive environment. Because he may not be used to that right now, if he starts to get angry, tell him you have no desire to argue and will come back at a later time to speak quietly with him. Delve deeper into his mind and his thought patterns. Find out why he is thinking this way. Let him know (even though he should and you have always done so) that you love him, how much you love him and that you will always love him. Not just as your child but as a grown person. To much profession of 'mom's' love isn't so good right now, chances are he will see that as mommy coddling and will find it belittling. But from one 'adult' to 'another', is the love you will profess.

Just talk to your son. Deep heart to heart talks. Anything and everything goes. He needs to understand that you may not like what he says or thinks, you will not judge. He has to accept the same from you. There are no laws saying you have to like it,but hearing it is vital right now. Once all that is clear, the re-building and re-directing can begin.

Kathy Grill said...

(I had much more to say, but apparently I 'talk' too much and couldn't edit that much out of my comment, here is the rest!! Sorry for so much)

The 'province' may say he's an adult at 18, life may not agree. Life has a very different perspective and very different expectations of adults. Stop protecting him and let him see what real life brings. Make him find a job on top of his school. Make him pay some sort of rent. Don't argue, simply point out that is the 'adult' way. If he resists, talk again about what his view of being an adult is and work with that for rebuilding.

I could go on, but this is long enough. I hope you get the jist of what I'm trying to say and I pray that you can work with at least part of it to find some resolution.I send hugs and prayers your way.

NanLT said...

My eldest started a bit into the whole attitude problem. Here, it's a bit of a sticky time between ages 16 and 18. Compulsory education is finished at age 16, they can make some decisions as adults, but are not fully considered to legally be adults until age 18.

First - he decided that maybe he doesn't want to do his A levels. He's going to be a musician, be in a band and be famous. We put our collective parental foot down. Not an option. As long as you are in school we will support you. If you are no longer in school, you will get a job and pay rent. He stayed in school.

Once he turned 18, we had minor problems. No arguments, just a lot of inconsideration. Not coming home for dinner. Not telling me he wouldn't be home for dinner. Not following the rules of the house which all adults are expected to follow. I finally had enough and told him he had to move out. Gave him 1 month.

He lived rough for a while, crashed on friends couches a lot of times. He matured though. Has a steady job. Returned to school to become a personal fitness trainer. He and 3 other mates now share a house about 10 miles from here.

I think the quote from Mark Twain still applies here. And as long as he doesn't actually walk down the aisle for a while, I suspect the engagements can be ignored.

Maybe Tomorrow I'll be a Better Mother said...

OMG - I do not have a teen (yet) and so cannot offer any help whatsoever - my sympathies though i can! Wow! sounds like a few boys I've known and men I currently know. I suppose you can always hope he becomes engaged by one of final classes and looks forward to going to university which will make 'marriage' rather difficult. Or as will most likely happen, the girl will break his heart (as girls are prone to do to boys who fall in love easily) not a happy ending for him but it sounds like he bounces back quite quickly

If at the end of the year he's still intent on marriage, take him on a holiday, far far far away and maybe he'll fall in love with someone else. or bring him around a divorce lawyer or two and let them have a word ;-)

Good luck!!

C said...

Asalaamu Alaikum

I think this all has to do with him looking for mommy love too. I'm still wondering where his mother is. She should be showing him love and secondly you. In the teen years parents often ignore their children's need for love and affection and this is what gets them into trouble. I speak from experience! I wish my parents had paid attention to me as a teen heck even as a child. People need love and they will find it whereever they can!

Amena said...

As the mother of a one year old, I am now officially terrified.

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