A friend and I were talking how I make life look easy raising two kids, I about fell over laughing. Easy? She must be thinking of a different friend, nothing I encounter is easy in any way, shape or form. Most days I have that wide eyed almost twitching look that just screams help to the outside world.
While chuckling, “Whatever do you mean? Look easy? I’m bat shit crazy most days trying to prevent a war or attempting to stop a war between these kids, do you not remember Thing#2’s broken finger just goofing with her brother? Nothing is easy!”
“Oh not that normal mom crazy stuff, we are ALL that crazy, I mean how do you get them to talk with you about everything ? You definitely make that look very easy and you trust them to have s boy/girl party at 13”
How do I get my kids to open up ? Well, probably because I bug the shit out of them, that’s how. They learned it’s easier to just fess up and talk. Not accepting words such as just because, or I don’t know as a proper answer since they were able to talk helps. When they would ask the “Why?” I didn’t ever say “because I said so” I think that if we expect them to talk with us then we should, in some way, be able to explain the reasons why yes or why no. I really do not like hearing parents say that. “Because I said so” just means I have power and you don’t and I don’t know one person who likes to feel as if someone else is manhandling them with all this power. But that’s just me and how I work. I didn’t say it was a fool proof plan!
Why am I letting our daughter have more of a real party for her birthday? The first “boy/girl” party of sorts, I’d rather it be in my house versus another house. Our conversatio went into many directions, my friend thought this was helpful, perhaps, but again nothing is guaranteed
Thirteen. Think back to when you were “officially” a teenager. Not a little kid anymore but not a grown up either. The time in life where we, as girls, begin to learn so much about ourselves (which, by the way, is confusing as all hell) where your best friend is the most important person in your life, where notes were passed when we were young, they now have infinite ways to send messages: snapchat, Instagram, kik, there are too many to keep track of. Apps for your iPod touch to use it as a phone as well. I find that one funny because both my kids had iTouch’s before they had phones, being all safe -n-shit we thought we went the good route first, not just jumping into a be-all cell phone, add a wifi signal they were good to go just like downtow calling Alaska via wifi. Oopsy, learned that one the hard way
If your kid is younger than 6th grade, Facebook is an acceptable way for when your parents want to message you but they won’t admit to ever logging into that app anymore by 7th grade. You will most likely find every kid in your neighborhood has a Twitter account. Why? The reality is you, as a parent don’t probably use Twittee, this is exactly why your child will. Sneaky little buggers they are! You can find out exactly what’s going on in the town you live in when you ask your child’s username and decide to make an effort to look. I guarantee your middle school knows more about apps than the news does, by the time the news tells parents about popular apps from the iTunes or Amdroid store, your child has already moved passed that app and its old news.
The age of 12-13 seems to be highly marketed and most knowledgable too and girls more than boys. My son is almost 16 and his sister who is just 13, tells him what’s “hot and what’s not.” My kids were both on my iTunes account until last year, this was s really great way to keep track of apps they were using to finnigle about. I’d highly suggest a parent link their children to whichever, Apple or Android, you can set those accounts up with passwords and what not.
How does a mom and dad keep track of it all? Talk people, talk to your child. Or maybe just listen whilst they talk. Talk with them and their bestie, I’m telling you this works. I am actually interested in knowing my kids from the inside out more and more as they get older but from doing exactly this, talking, about nonsense somedays, well, the river of knowledge is open and flooding you because they see you are interested in them not just yourself and being their mom. Works for boys too. Although they aren’t so flowy at times, they still want you to know at least a little about them and what they enjoy too.
We have cell phone rules at our house, they apply to Momma and Daddy too. Sometimes you need reminders to turn our devices off too. Make a cell phone contract with your kids, most times if we are clear in our rules kids will actually follow them, most times. There is always that one time they lose their heads and make a bad choice here or there. Overall, we have my kids to the point where they can come and talk and usually do.
Cell Phone Contract
Troy didn’t exactly hit the ground running with my little philosophy here. I can say that he was open to most of the ways I had going raising my kids. They were victims of an awful divorce and we have taken great pains to help them heal and move forward
We’ve already had to discuss the new movement among young girls of age 12 being bi-sexual because a girl professed love to our daughter who knows she is not falling into that group but respects the choices of others. Being a southern man, Troy had a hard time at first with all of this hitting our girl so young, it was way too young but it is what we were dealt. Then there was her best friends suicide, the lines of communication are so wide open now, open line to her therapist, all with no judging just compassion, empathy and love and she knows it. We have kept her mighty close to us, her brother too, but at arms length reach to when WE are needed. We press when we must, we sit back and wait as well.
The last thing my friend and I left each other with was the fact that all the crap we laid out to each other during our discussion, well tomorrow it may all go up in smoke as we are dealt a different hand. As much preparing as one can do, you cannot exactly prepare for life on life’s terms some days. On those days, you just gotta roll with the punches and do what you know worked last time with a few modifications and take on the world or the next war that just began in the living room.
A strange but familiar echo in my head
“Someone’s going to get hurt…. She’s smaller than you, remember that, don’t pull his hair either”
Topped with a huge “mom always said, do t play ball in the house” Thanks Carol Brady