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GAC
10-05-2007, 09:19 PM
I've got three kids. Two are teenagers, and one can't wait to be called one (he's 12).

I'm kind of enjoying being a parent of teenagers and hearing their line of reasoning and excuses. Reminds me of..... ME!

Do they think their Mom and Dad came out of the womb as adults and don't realize that we've been there, and that their is no excuse, story, or line of crap they can throw at us that we didn't try to use when we were young?

Been there, done that!

My daughter (Rachel) is the "middle child", and while a good kid, is the worst of the broad. Her and her Mom butt heads alot. My wife, who comes from a very introverted family just can't understand her and gets frustrated.

I know where Rachel is coming from because she got her genes from my side of the family. I've told my wife "She's me with breasts" (try getting that image out of your head!).

She's strong-willed and has a huge independent streak in her. When she is told to do something she'll do it, but when she gets ready to do it. To her - whats it matter WHEN the dishes get put in the dishwasher, or the clothes folded, or her room cleaned, as long as it, at some point, gets done? And like me when I was her age, she can't wait to be an adult. But I've told her that there is probably nothing she can say or do that I'm probably not one step ahead of her. When she gets together with her cousin they are a scheming pair. My brother and I laugh and marvel when those two get together.

Anyway, she is 16 and got her driver's license last week. And of course she thought we were gonna just give her a car and cut her loose. And while she has more responsibility/freedom, and I understand she is excited about this, we have sat her down and reminded her that she is ONLY 16, and there are going to be restrictions until we feel she gains more experience and is comfortable driving.

One of our big concerns is liability. Ohio law states that a 16 yr old can only have one non-sibling passenger in the car. We have told her that for the time being she cannot have any passengers in her car, other then her siblings and certain situations where she gets our approval. We allow here to drive back and forth to school, which is only about 4 miles away, and also to go places and meet friends (movies, football games, etc).

In this "sue happy" age we live in, we're just concerned at this stage, and her being inexperienced. And it doesn't even have to be her fault. And we did up our liability insurance; but is it ever enough?

So what happens? One week after getting her license, my wife, who works 2nd shift, is leaving for work and passes Rachel coming home from school. And guess what my wife sees? Rachel with two other kids in the car. Not smart.

So my wife grounds her driving privileges for a week, and she's back to riding the school bus.

So I get up later on and have my Father-Daughter talk with her....


Dad (being coy): I heard you got your drving privileges revoked for a week?

Rachel (not wanting to give details): Yeah. Mom grounded me.

Dad: Why?

Rachel: I had kids in the car.

Dad: Why? Didn't we go over this?

Rachel: They were just with me OK??

Dad: What do you mean they were 'just with me'?

Rachel: They were just with me!

Dad: I know they were just with you, but what does that mean? Were you driving along and they weren't there, and then all of a sudden they were teleported into your car? Is there an option on that car the dealer didn't tell me about? Because I could save alot of money on gas!

Rachel (changing the subject): My driving instructor told me that the only time an officer will sight you for that passenger law is if they pull you over for something else.

Dad: I don't think that's correct; but you're willing to take that chance so the officer gets two for the price of one? That's a good day for him.

Rachel: Well, that's the law Dad, and I think you and Mom got it wrong.

Dad: Sweeheart. Remember. Parental law always supercedes state law in these instances. Enjoy the bus ride for the next week.

KittyDuran
10-05-2007, 10:06 PM
GAC you might want her to read this thread... :(
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58723&highlight=northwest

GAC
10-05-2007, 10:13 PM
My daughter will be reading that one. Thanks Kitty.

Roy Tucker
10-05-2007, 10:46 PM
Rachel: Well, that's the law Dad, and I think you and Mom got it wrong.


You're a kind man, GAC. That is the point where my neck veins would bulge and my finger would be able 2 inches from their nose. Driving is a privilege, not a right. This is not a democracy. It is a sometimes benevolent dictatorship.

That is also the point where I would have said, well, does 3 months without driving get your attention? We can go for 6 if you'd like?

If you don't want them to do it, put some teeth in the punishment.

GoReds33
10-05-2007, 11:08 PM
I loved the,"Is there an option on that car the dealer didn't tell me about? Because I could save alot of money on gas!." That was pretty good. I hope that it gets better.

Chip R
10-05-2007, 11:36 PM
Now we know why GAC drinks so much.

I'm with Roy. If I had a daughter and she said that to me, I would be pretty POed.

redhawkfish
10-05-2007, 11:50 PM
Thanks for letting me know what I am in for. :( My oldest of four daughters has had her temps for a month now. She thinks my wife and I know nothing about driving already!:eek:

GAC
10-06-2007, 05:50 AM
You're a kind man, GAC. That is the point where my neck veins would bulge and my finger would be able 2 inches from their nose. Driving is a privilege, not a right. This is not a democracy. It is a sometimes benevolent dictatorship.

That is also the point where I would have said, well, does 3 months without driving get your attention? We can go for 6 if you'd like?

If you don't want them to do it, put some teeth in the punishment.

Oh believe me. There have been times I have been like this with her....

http://www.dawgsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sgthartman.jpg

And she knows when she has taken me to that point, she had better back down reeeeal fast. I give her alot of rope in our discussions/conversations. I don't want her to have the excuse I'm not allowing her to express her side and how she feels. That way she can't say "Dad, will you let me talk? You're really not listening to me." But that "rope" does not include disrespect.

I tell her.... "Everything you say, can and WILL be used against you in the court of Dad."

One thing I've learned (and researched) on a strong-willed child. They are more apt to become leaders and followers due to that determination. They don't have issues with lacking self confidence, acceptance, and the need to fit in with their peers. They have this drive to succeed in whatever they do, or task they undertake. Less prone to experiment with drugs.

Yeah, they can be a handful to parents; but there are positives.

My two boys are just the opposite. Very affable and gullible. Rachel is an excellent student. So was I. I've never had to get on her about her grades, homework, our anything involving school. She is one of those kids that gets very involved in school, and gets the most out of it. If there was a grade higher than an "A", she'd want to attain it. She's into everthing at school from scholastics to athletics.

When my oldest boy found out that a "D" was passing, then that is what he shot for. No motivation to excel at all, but just do enough to get by. Teachers were constantly contacting me that he was failing the current grade period because lessons weren't turned in. I'd jump on him, threaten him, give him my Knute Rockne motivational speech, and he'd kick it in only enough (at the end of the grading period) to pass. His excuse was "Most of this stuff they are making us learn I'm never going to use again once I graduate. Why should I care how to identify the difference betwen a verb or adjective, who Christopher Columbus was, or what the difference is between a representative democracy and monarch is?"

This is a boy who'll get up in the morning, walk out into the kitchen, I'll look over at him and say "Son. You realize your shirt is inside out don't you?" And his response is "So? I'm not going anywhere today."

It's like Jed Clampett and Jethro with him. I keep having this recurring nightmare that he's that kid in those Holiday Inn commercials still living with his parents when he's 40.

So after having to face him, you can understand why I'm somewhat more "lenient" with Rachel. :lol:

redsmetz
10-06-2007, 08:59 AM
GAC, great reading. And I too loved the "car option" line.

My two oldest kids never got their driver's licenses; still don't have them. The oldest uses the bus and the other is away at college in a dinky town.

So our son, now 19, was our first independent driver. I've always told my kids when they're learning to drive about my Grandma. Grandma was born in the late 1890's and she always called a car "the machine" as in "Gloria is out by the machine". And then I'd ask the kids why she did that and then tell them, "Never forget you're driving a 2,000 lb. machine down there street - never forget that". It placed a favorable impression on my son.

A reminder for your daughter, GAC, not that facts will help in her mind, but regardless of the law (of the state or dad), statistics show that the more kids in the car of a young drive, the risk of an accident grows exponentially with each kid.

Funny story about kids and parents. My son just left for his first year of college and he and my wife were butting heads about getting things done. My wife is very good at organization. Me? No so much. My son is a lot like me, both good and bad. I took my son aside as his time for leaving was approaching and told him that if he was going to choose which parent to take after in beginning his college career, he'd be better served choosing mom's because if he chooses my procastination (I've had that conversation your daughter had about chores with my wife, BTW), he'll sink like a rock.

The first few days after school started he called about something and he said tell Mom she'd be proud of me, "I'm sitting here putting when things are due for the quarter in my calendar and I made a 'to do' list". Now there's a smart boy.

Roy Tucker
10-08-2007, 11:19 AM
Oh believe me. There have been times I have been like this with her....

And she knows when she has taken me to that point, she had better back down reeeeal fast. I give her alot of rope in our discussions/conversations. I don't want her to have the excuse I'm not allowing her to express her side and how she feels. That way she can't say "Dad, will you let me talk? You're really not listening to me." But that "rope" does not include disrespect.

I tell her.... "Everything you say, can and WILL be used against you in the court of Dad."


Sorry GAC, I didn't mean to jump on your case. I've got one like that too. Smart as a whip, battles everything, quick mouth, would rather crash and burn than give in, blah blah. But after much butting heads, we've come to an understanding as to where the line is.

I'll always listen and consider their viewpoint. And try hard to understand and see if there is any place in my fossilized thinking to possibly change. And there have been times where I've listened to what they said and changed my mind.

But I remind them that it is a 2-way street and they need to listen to me as well. I'll try my darndest to explain why I make the decisions I do. And they need to listen too.

Not exactly on-topic (but close), but my wife sent this to me and I thought it funny. You may want to send it to your wife.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxT5NwQUtVM

durl
10-08-2007, 01:55 PM
Stick to your guns, GAC. I thought your conversation with your daughter was perfect. She really seems to want to buck the rules. Our oldest isn't quite 6 but she's definitely strong-willed. We're trying to keep the end in mind as we parent her.

RedsManRick
10-08-2007, 02:28 PM
My biggest complaint was that my parents constantly underestimated my ability to comprehend the real reasons for the rules. While I'm sure I would've continued to be obstinate to some degree, they could've gotten a much better response if stopped pulling the "because I said so" line. Maybe it's just me and my hyper rationalism, but I was much more willing to do something if it made sense. The whole "I'm your parent and therefore you're my slave" bit didn't get them very far. By the time I was 15 or 16, my parents realized that if they explained their reasoning and were actually open to logical counter-reasoning, that everybody was happier.

I know that they had good reasons for things most of the time, but when they simple got all power trippy, you darn well know that I was going to match wills with them. Sure, there were times when I didn't fully appreciate the consequences of my actions and they had to just lay down the law, but I think they were surprised how often a simple honest explanation was enough.

For example, on curfews, I was constantly pushing it -- not necessarily by much, but coming home at 11:03. One night after coming in 15 minutes late, my mom sat me down and told me a story about a friend of hers growing up did the same thing. After a year of pushing the limit by a few minutes every time, her friends parents stopped paying attention and just went to bed. About a month after they stopped checking, her friend was a in a severe car accident -- after curfew. The parents didn't find out until about 3 in the morning when they were woken by cops at the front door. Her friend ended up ok, but the girls mom became so paranoid that the girls was essentially on house arrest until she moved out.

Moral of the story being that the curfew isn't just for my benefit of staying out of trouble and getting sleep, but that parents, so long as they are responsible for their children's well being deserve the comfort of knowing where their kids are and what they're up to. After that, I always called to let them know where I was and let them know ahead of time if I was going to be late. I actually got to stay out later on occasion because the time wasn't as important as the communication and expectations.

I know kids can be horrible pains in the butt, and not being a parent myself can only guess at the frustration they must cause. However, one thing I've promised myself is to always (if possible) take the time to explain the whys behind the rules. If they still don't get it, fine, I'll lay down the law. I'm sure that will happen over and over again. But I don't want them to ever think I'm doing something just to tick them off, because I know that when I was growing up, that made me less and less willing to obey, and resentful of them for thinking I was incapable of understanding their reasoning. Sure I was hard-headed and would keep arguing just for the fun of creating aggravation. But I also ended up following the rule and in the process learning how to set the rules for myself as an adult.

Roy Tucker
10-08-2007, 06:45 PM
Your time will come, RMR.

I try very hard to explain my reasons for rules and decisions I make. And I'll explain them many (many, many) times over. As I tell my wife, getting kids to come around is like turning an ocean liner. It happens very slowly. And I figure if I change their behavior abut 1% each iteration through, then we're doing OK. Patience and consistency is key.

But like you said, sometimes the argue for arguments sake, sometimes they argue just to be ornery, sometimes they argue to get a rise out of you, and sometimes I don't think they know why they argue. Those are the times that truly test a parent. I generally keep my patience and the times I've really blown up, I can count on one hand (those times are legend in the Tucker family lore). But I'm a human being and carbon-based and prone to faults. I try. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I fail.

The old grandmother's curse of may "your children do to you (what you have done to me)" holds true. I was a pistol. My kids are pistols.

Ltlabner
10-08-2007, 09:26 PM
By the time I was 15 or 16, my parents realized that if they explained their reasoning and were actually open to logical counter-reasoning, that everybody was happier.

:laugh:

Logical counter-reasoning from a 15 year old? hahah that's a good one.

But I do agree totally with explaining the why's behind the rules. Sometimes you just get frustrated and don't want to go into a 45 minute conversation so it comes out is "because I said so" or "just do it". But the rule isn't what's important, it's the reasoning behind the rule that is.

GAC
10-08-2007, 10:19 PM
It's been almost 20 years, but Dr. James Dobson wrote a bood titled "The Strong-Willed Child". It helped me immensely as I, and most young couples, are inexperienced at being parents. I look at parenting as OJT as you go. You're learning too.

But Dobson laid down a couple principles that really help me in training/disciplining my children. And every child is different.

childish immaturity - leaving their bike out in the yard, not putting toys up, a household accident.

That is not a situation that requires discipline.

A parent not only has to set boundaries; but also has to set those boundaries in a reasonable manner that takes into account the child's age/maturity level. And the child has to be able to understand and recognize those boundaries. That is the parent's responsibility.

Then comes.....

willful disobedience - a child that knows those boundaries, yet stands at that "line" and decides to test the parent(s) by putting their foot over it to see if they mean what they say. This is where a parent cannot be indecisive. You can't crack.

I don't care if that kid is 2 or 16.... they are going to test those boundaries, whatever they are.

And as kids get older and show greater maturity, then more trust and responsibilty is give (and expected) of them. The teenagre years IMO are the training years that lead into adulthood. You can't be too supressive. And that's where the tough issue of balance comes in. I want my kids to have more freedom, and show greater responsibility, but as a parent I want them to also know/understand that I'm still ging to be somewhat "protective" and be watching.

When it comes to my daughter driving.....

I've let my daughter know that accidents happen. But if that accident is the result of her being stupid or irresponsible when she knows better, then there will be consequences.

She loves her cellphone and text messaging her friends. I've told her that under no circumstances is she to use that phone while driving. I've told her that if a friend calls, or she has to make a call, then she is to pull over in a parking lot or somewhere safe, and make the call. It's a BIG no-no with me and the wife.

gm
10-09-2007, 09:06 PM
The old grandmother's curse of may "your children do to you (what you have done to me)" holds true. I was a pistol. My kids are pistols.

My mother-in-law's comeback line to my wife was "I hope you have a child just like you...and I hope you have twins!"

We've been pretty lucky with the boys, so far (more laid-back like their dad, I guess...) Student driving starts in a couple of months...providing my son can pass the DMV permit test...

GAC
10-09-2007, 10:24 PM
The old grandmother's curse of may "your children do to you (what you have done to me)" holds true. I was a pistol. My kids are pistols.

How true, how true. There was four in our family. The oldest was a girl, and then there was us three very honery boys.

My mother use to say repeatedly to me.... "I hope when you grow up you have three kids and they are just as honery as you."

I have three kids. ;)

A Mother's curse is nothing to laugh at.

M2
10-10-2007, 12:57 PM
Driving regulations these days are insane. In some places they're not allowed to have any other under-18 passengers in the car. How are you supposed to go on a date? Actually, I suspect that's what's behind these rules more than anything: cars=freedom and freedom=sex.

Beyond that, if you live in a place where you have to drive to get anywhere (and that's most of the country) then it's simply impractical to expect that kids aren't going to pile into a car for social events like games, movies, dances and parties. I'm not a fan of Big Mother government.

Johnny Footstool
10-10-2007, 04:15 PM
Driving regulations these days are insane. In some places they're not allowed to have any other under-18 passengers in the car. How are you supposed to go on a date? Actually, I suspect that's what's behind these rules more than anything: cars=freedom and freedom=sex.

Beyond that, if you live in a place where you have to drive to get anywhere (and that's most of the country) then it's simply impractical to expect that kids aren't going to pile into a car for social events like games, movies, dances and parties. I'm not a fan of Big Mother government.

Big oil hates carpooling.

Roy Tucker
10-10-2007, 04:49 PM
Driving regulations these days are insane. In some places they're not allowed to have any other under-18 passengers in the car. How are you supposed to go on a date? Actually, I suspect that's what's behind these rules more than anything: cars=freedom and freedom=sex.

Beyond that, if you live in a place where you have to drive to get anywhere (and that's most of the country) then it's simply impractical to expect that kids aren't going to pile into a car for social events like games, movies, dances and parties. I'm not a fan of Big Mother government.

Research has shown that teen drivers carrying one teenage passenger have twice the risk of a fatal crash as teens driving alone.

The risk of a fatal crash is five times as high for teens carrying two or more teenage passengers.

http://stokes.chop.edu/programs/injury/files/PCPS_Reports/1289teen.pdf

Whether or not this is the governments business to legislate is a fair argument. But I know, law or no law, we don't let our kids drive friends till they've been driving for 6 months and don't let them ride with teen drivers for the same 6 month period. And even then, we don't let them take more than one other kid for a year.

If they want to chance breaking the rules, I tell them "I have spies everywhere". And if they do and I catch them, they don't get to drive any of my cars till they're 18. Period.

WMR
10-10-2007, 05:18 PM
Research has shown that teen drivers carrying one teenage passenger have twice the risk of a fatal crash as teens driving alone.

The risk of a fatal crash is five times as high for teens carrying two or more teenage passengers.

http://stokes.chop.edu/programs/injury/files/PCPS_Reports/1289teen.pdf

Whether or not this is the governments business to legislate is a fair argument. But I know, law or no law, we don't let our kids drive friends till they've been driving for 6 months and don't let them ride with teen drivers for the same 6 month period. And even then, we don't let them take more than one other kid for a year.

If they want to chance breaking the rules, I tell them "I have spies everywhere". And if they do and I catch them, they don't get to drive any of my cars till they're 18. Period.

Now that's a potential punishment with some teeth!!

redsmetz
10-10-2007, 06:34 PM
How true, how true. There was four in our family. The oldest was a girl, and then there was us three very honery boys.

My mother use to say repeatedly to me.... "I hope when you grow up you have three kids and they are just as honery as you."

I have three kids. ;)

A Mother's curse is nothing to laugh at.

I always told my younger daughter, "You're the answer to Grandma's prayers - I hope you have one just like you!" But she was a much better kid than I was.

TeamBoone
10-10-2007, 06:52 PM
Simple answer, yes, they do think that... unfortunately, it's normal for kids to never relate to the fact that their parents were ever young.

Falls City Beer
10-10-2007, 06:53 PM
I was never a teenager. I've been 40 since birth.

redsmetz
10-10-2007, 07:30 PM
I was never a teenager. I've been 40 since birth.

So is this your picture?

http://tomledin.com/images/baby-tat.jpg

Strikes Out Looking
10-10-2007, 08:58 PM
My mother-in-law's comeback line to my wife was "I hope you have a child just like you...and I hope you have twins!"

We've been pretty lucky with the boys, so far (more laid-back like their dad, I guess...) Student driving starts in a couple of months...providing my son can pass the DMV permit test...

I have twins, and one is just like me. And I can actually understand him better than my other kids, so I think your mother in law was off. Now my oldest son is just like my father in law and he is giving me lots of gray hairs...

M2
10-12-2007, 02:30 AM
The risk of a fatal crash is five times as high for teens carrying two or more teenage passengers.

I suspect that has something to do with drinking.

My parents' attitude back in the day was better to have me behind the wheel of the car than one of my knucklehead friends and probably in six years that will be my attitude too. Mind you, given where we live there's really no need for the kids to drive much of anywhere.

Though I do like the idea of letting them get some experience behind the wheel before they start performing taxi duties for their friends.

Chip R
10-12-2007, 12:29 PM
I suspect that has something to do with drinking.


In some cases, sure. But you get kids in a car and they are talking and texting and phoning and listening to music and trying to impress each other and that's a lot of distractions. Especially if it's the driver of the car doing some, if not all, of those things. The more inexperienced the driver, the more likely doing some or all of those things is going to distract them and then increase the liklihood of an accident.

GAC
10-12-2007, 09:40 PM
In some cases, sure. But you get kids in a car and they are talking and texting and phoning and listening to music and trying to impress each other and that's a lot of distractions. Especially if it's the driver of the car doing some, if not all, of those things. The more inexperienced the driver, the more likely doing some or all of those things is going to distract them and then increase the liklihood of an accident.

Exactly. They are inexperienced. A bunch of kids in the care is not only a distraction but one huge liability case. So the last thing I want my kids doing is allowing other distractions going on in the car. I want them to get to that level of "comfortability".

I let Rachel drive alot. It's the only way she is going to gain that experience. But you put slack in the line gradually IMO. But it's under Mom and Dad's guidelines. If we find out she has been using her cellphone while driving, she loses driving privileges for a month. That's a BIG no-no with us. If she needs to call someone, then pull over in a parking lot or whatever and call. But not while driving.

Tommorrow I'm allowing her to drive down to Urbana (about 20 miles one way) to visit Grandma.