Having your first-born become a high school freshman is a lot like giving birth. It’s painful, messy and not at all like you expected. Worst of all there are no drugs this time around to take away the pain.
Be ready to be shocked when your child comes home after one day in high school and has suddenly become smarter than you. It’s nothing short of a miracle that so much knowledge can be attained in one six period day. Someone should really call the Pope!
You may have your Masters degree and 14 years of parenting under your belt but they have been through one day of freshman year surrounded by the brilliant minds of their peers. Your I.Q. just dropped 100 points.
Tempted as you may be to check, you won’t find Eye Rolling 101 on their schedules. This is a skill that must have been picked up during lunch or passing period. My theory is let them roll their eyes all they want. It’s not bothering me and they don’t make any noise doing it. I’m all about teenage rebellion that doesn’t make noise!
English Language is found on their schedule, but for the rest of their high school career the only words you will hear are “whatever”, “mom, you are so weird” and “yes, Mom all the other moms let their kids (insert something stupid, dangerous or expensive here).
When it comes to parenting your high school teen there is power in numbers. Get to know their friends parents and start a group text immediately. All activities must be confirmed. Parent group texting is like the condom for parenting teens. It can stop fun and prevent pregnancy with one click of the send button.
They will tell you their teachers are mean, unfair and out to get them. There hasn’t been so much conspiracy in the air since Kennedy was assassinated.
Nothing is ever their fault and the teacher will never tell them about a research project until the day before it’s due because she hates them and wants them to fail.
Best defense against this injustice is to act outraged. Grab your keys and tell them you are going straight to the school to let that teacher know they can’t treat your child this way!
At the sight of this they will start to stutter and back peddle. Sit back and enjoy. It will be entertaining so grab some popcorn.
Your teen will try to convince you that no other parents chaperone dances or go on field trips. To hear them tell it the schools just bus the kids to a location and let them wander around aimlessly. No parental supervision needed.
Don’t believe it! Sign up for everything. Check the bottom of their backpacks for sign up sheets.
I have had so many mothers say to me “Well, they don’t want me to go!” My answer to that is if they want to be left alone they can go to LendingTree.com and get a mortgage and move out. Until then you will see them on the field trip bus.
The most important thing to remember when parenting a teen in high school is to think back to what it was like when you were in high school. Aside from my failed bikini wax it was the single scariest time of my life.
High school is about survival. One wrong move and you are the butt of jokes for the next four years.
It’s like walking a tight rope without a net every single day. That kind of pressure along with raging hormones will make anyone a little crazy and cranky.
Be kind. Be patient. Be tolerant. Listen. I mean really listening and not just waiting to respond. As hard as all this is for you it’s a million times harder for them.
Although there will be many times that your teen will seem unlovable, love them anyway.
If they cringe when you hug them, hug them even tighter.
When they scream they hate you for making rules and setting boundaries, set them anyway.
It’s crunch time. It is your job to make sure they are ready for what life throws at them and loving, listening, hugs and boundaries are a great place to start.