Soooo yea. Teenagers. I’m still wrapping my mind around the whole concept of parenting two of them. Thankfully, while they do drive me a little batty, for the most part they’re not terribly awful as of now. I’m learning that I need to think back to my own experiences and development to figure out how to handle my boys.
An example: The Mercenary has wanted for a very long time to learn to play the guitar. We just learned this week that a music teacher will be coming to the homeschool co-op that we attend, affording him the opportunity to take ten weeks of lessons very conveniently.
Hubby and I each have a guitar. Mine cost about a hundred bucks and I bought it while on a trip to Mexico. It’s nice, but not any kind of collector’s item. Hubby’s was inherited from a great uncle, is quite old, and is electric. It doesn’t appraise as a super expensive item (someone saw fit to spray-paint it in the 70’s) but it does have some value and I would hate to see it get damaged at all. The co-op boasted nearly 40 children last semester, ranging in age from newborn to 13.
I see absolutely no wisdom in taking an item of value to that venue and trusting that no accidents would happen. So I announced to The Mercenary on Thursday that he could have the lessons but in no way shape or form would he be bringing his dad’s guitar each week.
Ohhhhh he was upset with me! At one point he told me that he just wouldn’t take lessons at all then.
Rather than argue, I just stated my case a time or two (to be clear) and then I left it alone. We haven’t discussed it since then. He stewed for a while, then the whole thing dropped.
Why was he upset? Because I wasn’t operating according to his pre-conceived notion of the guitar lesson. He had imagined the total coolness of bringing that guitar in, and all the other kids envying his awesomeness. I had just burst that bubble, and it’s natural that he would be displeased. You should have seen me as a teenager. I would get SO upset if things didn’t go according to my plans. I’ve learned to handle sudden change much better over time, but it definitely took me years to grow past that particular issue.
I most definitely owe it to him to be understanding and allow him the time to do follow that same path of improvement.
The co-op resumes in two weeks, and I betcha he cooperates with the plan and takes my guitar in for lessons. With time to get over the shock, he’ll likely choose to get the lessons even though it’s not what he originally intended.
He’ll just have to demonstrate his personal awesomeness in another way.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents of awesome yet inflexible children.
Image courtesy of victor.lavrentev via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.