Friday, February 24, 2006

eyes closed.

One of the teens had it out with Holly this morning. I wasn't a part of it because I was getting ready for work and they were downstairs.

Something we've noticed with some of the kids - they tend to sectionalize their lives. Once they have a set of friends or a boyfriend/girlfriend, they blow off the family and devote all of their attention to the friends. Is this normal?

One would think that it was a bad thing, to blow off family, to decide that it is disposable, or only for use when you need it. Holly's whole issue is that the strength of our family is our will to stick together and help out. It doesn't work if she and I do all of the giving and the kids do all of the taking, only giving when they need something back. When you give freely, as we try, you usually find support freely given when you need it. It doesn't always work. We've had to adjust our chores so that everyone has a set of base chores they need to complete, and everything else is for extra money. This is because one or two of the kids were doing all the extra stuff and they were all getting extra stuff equally. Now, if they want something that we wouldn't normally buy, they can do extra chores and earn the money beyond their allowance.

Mostly, I wish the kids would open their eyes.


At 11:54 AM, Blogger a Peach said...


First, I read your's and Lionmom's site daily and look forward to seeing more about how you work with, relate to, and deal with your family. I learn so much and am often left with so many burning questions that I can't wait to see if they'll be answered in one of your next posts.

But this time, I think I can contribute... in late teen years, it is definitely a habit of kids to switch their "allegiances," so to speak, to their current social circle or relationship. I think, from my best recollection, that this is the best way we can "pretend" we are already out on our own and trying to relate to the rest of the world as a single functioning adult. We feel safe doing this because we are secure that family is family and that if we're spurned by our group, our family will welcome us back into the fold by the very nature of "family."

For you, this can be a good thing in that the girl(s?) are finally confident enough in your parenting and your family that they can begin this finding of themselves... if that's truly where they are in their lives. The last thing I wanted as a late teen was to have to do chores and have to, in any way, relate to my family because it seemed to harken back to childhood when I was "ordered" around by my parents and older siblings, etc.

Now, as an almost 30-year-old, I think back to what I was taught about chores and stuff and am grateful that I did do them as I at least had the skills needed to actually survive on my own. But getting a teenager to understand that is a tough one.

So, I guess, if that's really what's going on, then it seems pretty normal to me. I understand very much about how you want the family to stay the family and not give in to the taking for grantedness.. and given your situation, that's completely understandable and probably warranted... so I wish you luck in trying to compromise between that seemingly normal urge for teens to abandon the nest at this time and trying to still get them to function inthe family. I know that there were many times I went through that cycle of abandoning the family for a social circle, only go back to the family when things went awry and it was always such a relief that there was no big deal made out of my oft transitions.

Now that I've written a near essay.. I hope it's given you some perspective. I can only speak for me and my friends when we were teenagers... but so far, it seems pretty typical. Not that it's that comforting to you, I'm sure. :-)


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