Bringing up a child has a goal and that goal is to make a well rounded adult human. The sort of human that is confident enough to go out on their own. The sort of human that will question authority but obey necessary and important rules. Someone that will make their own decisions based on knowledge and careful thought. Someone that will take a risk or two so as not to miss out on the fun of life.
The only trouble with being successful in this endeavour is that you are confronted, when your sweet biddable child reaches 13 or so, with an obstinate, argumentative nightmare!
|Copyright: rastudio / 123RF Stock Photo
A person neither an adult nor a child, that does not have any financial input into the home but suddenly thinks they should have some say in its running. A person that doesn't pay rent, but who deems their room to be out of bounds and a private sanctum. Someone who doesn't pay the internet bill but whines when the wi-fi is switched off. A pre-adult who once ate all their veg and fruit with all signs of enjoyment, who said "let me help with the wash up mummy, I like bubbles"; but who now scowls and mumbles, eats a few crisps, declares themselves 'not hungry' and stalks off to their bedroom clutching a laptop, not to be seen for hours. A person who will eat food they didn't ask about, (that you probably planned for tea) and then leave the remains on the floor.
If you are reading this, smugly with a toddler on your knee munching a healthy breadstick, be aware, it will happen to you! This bundle of cuteness that wants to 'kiss it better' when you look sad will one days scream "I hate you! ALL of my friends have one" about something. They will leave dirty crockery all over their bedroom floor but yell at you for snooping if you venture in to clear it up. This tiny sweet person that right now will share their last apple slice will become a teen that refuses to eat fruit and empties a school bag at the end of a week to reveal 4 bruised apples and a crushed banana.
They will dress themselves in things that make you shriek (much as your own parents did) "You can't go out in that! You'll catch your death!" They will demand that the ringlets and curls that you have refrained from cutting since they were 2 would look better cropped or shaved or dyed green. They will get parts of their bodies pierced that you had no idea could be pierced...
But they will also become someone that will tell you a rude joke they heard at school, that will suddenly blurt out over lunch that they have a new boyfriend, a person that will ask for advice, and will give you an unexpected hug as they go out of the door. A person will cook their own dinner because you are busy. That will bake a cake on a Sunday afternoon because they are bored (they will expect you to buy the ingredients naturally). One day you will ask them what they are doing all silent in their room and discover they are revising for a French GCSE. They will mutter "goodnight, love you" as you tiptoe to bed past their door at midnight.
And today while I have been sick in bed my teen has brought me tea, toast and assorted drugs...
Did I mention how much I love my teen ;-)