As they have grown I have realized that there is no protecting our children from being hurt. There are valuable lessons to be learned in all of our relationships, romantic and otherwise. And like so many other things that I was so positive about, I changed my mind. I let my children date.
But I am not sure that there is any stage that parents fear more than the teen years. I think that it is in part because we can all still clearly remember our own poor choices and cringe at some of the things that we did. Since I am in the thick of the teen years right now I can tell you, yes, it lives up to its hype. Yes, it does.
2011 was a tough year for me on many levels. I want to box it up and put it away and never think about it again. It was a year where I lost my joy. I spent most of the year going through the motions, doing what needed to be done, but not really doing any of it well. This year I am determined to get it back and make my family happier in the process.
The greater implications of having your every want fulfilled at 12 years old. We all desire this for our children, in theory, for them to be happy. All of us sitting here reading this on our computers are more blessed than most people in this world. How do we help our children appreciate this? Or do I expect too much from children?
I think what I object to the most is not the idea that parents might prefer a child, but the choice of the word favorite and the implication that the other child(ren) isn’t liked. In families that are not as large as mine this sets up a favorite/not favorite, a liked/unliked dynamic. In life we get along with some people better, that doesn’t mean we don’t like everyone else.
But the bigger picture is that my child has the right to go to school and not be bullied. He has the right to walk the hallways with someone shouting “retard” “faggot” “loser” at him, without people “accidentally” bumping into him. He has the right to sit in a classroom without someone rolling their eyes at him every time he speaks.