Friday, May 27, 2016

The challenges of parenting a teenager (aka, I am the Fun Crusher.)

Elli and I got in a huge fight the other night. It ended with her calling me the "Fun Crusher."

It was like a punch in the gut.

No one ever wants to be called a fun crusher.


I basically told her she couldn't do something - which apparently all her friends were doing and it set off a fight like we've never had.

She's 14. Completely independent with an incredibly strong will like most teenagers.

Here's the thing. She's a really good kid with a good head on her shoulders. She has great judgement which is why she sent me a text asking permission to do something.

Her friends did not do that with their parents.

They took the risk.

I'm not sure if Elli was really going to ask permission. Or if my text to her asking when she would be home prompted her to ask permission. I'll never know.

I know you're wondering what happened. Basically, Elli wanted to jump in the high school pool (which was closed) with all her clothes on with her friends. They climbed the fence to get in. She sent me a text asking permission. Which I denied. Which started the whole fun crusher thing.

All I know is that it was 9pm on a school night and I didn't want her in the pool (which was closed) with all her clothes on.

I guess I am the fun crusher.

"What's the big deal? It's just clothes and water. Who cares? Why do you care? All my friends are in the pool having fun. You're no fun. You ruin everything. You never let me have fun. You are the fun crusher."

Geez. Being the fun crusher really bites.

She was upset. Big ole tears. Slamming doors. Hatred for me in her eyes.

I tried explaining myself. Why I pulled "the parent" card.

She didn't care.

As the evening went on I started to doubt my decision and the way I handled the whole situation. The more she argued the more I fought back and got defensive.

I wish I had read this article The Misguided Desire of Wanting our Kids to Be Happy. I totally would have put myself in a "Parent Time Out" for a few minutes before debating with her.

I still feel guilty about how it all went down. And now I'm a little worried if she is going to be like her friends and do something they know is not right - and ask for forgiveness later. Which is what most teenage kids do.

These are the things the Fun Crusher worries about.

Elli has already moved on. She sent me this text the next day: srry for calling u a fun crusher.

And then asked us to buy her tickets for the Memorial Day carnival.