Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Raising A Teenager - Episode 1

When my first born child was only a couple weeks old, I can remember my husband and I going out to dinner for the first time, taking the baby along with us. I was a nervous wreck - did I pack enough stuff in the diaper bag? what were we going to do if he started screaming in the restaurant? what if my breasts started leaking? what if he dirtied his diaper before we finished dinner? Oh, it seemed so difficult!

Now, that baby boy is 17 years old. And, let me tell you, if I thought that first dinner out with a baby in tow was difficult, it didn't hold a candle to the difficulty of raising a teenager. As a baby, you love them, you feed them, keep them clean, warm, dry, & safe, and you're doing great. When they become a teenager, it's no longer that simple.

Currently, our son has been saving up to buy his first car. He has a part-time job at a local grocery store. We agreed to match his "X" amount of dollars to put toward a car. A month or so ago, he had an accident (in my car- no damage to our car but mucho damage to the NEW CADILLAC that he backed in to). In addition, my husband had an accident a few months ago. So, our auto insurance skyrocketed from approx. $1500/yr to $4200/yr. YIKES! Because of this, we've had to put his car shopping on hold - we simply can't afford it right now. My husband does some side work - construction - and he offered to let my son come to work with him 2-3 days per week (on his off-days from the grocery store) making $9/hr. That's pretty good money for a 17 yr. old, much better than he makes at the grocery store. He could rack up some additional car money pretty quickly. But, my son just doesn't want to be bothered with it - he "already has a job" and he "has other things to do".....it's so frustrating! He says this is basically his last year before he's a grown-up and "really" has to work for a living, that we should let him have his free time (meaning staying up till 3 a.m. playing XBOX, sleeping in till noon, and then hanging out at the gym or with his friends the rest of the day). I know kids need to be kids, but, they also need to learn the value of working and saving for something. I'm sure it's common for teens to be like this, but, he seems so lazy and unconcerned about things. My husband is one of the hardest-working men I've ever met. You would think our son would learn by example, but, it's like he went the complete opposite direction. He wants a car so badly, he complains and fusses about it all the time. Yet, he doesn't want to do the work required to pay for it (and the insurance). He thinks once he graduates next year and turns 18, things are going to magically fall into place and he will be living on his own with a car and having a grand ol' time. I'm afraid he's going to be in for a rude awakening when that time comes. I suppose he may have to learn some things the hard way. But, as a parent, that's the difficult part for me....you don't want to see them learn things the hard way, but sometimes you have to.

3 comments:

cd0103 said...

My opinion-- don't give in to him about raising money for a car and insurance. Having a birthday does not make you an adult.

Man I hated that age. So confusing.

Island Gal said...

I hated my teenage monster stage! So glad you grow out of it!

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blueviolet said...

I wonder if it's the age or something. It's like they feel they're owed everything.