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Just a Guy Recognizing They Do Grow Up!

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Bruce Sallan: My best friend's son, his youngest, has been house- and teen-sitting for us. He's 20 now, and he's really grown up in so many ways. It seems the alien pod has left his body and the sane human being his parents raised has returned. Such a relief, as it gives me hope for my two!

father yelling at child
I remember an incident that really stuck with me, when he was my teen's age and his family moved. I had offered to help, and was horrified at how they allowed and indulged their youngest to basically sit around and do nothing, while we worked tirelessly. He was that self-absorbed.

I made the naïve judgment, not having teens yet, that his parents were allowing this inconsiderate behavior. Now I realize it was the easier path to take on a very stressful day.

These days, however, he's become a completely focused and responsible young man. I marvel at his maturity and direction. It can happen.

I've been living in the depths of teen despair, as I watch my son's self-interest, along with the mess in his room, grow and grow. As I've remarked so often, the mute button seems to be on whenever I speak, along with the ubiquitous headphones, and the cell phone attached to his hand.

But, like my mom was fond of saying, and which I've now rephrased, "The only thing we must do as parents of teens is keep them alive ... till they outgrow it."

Seeing the transformation of my friend's son, I now have hope. But, what do I know: I'm just a guy.

next: Pennsylvania Couple Forced Boys, 9 and 6, to Fight, Police Say
12 comments so far | Post a comment now
April August 15, 2009, 10:30 AM

It’s nice to see some teen boys do grow out of it. I’m not too sure that all boys will be this impressive…we can only hope!

Marty August 15, 2009, 11:21 AM

Thanks for the kind words about my son. I wish I could take all the credit, but truthfully much of his maturity and responsibility you see today were present for as long as I can remember. You’re anecdotal observation of our “moving day” was (through no fault of yours) incomplete and did not take into account all the emotions and trauma in moving. It was those heavy emotions that you witnessed that day and your recent extended visits with my son have allowed you to see the “real” 20 year-old. Not that he was a perfect teen however…

denise August 15, 2009, 1:05 PM

Please, PLEASE Bruce, tell me it will happen sooner. My son is only eight and he’s already begun to be a teen!

shea August 15, 2009, 2:11 PM

o lord my son is 2 and i am NOT lookin 4ward 2 the teen years..ugh

Anonymous August 15, 2009, 2:14 PM

If that’s a boy he looks like a girl.

Bruce Sallan August 15, 2009, 5:09 PM

Dear Anonymous;

If you can’t figure out that it relates to either gender, than you’re in big trouble! Curious you don’t sign your name. I completely put out there my opinion, my photo, contact info and name - you hide behind “anonymous” with sarcasm and impunity. But, keep on reading my blogs and comment away - we like that! BTW, ML chooses the photos, but from everything I’ve heard, teen girls can be as bad OR WORSE than teen boys.

sheyanne August 15, 2009, 6:39 PM

well said bruce :]

Whispy August 15, 2009, 11:25 PM

У Вас случайно нет других блогов?

Paul Burri August 17, 2009, 4:01 PM

Bruce, I’ve heard it said the grandchildren are your reward for not killing your children - especially the teenagers. Also heard that most kids are not born with the “need-to” gene.Don’t tell them they need to clean their room or need to do their homework. Instead, say this, “Tomorrow we are all going to Disneyland. All those with clean rooms, that is. If your room is not cleaned by then, we will arrange to have Wanda the witch babysit you while we are gone. Your choice.” This teaches that decisions (or non-decisions) have consequences.

Jeffrey Levine August 17, 2009, 6:25 PM

I find myself looking forward to your humorous and insightful posts. I think our main job during the teen years is to do our best to keep them safe - since truthfully, they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. We were homeschooling our daughter through the teen years, and were blessed with very little of what everyone talks about - strife, or whatever. Additionally, the other teens in the homeschool community were trustworthy, smart, fun, creative and joys to be around. Thanks for your take on things - I enjoy reading them.

Jeff August 20, 2009, 11:35 PM

I don’t want my kids to grow up. Any suggestions on how to stop it?

PostalDad September 10, 2009, 10:06 PM

When we had our first child, my mother and father were asked, “How did raising three boys on a sailboat not kill you at an early age?” My mom says, “I prayed a lot.” My dad, wearing a Cheshire cat smile, says, “The knowledge I’d become a grandpa. The knowledge I won’t be able to do anything wrong in their eyes. The knowledge that sooner or later I was to have my revenge. Oh look, son! It’s time to start planning.” And then walked away laughing.

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