Our teens love to surprise us with their latest brilliant idea -- and my 16-year-old didn't disappoint the other day. Almost literally waiting at the door for my return home, he accosted me with the urgency only a hormonal teen can bring. "Dad," he declared, "I hate high school and want to drop out and do independent study." Lesson number one: Don't overreact to teens' overreactions.
When a friend's son asked out his prom date via text message, I knew there was a problem. Our kids are NOT learning how to communicate with all their tech toys. They're not thinking before they hit "Send."
I'm beginning to question what boundaries we parents should consider for our kids, especially our teens, in the world of sexting, texting, e-mail, Twitter, MySpace, Netflix, Facebook, formspring (not a mattress company), "smart" phones, iPads, iPods, laptops ... and the list keeps going!
My 16-year-old son has been a rock 'n' roller since sixth grade, when I bought him a cheap electric guitar at Costco as a graduation present. He loved it, was good and I enrolled him in a local rock school. He flourished, as he'd finally found his passion.
I just returned from a magnificent trip to the Canary Islands, Morocco and Portugal. Last year, I visited Africa on my honeymoon. Both trips were exotic, both trips had their highs and lows and both trips taught me yet again the universality of parental love.
So, what do my wife and I fight about? The big things like sex, money and the kids? Nah -- that would be too easy, too typical. We fight about the dog hair, where the dishes go, the vacuuming, wiping off the counters, folding the laundry and the kids' messy rooms. Oh -- and about making the bed with ALL those pillows!
Do I have to spend beaucoup money just to have a complaint session?
I'm less concerned about my son having sex than about his telling me (so I can vicariously relive my failed teen years). But seriously: I am concerned, and I do worry about if/when. Or has he had sex already?