Raising Teenagers

                                                                      -me, Christmas 1968

I was raised an only child.  I have a half brother and a half sister, but they lived with their mom and I was the only kid under my roof.  I don’t have experience with normal sibling struggles and what that looks like.  This is all new to me.  Look at that blissfully happy baby girl!  She had no idea how good she had it!

We’ve had a little bit of sibling rivalry show up now and then, with our boys.  It really hasn’t been bad…  until lately.   It breaks my heart how manipulative and mean they can be to each other.  I KNOW they love each other! 

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Add to that the sudden onset of teenage-itis  in Will and the drama.     OH. MY. GOD. THE. DRAMA.     I reach my wit’s end every single day.

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It’s probably worse now because of being grounded.  They’re bored and upset because they can’t do what they want to do.  It’ll probably get better when punishment ends, however…

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My gut tells me that Will needs more space.  He needs time to be alone (which I’ve always needed too.)  Scott has started taking one boy out to lunch every few days, I’m taking one-at-a-time to run errands with me.  I don’t think that’s enough.

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I think Will would love to have his own bedroom again, but  Scotty believes that he NEEDS to share a room with Will. (he’s talked himself into being afraid to be alone.)

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Will has always had a nurturing spirit, especially when it comes to his little brother.  He tends to put up with a lot from him because of this.   Will’s willingness to sacrifice was obvious almost soon as Scotty was born.   It’s amazing, especially in a child so young,  however,  I’m not sure we should continue to let him make those sacrifices. 

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If we decide to give them their own bedrooms again, I’m not sure where we’d put Scotty, since his old bedroom is now Scott’s home office/boys’ computer room.  If this is the solution that needs to happen, we’ll have to figure it out.

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We have a “nannycam” in the basement.  (We had to resort to it because our teenagers were getting up in the middle of the night to play and wanting to sleep all day.)  Last night, at almost 1:00 am,  the camera captured 15 minutes of heated discussion between the boys.  And, oh my God, it just made me  sad. Scotty was trying to manipulate and Will just wanted to get away. 

We’ve got to figure this out.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Raising Teenagers

  1. I don’t have kids. But I was a teenager with a sister who was 20 months younger than me and we also struggled, a lot. I think we struggled more until I hit late high school then things changed. I don’t really have any advice but the space thing is a good one. Maybe time with their friends apart would be good – time with parents is great too but with friends they would have the chance to talk about their precieved struggles with those in the same boat and also have time to just get away from it all. Teenagers are hard. I still apologize now for my horrid behavior as a teen but back then I just didn’t know how to handle myself. The teenage years are all about figuring out who we are and that is hard, especially when someone else in the house is goin through the very same process.

    My sister is now one of my favorite people in the world. After school when we both were in high school we used to sit in the kitchen and just talk about our day, like normal people. We still had our rough spots, but we made it through and have a great relationship as adults.

    It will get better. It probably will get worse first. And it will suck. How is that for uplifting? You and Scott are such great parents – keep up loving them and evaluating what they need (just like this post reflects) and, in the long run, you will have raised two amazing sons.

  2. Last year, Maddie decided she needed her own room because she was tired of Emily’s mess. It’s not that they don’t want to be together, and Emily’s room remains the main play space, but Maddie is happy because she has her own room that she can keep as she wants with stuff that is important to her. I agree that it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. My two are best friends-can’t be apart and also fighting all the time over territory and decision-making about play and clothes and such. I’m sure you see the same, esp with Will being older. I think the space issue is your answer. Maybe it will work similarly – that Will is comforted by his own room being there when he needs it and still embraces time and space-sharing with Scotty.

  3. I think time to hang with friends and their own space is a great idea. If Scotty is manipulating Will this will give him a place to go and ignore. Having bunk bed/ two twin beds/ a bed and a flip out chair could also leave the option open for sleep overs.

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