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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

That Awkward Stage

I'm at an awkward parenting stage.  (Well, I'm pretty much always awkward - parenting or otherwise)  This is one of those times when I'm constantly questioning myself and my decisions.

Bit Boy at almost 16 seems nearly independent - making his own schedule, making (pretty good) choices, and generally acting like he's nearly an adult.  Is it appropriate to let him be so independent?  I think so, I think it's good for him to make decisions and live with the consequences - especially since they're fairly non-lethal at this point.  But I feel guilty for it to be so easy to parent him right now.  (Dear Universe, please don't take this as a challenge)

Hot Dog is an impish 9 year old, thrilled with his soccer team (undefeated, thank you very much Coach Joe!), his various lessons and classes, and generally a happy kid.  I worry that I don't give my youngest all the attention that he deserves, but I comfort myself with Firleord.  He was the 5th and last kid in his family.  I think his parents were tired by the time he came and they basically let him alone.  He turned out pretty damn good.

Lego Kid ....  is a bundle of contradictions.  He wants to go to school next year, but not leave the house today - or ever. He wants me to make him do things, but he doesn't want to do anything.  We unschooled until he was 11, at which point he told me "You're too easy on me.  You should make me do things."  So I asked him what I should make him do, we made a list, and now I "make" him do it.  ( I'm confused.  Is it still unschooling if it's at his request?)  He gets mad at me if he doesn't get his academics done, but resents when I make him do them.  I suppose I need to remember that he's 13.  This isn't personal.  If it's this hard for me to deal with him, how much harder is it for him to deal with himself?

But... it does make it more challenging for me to know what the right thing to do is.  My parenting philosophy has always been radical - I treat my children as rational people who know themselves better than I know them and so should have a fair say in their lives.

I have to admit that sometimes it's a mistake to assume they are rational, and that this may be one of those times.


Sue VanHattum said...

I love that he wanted you to make him. Rational? Are any of us?

Deanna said...

Hugs to you April. I think you're great, even if you feel awkward.