Moon,you point an important example: the presence of the father in the upbringing of a teen...the role he has to put a limit, a "no" to something, the learning of the ability to understand that some frustrations are useful...Unfortunatelly those homeless kids that kid saw in the street had not that chance...So, or and, the question remains, of what to do, when the father figure is absent from the upbringing, in a monoparental family, mostly when the mother has to do both jobs...
Bonnie, (I bring some of the statements I wrote in the long msg that for some reason could not be saved 2 days ago for you)...in my opinion, of the new infos you gave from your big boy :) it is important that he verbalized what bothered him from the past (oh yes soo important...for the futur too)...related to what happened at 9yrs old, etc...Briefly, he verbalized about abandonment and in that process, not being allowed to express the emotions of that situation...That is really great....because, I am telling you...some adults in the course of a psychotherapy can verbalize these emotions...for some only the their middle ages...(imagine, all these child emotions that they evacuate at that age...and there is more to say)...So, again, I am sooo happy, you both could open this...I insist of saying it with enthousiasm...:)
The second point I was to finally bring up and related to the father figure...well as in his case...daddy is not there...there is the possibility...(as some valuable deep clinical researches underlined- and maybe not so known by the public, I don't know) the factor to search other father figures...
I can give a very radical example (as I like them to udnerstand sometimes better maybe)...of the homeless kids,as we opened that subject...So he runs away because of various tensed situation at home...often violence, etc...where there is no father..or a father who does his job right...They find in the pusher...the father figure..and this bond is very difficult later to work with because related to huge temporary satisfactions through drugs and se*x, etc...etc...finally very destroying...but model of an authority that destroys the kid..So, this is hard to teach later that kid, or young adult that authority can also be less destructive...But, then, when he can realize that or recocgnize it...he go and really search other father figures...that talk right, that do things with morality/integrity...being very "chaste" in not abusing the kid...
Oh I stop here...there is much to say...of course...I just want to make sure that this post will be saved...
So, again, you do a great job...and keep going...I very much encourage you...
Bisous! both of you!
Moonray77 write: BTW, Aetios, there will probably be a MM gathering in Toronto, the thread is in the Message Board... go see it! It would be great if all we Canadians would meet over there. Bonnie, I saw that you would probably be able to make it, that would be absolutely fantastic!!
Provided if I don't have to be shipped out to China on a crisis for my project, I would love to meet up with all of you wonderful Canadians and a revisit to Toronto is long overdue for me :)
The only way to meet them would be to check into a classy hotel where they are backpacking and tired and want to meet me for some first class comfort and some fine dining...lol
Hahaha, that's funny, yes indeed, first class comfort!!
Like wwwww was suggesting, I have a friend who brought his rebelious 13-yr old teenage son downtown Montreal on St-Laurent and Ste-Catherine where the pros*titutes hang out, skin heads, homeless, etc. He was acting like a spoiled brat and so the father decided to take him downtown one night around 23h00 to show him how life on the streets was. They walked around, at one point, the son was hungry and wanted some pizza so the father said: "Well, you have to beg for money, I don't have any with me. You want to run away from home,well that's what you have to do to survive on the street." And he went on and on all night like that. At one point, the son was really tired and hungry, wanted to go back home, and the Dad said: "We can't go back, if you're tired, we're going to lay down next to this homeless guy on the sidewalk and sleep here, come on, follow me." And that's whay he did. The next morning when they got back home, the son was very thankful for the breakfast his Mom had for him (the night before he didn't want to eat what his mom had prepared), and told his Dad that he understood what his father was trying to teach him. He's been pretty good ever since! lol This was really an abredged version that I gave you but the son went through a lot that night, believe me... lol...
Bonnie, I'll be back to you...was a bit lost in the threads related to the kid's subject...and it takes time that the post is visible ....Yesterday I wrote you a very long post...and it erased lol...got soooo discouraged...
Moonray, yes, the subject is important...kid's subject...
As for Toronto, thank you, it is sooo sweet of you.It makes me feel part of this community....the temptation is huge, I am focusing on 2 important things now and the logistic to go would be not possible for now...sniff!
Thank you so much, I appreciated it...
I guess hindsight is always a clearer vision and am glad to hear all your experiences with your teenaged kids, makes me feel I am not alone with my ogre.
He has been quite cooperative yesterday , doing his SAT revision in confinement, so I let him watch a bit of TV with me and discussed the sort of friends he has been hanging around lately.They are still a bunch of young teenagers with too much time and money on their hands..I might take someone's advice to send him to do some charity or volunteer work..
This Christmas we will be home for a change..I guess for my kids living the 'normal life' like everyone else is a novelty. As expats most of their friends too are always away on the holidays..so they tend to meet abroad at some holiday destination, and like u say it is hard to bring their friends who are also travelling with their families somewhere. But I think my kids are at an age where they will soon be taking off on their own without me, as they already have. The only way to meet them would be to check into a classy hotel where they are backpacking and tired and want to meet me for some first class comfort and some fine dining...lol
wwwww123 write: One Suggestion: Take them down to the absolute worst part of town someday and ask them if they would like to live like that. It is a real eye opener to most.
My kids have seen lots in their short lives and my daughter at university now realises she is so lucky when half the kids she studies with have to earn their own keep and come from dysfunctional families. They know they are fortunate but feel that they now want to live a 'normal life' like others.
I had to cancel our Christmas plan to ski in Whistler with friends because they just want to be at home in London to see their friends whom they don't get to do much being away at boarding school and college and away all summer . I have also decided to cut down my travels this year and shelf my China trip next two months even when the project needs me so badly, just to keep an eye on him. My son specifically mentioned how much he hated being left in boarding school at age 9 when he could not articulate his pain and how we have ignored his needs..so this is partly my pay-back. Though strangely he feels I should continue my work and go off , he now wants to have free reign of the house, not another party!
We all have our crosses to bear and as expats ours seem so so ridiculous to many. Rolling stones need to stop at some point and I guess we have reached it..
Bonnie "I have to accept that I have to let go and let them make their mistakes and learn life the hard way as long as they don't endanger their own lives."
Yes, they do have to make a few mistakes and also learn that life is not a bed of roses. Some kids learn early, some late. A few years wasted won't really make much difference in their lives as long as the "light bulb" goes on eventually. I knew a kid that I thought would wind up in prison get his PhD in theology. There is no predecting the final outcome, but it will probably be better than you think if the kids are intelligent at all.
One Suggestion: Take them down to the absolute worst part of town someday and ask them if they would like to live like that. It is a real eye opener to most.
HAHAHA... Bonnie, that's funny: you had to "sentence" your son!! I like that! Yes I guess we are somewhat "pushy" parents, but it's so darn hard to let go. I guess that it's a question of having the right balance here also, you cannot let go completely that's for sure because they still need us to "suggest" to them what to do, but they also need to make their own mistakes and learn from them. I am going to try very hard to "suggest" to them what to do in a limited timeframe that I am going to set for myself depending on the situation, and then let them experience on their own, be responsible, all that good stuff... and bite my fingers in the process!!! LOL
Aetios, having to raise kids on your own is indeed a tough one. My daughters' father isn't there most of the time and will always side with his "girlfriend" instead of siding with his daughters; they are not his priority. HE is his own priority. But we manage together and we have the greatest relationship and there's nothing they wouldn't do for me because we RESPECT and LOVE each other.
As for being lost in these threads, I'm guilty of that too, I decided to read this thread again and all of a sudden remembered that I had posted when I saw all of our posts which don't have anything to do with the topic!!! LMAO!!
BTW, Aetios, there will probably be a MM gathering in Toronto, the thread is in the Message Board... go see it! It would be great if all we Canadians would meet over there. Bonnie, I saw that you would probably be able to make it, that would be absolutely fantastic!!
Thanks Moon and Aetios,
I have had to sentence my son to force imprisonment in the basement . He is seeing some sense when he is deprived of TV, Computer, and phone and pocket money. This morning he was allowed out to meet the video director to discuss his shoot..
I have to cancel my travel in OCt to China, just want to be around to make sure he sits for his SAT and submit his applications...I think Moon your daughters are right , we carry too much of their burden on our shoulders..they will just have to learn thru their own mistakes..I was always the self-motivated child and therefore can't stand around and watch my own kids procrastinate and miss their own chances in life..I guess that makes us pushy parents. I have to accept that I have to let go and let them make their mistakes and learn life the hard way as long as they don't endanger their own lives.
Parenting is all about guilt and how we deal with it..We are guilty of doing too much or not enough..and it is important that we come to terms with it..
Thank ou Moon, It's nice of you!. I think nowdays, parents have to be multileveled, maybe being single parents...and not obvious to deal with kids who move so fast from one mood to the other...."les montagnes russes"...lol...knowing when to be smooth, of tough....being the mother and the father...if unfortunatelly the father is absent....
I also think I am lost, because I think my last msgs have been on another thread, I think...or am I hallucinating lol...
In any case, I find it very interesting to share with you here girls...from here and from other partis of the world..this is new to me...
It is hard to raise kids and we do have a tendency to blame ourselves too much for their behavior. Bonnie, I agree with Aetios, you really shouldn't blame your lifestyle as they have known nothing else. Your son is a teenager... period!! Lol I have 2 daughters and they never gave me any problems at all, but I am told that boys are harder than girls to raise... obviously, I wouldn't know... lol... But being a parent is a 24-hour job, our children are continuously in the back of our minds even when they've grown up. Besides Bonnie, you're a very intelligent and sensible lady, I'm sure you know how to deal with your kids although they ARE overwhelming at times!! ;)
Not too long ago, I was upset at my daughters because they procrastinate a bit and deadlines were approaching for admissions in universities, and my 20-yr old said: "Mom, you take too much of OUR stuff on YOUR shoulders, if we screw up then we screw up and face the consequences, that's all! Don't worry about us that much!" and started laughing... lol... in a way she's right, but on the other hand, since I'M the only one with the experience... I'm sure YOU guys know what I mean... lol ;)
He is young, and in a learning process; one question come to mind...as his daddy is unfortunatelly not there...does he have any other father figures around him?..Bonnie, please do not worry, you are the best mom I ever saw; they will remember later what you brought them as special and unique,you will see...:)) it is just a moment to work on, it is temporary; I would not scare him, but just tell him he has to choose between doign forbidden things or not...with his potential...and, ultimatelly, whatever the bad things are...the sign of grownups is making reparation...So, of the news you give me...I think they seem pretty good...paying his due..(but I still would put him to think for quite a time, and talk about his stealing until he convinces you he worked as an insight on this subject)...knowing how to do a party without trouble...that is really good progress...
A friend of mine with 3 kids...the daughter 13yrs stole something at the store...she worked on that...now the girl is travelling alone...since 17 or 18...without trouble...she has a lot of guts...(she was alone by herslef in NY, imagine)...The problem was, now long before the parents were divorced...a mess...kids have also their own way to "talk" about the loss...or the separation...I would make him talk more about the loss of his dad...
Again, good luck...and let me know how things improve...maybe in a private talk if you would like too...It would be my pleasure...:)
Thank ou Aetios for our insightful take on teenagers. My daughter is angelcompared to my son and she has been doing the negotiation with him. He had a party last night in the house with about 15 teenagers as reported by my neighbors and thankfully they were OK. this morning he called several times wanting to apologise but I ahve decided he will not have that privilege and will keep him worried till I get home..He is a great actor and a con-artist even as a child. At 6 he went around selling magic stones to neighbors..and v. entrepreneurial..
My fear is he can't see what he is doing is criminal . I have half a mind to charge him and put him behind bars till he see the severity of his actions. Will definitely take him down to the police station and let them give him an earful to scare him.
He will be working all thru summer and next summer at McDonald's or some menial tasks to pay back all he owed me which is close to $1500 ..
Will definitely let him have his say but I already know what his take is . He thinks 'sorry' and 'I love you' will do the trick but he will have to come up with better reasons..
Thanks for your advice and I will remember to learn to 'listen' to him ..
I worked with teens, so, I allow myself to bring here to you some elements, hopeflully they can help in a way or another.
First, I don't know if the reason of his action is because you are an expat. as they have been used with this type of life.So I will focus more on the teenhood :):
A teen does not want to be with adults, their friends are at that age very important; their hormones are also arising rapidly...; a teen by definition moves very fast from one side to another...and are difficult to catch :)...Especially that they have been brought with such an intelligent mother and daddy...to be curious about life and especially fearless not only in 1 country, but in many countries...this is the heritage you are giving them..(and..a unique one)..; a teen needs also to react (for a boy) opposite to his mother in order to separate from her.and get a girlfriend....so it is sane..; ultimately, a teen needs also limits usefull in which they have to learn to negociate their needs and to control their impulses (sexual drives or the derivatives, the learning, the intellectual levels).
What could be done is to sit down with him, or all of them, to let him-them vent their needs, frustrations, etc...that they feel they are listened to their needs...(at this age, the rage comes out fast too, so it has to be vented)...But, they also have to understand you and your situation, as it is. And to try to negociate and think (a teen does not think, he reacts) of solutions in order to organize things that everybody reaches a satisfactory situation.
What also seems to me important is they have to understand there is difference between: running away and making mommy so anxious (plus stealing the credit card, I will put a focus on this, some privileges have to be taken out from him , whatever his reason of unhapyness could be) and the need to be with friends; they have to learn to talk about their frustation, instead of reacting on it.
The consequences of these type of actions he has to be warned very clearly of what they would be: calling the police and also making a complaint against him of stealing...these would be non negotiable consequences.Why? because this are the rules in the society...(the third party as we call it- it is not a dual opposition between you and him)
Together all family has to think to find a solution...to make a suitable organization, in case you have to be away (and especially you have to work in a very tranquil state of mind) they have to understand your rules, till they get older...because you bring the bread on the table...not them..
I also think that he did not think of his action related to the security situation now it is in England...So, I would personnaly take away a couple of privileges from him to make him think...
Sorry, my english is not soo good...
I only hope it could be usefull....you will tell me :))
If anything, please don't hesitate...
Aetios, thanks for the kind note.
The price of being an expat is having spoilt brats for kids.
My 17 year-old son who got tired of our 1 month break in Asia, just got hold of my credit card and booked himself a ticket to fly home to London to see his girlfriend without telling me..and only found out when the summer school he was attending to prepare for his SAT called. His first attempt to runaway was aborted when his sister pursuaded him not to..so he has used my credit card to book two tickets, one was not used! Im in a quandary as to how to deal with him when I get back...As a lawyer I have half a mind to get the police to take him in and put him in a juvenile cell till I get home...
HIs reason for leaving which he wrote in his note to us was that he had to rush back to do a video shoot for a music CD with a video director..a stepping stone to his music career!
This escapade of his is what he thinks an adventure and a dare..my kids claim that they are tired of travelling and never home when they are out of boarding school/college, so all they want to be is to stay home and see their friends...maybe there is a message there..global nomads want some roots esp when they are only teens...is this a lesson for me as a global nomadic parent? I have my roots in Asia but they have not had any since they were babies and born to two cultures but grew up in a third culture, they have lived in too many countries and gone to too many schools...tough lesson for me.
FaceOfAnAngel write: When you are young you don't care so much the conditions you are living, _____________________
YOu are definitely an adventurer Angel..I think we are the new breed of global nomads who are not afraid of making ourselves at home anywhere in the world....my heart belongs to several places and seem to have a sort of cycle, about every 6 years I get itchy feet..lol I just want to wander off,,whether there is a man or not in my life..I need that creative solitary space and time to myself..it makes us bad LTR candidates ..lol ..unless he is another nomad..lol
I first relocated to the UK at 18, I don't think I would live there again unless I could afford a certain standard of living over there.
When you are young you don't care so much the conditions you are living, but I actually decided to leave the UK after my son was born because I knew I could give him a better standard of living back in Canada.
Lived in Switzerland for a short time and I don't approve the way they treat non Swiss there. I will not be going back there.
Lived in Turkey and would definately move back there.
Home is where my heart is and if my heart belongs to a European man then I would move back there no problem.