I have only been a parent for 12 years,
and as such, I know absolutely nothing about teenagers. I may have already accumulated 37 years of child rearing experience, but none of that prepares me for the tasks that lie ahead.
I feel this especially strong as I did my best to skip over my own teenage-hood in search of a real life. I wanted to take responsibility and do real world things and my parents let me. I went to college at 16, opened my first business at 17. When I was 12 I started doing a lot of the cooking, meal planning and grocery shopping. I had no interest in driving a car until we moved 20 miles out of town and I needed the transportation. I had no interests in parties. I just wanted to study, dance and stay up late holding real conversations with my dad.
If anything I wasn't so much a teenager as an Adult in Training.
I really wasn't interested in the milestones of growing up, prom, graduation or first date never inticsed me to dreams or actions, cars were nothing more then dangerous tools to be used with care.
I never felt a bone of rebellion until I attended a dance camp in Canada where one of the main teachers was hypocritical. And in this state of rebellion, I colored my pointe shoes as the American Flag and wore them to class. I still remembered her face when she saw them- utter shock at such insolence- In her high shrieks at such a dastardly deed, I was thrown out of class. I never had to say a word.
Early teenage hood, I think was much harder then later. I had a new body and new hormones, and weren't quite sure how to handle either one. I remember my mom's frustration at how easily I broke into tears, and the confusion of what clothes I could wear vs what clothes I should wear . It was way to easy to draw attention to myself in all the wrong ways. My saving grace was that I really didn't care about guys yet or what they thought about me. In fact, in my memory there is really nothing more turn-offish then the stupidity and crassness of the 6th and 7th grade boys.
The problem is that I now have a 6th grade boy. One with a constantly changing body and a certain kind of stupidity that reminds me about what I hated most about middle school. I can't go home to escape from him or have my brother answer the phone when he calls me for the 100th time in the night.
I find that my oldest child is always the hardest. He is the one always making me blaze the new parental trails in my life. I had some idea what to do for my second and third and was giving advice to our pediatrician by the 4th (he asked me because he just had a new baby). I now feel very experienced in babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and even elementary schoolers- but teenage-hood??
If I allowed my self to be scared of the future- it is not peak oil that makes my heart beat harder- it is the unknown of parenting a household of teenagers- for the next 20 years!!!
Maybe I should have considered all the responsibility I wanted as an "Adult in Training "- because having 6 kid- this is the fate I caused myself.
It is probably a good thing birth control isn't retroactive.