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Papa, tomorrow I am going to Antwerp!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 · Category Everyday life · comments 2

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Say what? Okay, we live in a small village and yes the exam period is finished and true; it is a small little town and it's quit boring. But to hear such a thing from a 14 (almost 15) year old, did bring a little shock through me. For a moment I felt liking loosing total control over that kid or is he not anymore "a child"?

Growing up teenagers

I am in the middle of it. And it seemed just a few weeks ago that my son went out to "Eindhoven", another big city close by, to watch a movie in the IMAX theater. It's was the first trip on a bus with friends to "the big city". Now a few weeks later it has almost turned to a normal fenomenon. He plans to go by train to Antwerp. And what they will do there? There is the special "Music for Life 2010" show and the glass house with the DJ's. Still as a parent it makes you think, wonder and worry. You know: "What if......".

From primary school to secondary school

I can't almost remember the time he was still in primary school. Since we life in a small village the bicycle is the way to go. But still I remember we used to call parents to ask and consult if our childeren were going to play with each other at one of the homes and than slowly we went from bringing them to letting them go by themselves on the bicycle (which indeed was also much more confinient for us parents). Now that they attend secondary school all is changing rapidly. They hang out after school (Seems McDonalds is hot and there are many hamburger contests) in the center of town; they hang out at different homes (sometimes my home is a complete disaster full of teenagers) and you just don't seem to be in control anymore over there whereabouts.

Fragile balance between being a child and becoming an adult

The years from pre-teenager to teenager to young adult are quit exiting thow. Sometimes it can be difficult for both me as for them. We seem to go along quit well one minute just to find yourself yelling and slamming doors the next minute. They want to be treated like adults with the freedom it entails. Yet they still need you to be the parent; to love them and be there for every kind of question. Arguments and rebellion are part of the game.

How to handle the young teenager

Although there is probably more than enough said and written about the subject; I believe as a parent we are also our own individuals with our own ideas about life and the important values in life. A reference to my past; I do not have. In my time and age as a teenager I was living in the Caribbean and life was completely different. We where brought to friends, school and the beach every day by car. So I guess I am going with my own intuition which is based on a balance between control and giving the kids a certain level of responsibility. I will accept their mood swings as they will certainly have to accept mine. I will respect their privacy and give them their own space to grow, but I will also take more of it for myself, as I have done my part so far. I will give them a little praise and encouragement and be around when they need me.

And in the end all will be fine! Together we visit the Waterboys, a movie and spent evenings and holidays. For the latter part it's their life and they have to make something of it themselves. I will always be around if they need me ;-)

Comments

1. by Wim about 9 years

Small village?! We do live in a city, Bart. Not a big one, but still a city... ;)

2. by Bart about 9 years

;-) With 33.000 I consider it a village - lets call it a "small town"

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