A Guest Post:
Dare I say, welcome to hell! This is probably the most difficult stage of any person’s development. Geeks, freaks, nerds and weirdo are just some words that will be a part of your teenagers’ vocabulary. Get used to it. Today’s parents are in for an even greater shock- technology! So, dad, when you were in high school, you got a girl’s number and call her at a reasonable time and spent a reasonable time talking on the pone. You dreaded the thought of meeting her parents and so on. You were probably familiar with the terms “high school jocks”, “popular kids”, “cheerleaders” and the list goes on. Do you also remember teasing or being teased? Think about all the above and take the time to deal with your children the way you would have loved for your parents to have dealt with you.
Fathers of teenagers who are on the verge of manhood and womanhood are so important. You probably feel like it is now time, for you, to go off and be free of the burdens of raising kids? Think again! They may not need you to be home but they need rules and curfew that still ensure that they are home even if you are not. They now need you to lead by example. Remember your daughter will be looking for or having a boyfriend and your son might want to take some girl home. How will you feel if they say but dad you do it too? You don’t have to give yourself a curfew but be reasonable in your ins and outs. If you are not married, the dating world may not be the best place for you now. These children will want to do as you do. The “Do as I say but not as I Do” principle will not apply to you.
Daddy of teenagers must be a permanent confidant. Yes, they will ignore you but when your daughter confides that she is secretly attracted to your neighbor’s son, keep that secret safe at least for a while. Do not violate that trust and say something to her mom or your very friendly neighbor and drinking buddy. She will not trust you if you let this out. You can hold on to some things as long as they are not detrimental. Do note that if your child confides in you something illegal, the right thing to do is report it to the proper authorities. You must discuss the position your child has put you in though. If you fear the child may abscond, report it secretly and be a subtle as you can with bringing law enforcement into your own.
The high school years can be tough. When children are left to be an adult but remain a child, they become confused. Be ready to guide those kids. What teenagers face in high school will prepare them for life. Fathers’ role in this stage of development will determine how they deal with their kids at this stage later on. Be strong and admit when you may be wrong.