Forever Family: walking on eggshells

Crackle, crackle, crunch crunch.

Hear that?  Those are the eggshells scattered all over our floor these days.

Last night BrightSide and I had one of those blinding revelation moments, one that frankly wasn’t all that pretty.

Somehow, some way, we’d managed to slip into complacency.  Despite our focus on conscious parenting…working to be fully present and engaged with our kids…somehow we found ourselves stunned into silence as we realized the situation had spun completely out of control.

When did we start shying away from shutting kids down?

The sass, the sass.  Lawd almighty, the sass up in this place has enough attitude in it to launch a hot air balloon.  I know we used to crack down on this mess, but somewhere along the way the whole it’s a stage thing covered too much ground.  We started letting a few too many things slide until a bit of sass became a dose of sass which turned into a landslide of sass.

Which is way too much for me.

For whatever reason, I’d started tiptoeing around my teen, cutting him slack for stuff that never would have been acceptable a year ago.  But last night’s scene was a big, fat wake up call, one that scattered the fog clouding my mind.  Suddenly, in the midst of the surreal, things became crystal clear.

Yes, my son’s adopted.  He’s struggled.  He’s gone through some pretty rough patches.

But that doesn’t mean he’s allowed to be an a**hole.

It’s a delicate balance, this factoring in life issues with life stages, but I have to learn to separate the two.  Because treating him with kid gloves simply because he’s adopted would be just as wrong as ignoring that fact altogether.

12 thoughts on “Forever Family: walking on eggshells

  1. Here’s a suggestion coming from my experience. For a moment, look at your letting sass slide from a different direction. Yes, sometimes we as parents become complacent, but I found we often let things slide a bit just to see if the lesson was learned. How do they act without us constantly nagged them about a issue. We need to see this so we can reinforce again if we need to, sometimes it takes awhile for things to set in, but they have to learn right from wrong without us nagging. We won’t be there forever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kathy, there’s nothing like hearing from people who’ve been through this already. It’s been odd — I’ve learned (or I’m learning) that nagging isn’t the answer. I get frustrated by it but I can live with a lot of “what on earth did you just do?” It’s the part when they look you in the eye and talk back, then get louder when they don’t get their way. I’m trying to figure out where the “let your teen express himself” ends and allowing myself to be a punching bag begins…
      It’s a lifelong learning experience, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hang in there 🙂 It really is too bad parenting comes with a crappy manual 🙂 Depending on the conversation when they sass you try, a pause, eye contact with that look from you that says, really. Ask them to repeat what they just said. Ask if they would appreciate that for a answer if the tables were turned in the conversation. This helps sometimes, it’s like nagging without the usually, don’t sass me. It makes them think about their response.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup. I was a pretty good kid, but when I hit 13 I turned into a biatch with my mom. She NEVER spanked me — punished me yes, time outs, groundings. But the day I told her to f**k off, she grabbed my ponytail, spun my head, and slapped me. Stunned. Never did that again. I was still a pain — I think girls are worse — but I didn’t do THAT. Just argued everything everything everything. And so did my step-kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh lawd, don’t you sometimes wonder how we survived to adulthood?? Although if I’d ever looked my parent in the eye & told them to f**k off I don’t know that I would have…I was not an easy teen, though, and have always suspected that would come back to haunt me. 😉

      Like

  3. Oh man. I just tell mine sternly, “I am your mother, not your little friend, watch your mouth.” Sometimes I just shout TONE when they do it to one another.
    So don’t walk on eggshells. Make it clear. Define those boundaries. *pumps fist* You got this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re absolutely right. Somehow I got down in the weeds and lost sight of the big picture — it took one good friend and a semi-stranger’s reminder about parenting teens to open my eyes. I’m grateful for that “it takes a village” mentality.

      Liked by 1 person

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