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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Keeping my Teenager Happy and Homebound

Does your teen ever want to stay home? Or, when given a choice, would she rather stay with you or with other people she loves being with too? Does your teen want you around when out with other friends? Surprisingly, my daughter does. Our secret? We try to keep her happy in the home but always tell her how to behave by herself. We do things together as a family even if sometimes we have to do sacrifices to do so.

I find it so hard to ask my daughter to leave the house even when sometimes it is already necessary to. She says she wants to stay home and would rather ask her friends to come over to spend time with her. They enjoy being here. Most of the time I create an activity for them. When she was young, I used to hire movies, arrange for them to be brought to the park to play or make them cook up something - a bread, pizza, etc.

We were at the mall the other day because she and her friends asked me to go with them to watch a movie. I didn't want to go actually but she gave me a long face and a pout and her friends kept texting too to ask me to join them. Thus last Friday, I found my self seated on the 3rd row of the MarketMarket cinema with 5 happy-go-lucky, boisterous yet funny teenagers. What's more is that they're all excited to come over to the house because I told them they could visit and cook taco with me.

But then, there's no substitute to keeping them under control by disciplining my daughter and her friends too. At one point, I told them the value of friendship and how each one should take care of each other. It's unusual for kids their age to sit and listen to everything an adult tells them. But, if you speak their language, they'll lend you an ear.

Most of her friends are from her swim team. Her dad and I make it a point to befriend the parents of her teammates and organize parties and gatherings so they could get together.

Thus in disciplining the teen, you have to be the boss. But you have to earn their respect so that they will allow you to be the boss. In our family, we always consult each one and tell of the consequences of our choices. That way, we are aware of what may result from ur choices. And yes, my daughter's decision is pretty much part of that process.

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