Home Columns Mom at Large PARENTING TEENAGERS



My children are still small, lower primary and kindergarten, so when I met up with a fellow church mate who told me that his are in their teenage years and early 20’s I envied him.

As I told him about how I long for  the freedom that him and his wife enjoy as the children have reached a stage where they are cutting off the apron strings in order to tackle the world of adulthood, he looked at me with wide eyed disbelief.

Thinking that maybe he got the wrong end of the stick I told him of how I miss sleeping in on weekends without someone budging in,in the early morning hours  to report one thing or the other(And by the way anybody who knows magic words to get toddlers to knock on the door before entering should share those with me ASP)

I went on about how it would be great to have some peace and quiet in the house whenever I needed it and how I miss going out  without having to worry about a baby sitter, but the more I talked the way he seemed to disagree with me.

“Parenting toddlers is at any given day less exhausting than parenting older kids, so go ahead and enjoy the easy part because you ain’t seen nothing yet,” he said, now,to my utter disbelief.
He then went on to  explain that with smaller kids as a parent you are in control, most of the time anyway but with older kids, especially teenagers parenting  becomes more difficult because you are dealing people who suddenly think they know better than you do.

“With younger kids you can watch them and make sure that they are safe, but with older kids you can only provide a guideline and then you have to trust that you did your best when they were still young. And whether they did or didn’t most parents of older kids can’t help but worry about their children, which is very tiresome emotionally.” he said before revealing some of the most interesting bits about his parenting style which included tracking the children’s social network posts and what their friends say to them on platforms such as face book for example, which I must admit kind of freaked me out.

In light of the above, below are some of the questions that I would like to throw out there to parents of teenagers  to create a discussion on what is deemed to be right and what is deemed to be wrong or unacceptable in parenting teenagers.

1. Should a parent draw their line in the sand about issues they believe are right and those they believe are wrong such as Curfew Time and Dress code for example?
2. Is it right to snoop on your children, read their emails or  hack into their facebook page as my church colleague who is an IT specialist suggested he did, if the page has security code on it.
3. is it okay for a parent to decide for his children who they can be friends with or not
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