I recently saw a post on Talking Teenage about the Secrets that teenagers keep.
I loved the article, and the post certainly says some common sense stuff that I think most parents know.
One of the comments below had a valid point. That often teenagers are ‘frustrated’ rather than ‘angry’ – which most of us usually think they are. The diffference is that “anger comes from the feeling of being right about something and considering another person to be wrong, whereas frustration comes from being unable to do something or get some desired outcome. Teens are becoming aware of their own inabilities, as well as those of their parents, but they don’t necessarily consider either of them wrong”, which I think is a valid point.
Frustration, whilst, well…… frustrating, is not necessarily a bad thing. I believe it allows teenagers to think of alternative solutions, or consider other options if they are looking to change get something or do something not immediately available. That can only be good in this era of instant gratification. If they actually have to wait 1 month for an item, surely that is a valuable lesson to learn, patience and hopefully appreciation of the item once attained?
If they have a weekend job, and have to save up 4 weekend’s pay to get the shoes they want, they learn the true value of money, and the value of a hard earned pound! They also get a glimpse of the amount of effort required by their parents to get the £40 they blew on a t-shirt on the weekend. Hopefully.
This goes for Tweens too, jobs given at home for monetary value teaches them the amount of work required to get the reward. My kids shred paper for us. There’s a LOT of paper, and it’s a boring job, so they do it begrudgingly, but if they are desperate to earn money, they do it. The trick is to not give them money to ease the situation for them, or they will never learn that jobs are hard. Within reason and age appropriate, but most paper routes start at 13.
I hate to say ‘in our day’ … but…. in our day we appreciated every little thing we got because we did not get much. I did not get sweets every week. I did not get new clothes ever ( I got hand-me-downs from 3 girl cousins and a sister).
I did not get big toys, or gadgets, or a motorcar, or University tuition. Even though my Dad could well afford all of that. I learnt to do it on my own. And I did.
These days we tend to hand it all to the kids, and they expect it. The parents that don’t do this will win in the end. Those kids will succeed, will prosper, and will feel proud members of society. The rest will feel entitled, frustrated, and victimised without any sense of achievement. I saw a lot of that from the rich kids when I was growing up. I hope I can avoid that with my kid ( well, I’m not rich, so that should help…).
We’ll see how it all pans out I guess…..