A Game Called Parenting

August 15, 2012

Posted By: Shaunescy

{Editor's Note: This post was written a few years ago, but reminded me of the importance of two adults working as a team in this game called parenting!}

The Game of Parenting can be fun, and filled with laughter and bonding - skip ahead two spaces.

The Game of Parenting can also cause you to lose a turn - do not pass go - especially when you find yourself stuck in the middle of a seemingly innocent "family discussion" - and then someone gets their feelings hurt.

Someone confident. Resilient. Unflappable.

Someone who makes decisions based on guttural reactions, then moves forward with reckless abandon.

Sounds heroic - or rather, heroin-esque, right?

Unless you know the person.

Unless you know they're really a big, fat, softy. Someone who melts at the pure sight of a baby and weeps openly whenever the Star Spangled Banner is played.

Or gets their feelings hurt over three silly words.

The Back Story:

Sexy Hubby - who has been working out of state for the past few months - finally returned home and was getting caught up with the usual household happenings while chatting with the Sophomore regarding his current G.P.A.

I walked in the door from work -  feeling energetic and glad that Sexy Hubby was finally home - when Sexy Hubby calls me over to where he and the Sophomore are sitting, looking rather serious.

Something was awry. And I was about to find out what.  

Sexy Hubby: "Our son admits the reason his grades are slipping is because he spends too much time on the computer."

Me {looking at the Sophomore}:  "Why didn't you tell me that?"

The Sophomore: "You didn't ask."

{Ba da, bump.}

I looked from Sexy Hubby to the Sophomore and back, feeling the fury rise inside over the direct implication that in the absence of Sexy Hubby (a.k.a the Long Arm of the Law in our household)  I was not doing my "job" parenting in keeping said teen off his computer.

Instantly, I wanted to run. To bolt. To kick and scream and cry aloud. Inside my head was a swarm of bees, angry and hostile, looking for an immediate exit.

I thought of a thousand things I wanted to say. To scream. To shout.

{Of course, I didn't know the grades were slipping. No one cared to share that information with ME. Yet, apparently, I wasn't asking the "right" questions.}

Instead, I said calmly, "I am not having this conversation."

I stood up, walked to my room, and gently, but firmly closed the door. No mad stomping, slamming or cursing. I was surprised by my own self-restraint.

Didn't Sexy Hubby know how hard it was being a single parent, trying to keep one step ahead of the madness while monitoring the Sophomore??

I believe each parent brings a unique skill-set to the table. And when Dad "parents" differently than Mom - and vice versa - it's all right, even expected.

Differing parental options creates an opportunity for debate and reasoning and questioning - and hopefully a unanimous outcome.

Bottom line, Sexy Hubby and I do NOT always agree on the theories of raising teenagers. And sad, but true, boys behave differently for their fathers than their mothers.  Sexy Hubby merely looks at the Sophomore sideways and situations are resolved.  I don't "hover," "helicopter" or "swoon" as I haven't had a reason, yet feel as though my parenting style (a more hands off approach) is relatively effective.

Boy, was I wrong.

Every single day, without fail, I inquire about daily homework, the tutor program, and openly question grades. I ask questions, but apparently I forgot the most important question.

I forgot to ask the Sophomore if the computer in his room is keeping him from his work.

Wonder if he would have given me a straight answer?

At this point, I'd rather not know.

Think I better roll again...

Mother of three,  Katie Walters is the author of  An Authentic Life , a member of BlogHer.com and is proudly invited to share within the pages of Montana Parent Magazine's website.

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