The Parental See-Saw - To Push Or Not To Push?

September 29, 2011

Posted By: Shaunescy

Let it be said, when I was a teenager you couldn't have kept me from a football game or Homecoming dance. If my parents would have tried - it would have been a mutiny.

Not so much for our 16- year old. He could care less about either, which brings me to my dilemma. Do I push him to go the football game and Homecoming dance. Or not?

There is an "X" factor to all of this - Se"X"y Hubby. He is continually wondering how much we should push, and will ultimately put me in the driver's seat, saying, "Did you know,  your son  is not going to the dance."

Am I suppose to feel guilty? Am I suppose to magically create "want" and "desire" and "motivation" for our son?

Again, the parental quandary remains - to push or not to push?

All in all, we have a really strong relationship with our son. And more often than not he fully divulges details of his escapades (when he has them) with me.  In fact, at times, it may seem too much information is shared, but since he is willing to share with me seems more than half the battle - and I've stopped pushing on other matters.

As the oldest of two girls, I blazed my own trail, and was fortunate my parents were fairly cooperative. Sexy Hubby was the baby of six children, so by the time he was in high school, his parents were pretty much "used-up." {That and the fact his two older brothers made quite a name for themselves - he was able to come and go at will.}

Our son is the third and last and we're not exactly "used up" but getting more tired by the year. We recognize - however fleeting the high school years are - they are years that should be lived to the fullest. For once they end, the real world begins. I'm not sure teenagers understand that. Our son has less than two years to suck off the marrow of life from mom and dad before the real world knocks on his door.

For the record, my son was "bargaining" with me - when he asked, "Do I have to go to Homecoming? I went the last two years. It was stupid."

How can I argue with stupid?

I also recognize we are among the lucky ones. Our son gets good grades, tells me what he does (even when he risks getting himself into trouble) kisses me goodbye (when I approach him) and tells me he loves me at the end of nearly every phone conversation.

For now, I'm letting this one slide. I've decided not to push.

But mark my words, when it  comes to the prom, there is no wiggle room.

I will push and push and push (nearly as hard as I did to get that little bugger into this world in the first place!)

Written by Katie Walters, author of An Authentic Life. 

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