Well, the last couple of weeks have been an eye-opener for me I can tell you.
The teen started high school and suddenly we have seen it all; teenage tantrums, adolescent angst, the sudden need to be out with friends all of the time, pushing boundaries and more. It is a bit of a contradiction. It feels like he is growing up and other times it seems like he is going through the terrible twos again.
It has been a bit of a roller-coaster.
I have to admit that it has hit me hard. We did start to see signs of it towards the end of the last school year and flashes over the summer but it is no less of a shock.
The thing is, that he has always been my rock. My sanity. He has always had his moments but on the whole, over recent years, he has been amazing. Great with his sister, co-operative, understanding, helpful and often happy to go along with whatever we are doing.
He was the one I could talk to about things and we often had really great and honest conversations about all sorts of things.
Don’t get me wrong, he is still amazing, he always will be, but he has become more reminiscent of a stroppy teenager.
His friendship groups have started to change and he is always on his phone. Always. Whether it is calls, social media or facetime. Don’t get me started on the whole Snapchat streaks thing. Trying to get him off his phone and to bed at a reasonable time has become a daily battle. There is always a conversation to finish or something that he needs to ‘just do’. He says just and then forty minutes later he is done.
He was meant to be going out with a friend and three girls at the weekend., I asked him why it had changed and he told me that it was a bit awkward as one girl was his friend’s ex, the other fancied his friend and the other one had given his friend a hand job. Whilst I love the fact that he is so honest with me, I was quite shocked. Is this what being a teenager is all about?
He wants to be out as much as possible and whereas he used to come back early, he is now wanting to stay out later and hang out with his friends. There isn’t a girlfriend yet but he is talking about and to a lot more girls than he did at his last school. I’m sure it won’t be too long.
I have to accept that he is growing up but it is so hard sometimes as I want my little boy back. It isn’t all bad. He has been plagued with injuries over the last twelve months and he desperately wants to play rugby again but is off as he has strained a muscle in his neck. That is one area we aren’t willing to take any risks in and he is out until he gets the all clear. He is still sporty and although gave up swimming this summer, he still does rugby training and Tae Kwon Do. I hope that once he is back on the rugby field, that might help absorb some of the angst.
It isn’t all bad. There is still sport in his life. He has been plagued with injuries over the last twelve months and he desperately wants to play rugby again but can’t play contact as he has strained a muscle in his neck. That is one area we aren’t willing to take any risks and he is out until he gets the all clear. He is still sporty and although gave up swimming this summer, he still does rugby training and Tae Kwon Do. I hope that once he is back on the rugby field, that might help absorb some of the angst.
He has settled brilliantly into his new school. It is a long walk but he is enjoying the freedom of not having to be driven every day and walks in with a group of friends. He is keeping on top of his homework and seems to be working hard although he isn’t particularly enthusiastic about school when you ask him.
I know that the teen years are just as hard on the teens themselves as their bewildered parents. This is a tricky time for them with everything changing inside and out physically and mentally and of course in life too with new schools, different friends, coping with different situations. My son is an incredible young man and I have to accept the new growing up version of him and respect that he will come out the other end of this phase. We just have to be there to guide and support and now let him go off and learn by his own mistakes.
It is so hard though.