Which much thanks to the Beatles for allowing me to bastardise their lyrics for the title to this post, I once again turn the key to the engine to my blog and take her out for a spin.
It’s been an intriguing nine months or so since I last put fingers to keyboard. Enough time in which to create a human being or in fact move along the timeline of parenting stages. I’ve learned that I am no longer the mother of two teenagers, but rather one teenager and one emerging adult. This leaves me bemused, happy, sad and more than a little ill prepared. So in typical Curtain Raising fashion, I’ve been pulling at the curtain chords trying to work out exactly what is required to parent an emerging adult. This in introvert speak means ordering every book published on the topic.
Actually, is parenting even the right word? Is there, in fact, a statute of limitations on the use of the word parenting when referencing an emerging adult?
Talk about holy letting go, Batman!
None of it has been easy, hence the blog down time. Trying to be humorous whilst being barraged with a whole lot of uncertainty is a bit like trying to work an Iphone with a glove on. Sometimes you just have to put the damn thing down and finish what needed to be done with the glove first.
So here I am gloves off and back with another post, once again trying to make sense of the parenting journey.
About a month ago I received a lovely email from Donna L who wrote:
As a mother with two teenage daughters, I commonly find myself referencing the information on Raising the Curtain. I wanted to give you a quick shout and let you know all of the great information and tools you have provided me to acting as responsible parent to my children. I shared your website link with my group of Moms on my Facebook page, who I know will find value in your site
This is so cool, Donna L. Bless you and your Facebook page, mother’s group and your two teenage daughters.
It’s cool because we connected and I helped you and that makes me happy.
I had no expectation of ever doing that when I started this blog for I am no parenting expert. There have been many times over the last few months of hiatus where I have thought I’m not a particularly good parent, so to receive an email like this makes the doubts a little easier to bear.
As parent, I think we all have them. And just to know that I can provide some clarity that may muffle those nasty voices in our parenting heads is a wonderful compliment. So thankyou Donna L.
Donna also kindly asked me to write about the topic of teenage texting and driving. So, Donna, I am happy to oblige you.
I think we have all been in circumstances where you look at the person in the car next to yours and think “What the…?” Not because they are doing anything racy, but because they are doing everything but driving. I mean where in the learner’s manual does it teach you how to drive and:
- apply makeup
- write with a pen and paper
- make breakfast
- read a book
- get dressed?????
And that’s possibly all at the same time!!
Is it any wonder then, that our teens are texting and driving? I mean look at all that’s been possible even in the pre digital era? Having driven in the US last year, on my Curtain Raising straw poll, the problem seems to be much more prevalent over there. It is scary what some people will do whilst hurdling down the Interstate.
We live in a multi-tasking world and unfortunately that together with FOMO (fear of missing out) has entered our teens’ motor vehicles.
Mr Gottlieb here shares some good tips on how to talk to your teens about the issue. And talk we must, but we must also lead by example. That means when we drive we do not multitask. Otherwise when we talk to our kids, it’s just noise. Even talking on a mobile hands free whilst driving, listening to music through ear buds or so loud that it makes your doors rattle can be distracting.
So how do we teach our children to focus whilst they are in a vehicle filled with other teens? I am not a big fan of showing kids carnage to try and change behaviour. They get carnage on the nightly news, so much so they have become desensitised to it. To me the key is mateship and understanding that your actions can do lifelong damage to your mate. To do the right thing by said mate you have to deliver the cargo safely at the end of the night. Guilt is a poor substitute for friendship and no text in the world is worth that.
What’s the worst thing you have seen a driver do in a moving vehicle whilst driving?