Thursday, December 2, 2010

Do we ever really grow up?

Since Mary's school goes up to 12th grade, I have been concerned with certain friendships she has made with older kids. I, as you know am not happy with her pre-occupation with the teenage boys. I have talked to the teachers at school and they keep a close eye on her, and encourage her to hang out with kids, especially girls, her own age. The other day while I was picking Mary up from school, one of her teachers came out to talk to me about a boy Mary has bonded with. This particular boy is a teenager, but has the mentality of a 9 year old. The teacher has been keeping an eye out and wanted to know if I wanted the friendship to continue. This I found was a tough one to answer. I do not want to discourage Mary from being friendly, especially when that friendship is to someone who does not fit in with kids his own age. After all, this is the exact problem Mary has! So, I told Mary she can say hi, chat a bit, but not hang out. He may have the mentality of a 9 year old, but I still need to discourage her from hanging with big kids. Mary cannot tell the difference between a teenager with a teenage mentality or a teenager with a child's mentality. So, I gotta do what I gotta do....

Between this, Mary's belief in Santa, and some other issues with my other children, I have been pondering some things.
Do we ever really grow up? I know at my age, I have quiet a few hang ups that stem directly from my childhood. I am totally aware of these things and know I am an adult now, but I still can't seem to shake them. I know it affects my relationships with my children as well as my husband. I know my husband so well, that I know that there are things he does and says that come from his childhood. I know it, but it doesn't stop me from getting angry with him. I know how I deal with the problems my children may be having will directly affect them as adults. So, the child in me worries that I am going to do it all wrong, but the adult in me knows better. This to me seems like a viscous cycle of which none of us ever truly grows up or out of. Surely there is a way of parenting that ensures our children can actually be adults without all the childhood hang ups? Do I feel like researching this to make sure my kids become normal functioning adults? No, not really. I am sure some of these hang ups have kept me from getting into a lot of trouble as an adult. So, I will keep this viscous cycle going.


Sandy Nawrot said...

Haha! Girlfriend, if you can figure out how to raise our children baggage-free, you should write a book and become a millionaire!!! I really wouldn't spend too much time worrying about this one. They develop baggage with or without our help!

As for Mary and her friend, you are doing the right thing I think. Teenagers with 9 year old brains still have 15 year old hormones and bodies.

Zibilee said...

I often ask myself the same kinds of questions you are asking yourself. How much does my childhood influence the ways in which I raise my kids, and what can I do to make sure that I am being fair about it all and not just falling into a cycle that repeats itself? I think I am making some progress in this respect, but I know there are some things that I say and do, both in my child-rearing and in my marriage that are direct reflections of my childhood. I try not to stress it too much, but when I become aware of it, I do question myself.

Also, I agree with Sandy about the boy. A friendship is fine, but there might have to be some imposing of limits due to hormones and such.