Friday, 23 July 2010

The duality of Teen

Patrick Pretorius Photography
Being 17 is a great number. I sometimes forget that they sit in the middle of not being an adult, but also not being a child. They are in “Middle World”, and they have fall-back/forward to being adult, but also being a child.

I feel sometimes exasperatedly guilty when the fall-back is to child, and I did not do my parent part as I should have. For example: We planned for weeks that I take my afternoon last week on Friday to go and sort out the passport for the teen once and for all. The papers were already in the car, completed! I picked Arnia up at school, and we drove straight to Home Affairs. Only there we realized: Arnia did not bring her passport! Swear-worthy moments!! What can you do? Put the car in reverse, and plan an afternoon for another month…

I am the parent! I should have checked! (Guilty as charged!) Yes, she should have checked as well, and I should have reminded her…

For example as well: She comes back from her hockey game last Saturday burnt as red as a beetroot! I have been preaching her since she was very little to always wear her sunscreen. “I forgot!” She says. She is also now on the very strong acne medication where she is not allowed into the sun at all… Guilty as parent: I should have reminded her!

When do you stop preaching, reminding, checking… and whatever parents do?

But then: She is also very responsible now. She has been working through her vacation, and she is now working over weekends as well. She is focused and saving everything for that French tour next year! That is very adult!

Sometimes there is a light flickering at the end of the tunnel… (Tongue in cheek smile)

Related posts:

The secret lives of teens
The Teen is seventeen
Teen update


  1. I still have to remind my child of 46!! ha ha

  2. Ha Ha Comforting thought! ;-)
    I was suspecting something like that, because one of my favourite authors M Scott Peck said something similar...

  3. Oh my, the faboulous frustration of mothering :-) Guess we have to let them knock their own heads. Have a stunning weekend.

  4. Oh well, I guess that is all still waiting for me.

  5. Just lost my comment I was writing. Anyway, I was writing about the Dr Phil Show here in the US and how much he talks about teenagers and their brain development. In many ways they are still children and adults should understand that behind the sometimes adult looking facade there are still many aspects of a child that need to be nurtured. She is really a mini-me of you!

  6. Now I know what I have to look forward to in 10 years! As it stands, I will tell my kids 3 times to grab their backpacks on the way out the door. Then when we get in the car I turn around and do a check. Because at least once every few days one of them will walk right out the door without it!


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