Chapter 7

 

The Roller Coaster of Raising Teens

 

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night.
-—Margaret Mead, American anthropologist

 

If there were a "right" way to rear children, I am sure we would have discovered it by now. Doubtless, we will continue the search for the perfect method of raising our kids to be both useful members of the community and true to themselves. How often do we pray that despite us, our teens will outgrow their adolescent tumult and go on to lead productive lives? So we just have to keep our fingers crossed. After all, all parenting is parenting by hope.

As I mentioned in the first chapter, the majority of child-rearing tasks both in and outside the home still fall to women—a whopping 80 percent. Given that and the fact that most single-parent families are headed by women, often without (or with very little) financial or emotional support from the child’s father, midlife women dump the inevitable rock and roll of teenage angst into their already overflowing hamper of job, parents, menopause, personal health or lack thereof.

 

You did what you knew. When you knew better, you did better.
—Maya Angelou

 

In my role as family doctor, it is most often the mothers who come to me with concerns of what to do, where to go, how to help their teens. Though fathers are not always unaware of the issues, it is women who will use the physician as the first, and often last, resort before the institutions of education or law enforcement step in, with those heavy-booted consequences. Often the mother’s plea is that surely there must be something physically wrong with her child: Isn’t there a diagnosis we can apply that will let us answer the dilemma or a pill that will cheer him up, make her concentrate, allow him to be happy to be at home, make her do what she’s told?

 

The themes that recur have to do with the burden that women feel obliged to carry. These themes relate to marriage failure and dissolution, an event from which few families are immune. They relate to guilt about raising the right kind of accomplished kids; they relate to feeling alone, unsupported, and pressured; they relate to finding themselves, like Charlotte, the spider in E.B. White's story Charlotte's Web, repairing, refashioning, and refreshing the web of relationships that bind the family together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

" Middle age used to be a 
waiting room;
Now, it's a supermarket."
--Dr. Jean Marmoreo

The New Middle Ages is filled with the insights and compassion to navigate the middle years.

Such as:

Your body and menopause
Recharging your sex drive
Taking care of your heart
Parenting your parents
The roller coaster of raising teens
Starting a new relationship
The mini mental health exam
Changing jobs

 

The New Middle Ages is filled with the insights and compassion to navigate the middle years.

Such as:

- Your body and menopause
- Recharging your sex drive
- Taking care of your heart
- Parenting your parents
- The roller coaster of raising teens
- Starting a new relationship
- The mini mental health exam
- Changing jobs

 

"Middle age used to be a waiting room;

Now it's a supermarket"
--Dr. Jean Marmoreo

Dr. Jean

Marmoreo

 

Doctor. Writer. Athlete.

Advocate. Adventurer.