Friday, March 20, 2009

Small Things Part III

Tyler has a "girlfriend" and we have a discussion every single day about this relationship. He's approaching fourteen and I set my expectations and boundaries very clearly. He is way to young and immature of mind and emotion to be holding hands and if I ever catch his lips on hers, his butt is mine! And, in my opinion, a true gentleman has the utmost respect for all girls and woman which is why when Tyler deleted one of Karli's favorite shows from the DVR list he was in big trouble. It's petty, immature, and disrespectful! TV is unimportant so I did have a chat with Karli about not getting so upset about it, it's just TV, it doesn't matter but for Tyler to take action just to spite her is unacceptable and not the way the Lord intended us to treat each other.
God's word is very clear, men and woman alike are to keep their eyes, thoughts, and actions pure. So, we talk about things every day so the boundaries stay clear and ensure he doesn't get too close to crossing them. Temptation is not fought while holding the cookie jar, you have to lay the temptation at the alter before you even get near the cookie jar.

Without giving away all our secrets, Tyler understands that he will reap in his marriage what he sows as a young man. I've been teaching him to open the door for me, for his sisters, and I encourage him to treat Jessie the same way. To carry her books and/or backpack and to know that he can be a true gentleman without crossing those boundaries. In the end, she will respect him more for this. We talk about how girls might behave if they don't feel loved at home to ensure that he and Jessie both are not seeking false intimacy and love in places outside the home. When he asks if he can go the movies with her, it's a rhetorical question because he already knows the answer is absolutely not. He knows he won't be wondering around the mall with her, or any of his friends for that matter, any time soon. I will allow him to attend a dance after school for now. But, when it comes to high school, you bet your bottom dollar I'll be a chaperon! The principles and foundation of a Godly relationship and eventually marriage have been clearly defined for Tyler since birth and I trust that when he achieves the age of maturity he'll be capable of making good decisions. Let's be honest though, teens are completely incapable of determining consequences and it's my responsibility as a good parent to form guidelines and boundaries to keep him from being faced with temptation that he is just not mature enough to handle. I'm not yet confident in his ability to say "no" to certain things yet; not because I don't trust him but because he just isn't ready.
Last week, Tuesday he informed me when he came home without his sweatshirt that it was because Jessie was wearing it. "She was cold" is all he said. Well, being that I'm teaching him to be a gentleman and all, I actually think it's okay but I could be wrong here. So later he tells me "I learned that each person has their own unique scent. Jessie said I smell good and it's not the Axe mom, so maybe it's that, maybe she's attracted to me because of my unique smell." Ah, yes, the small things, the small moments. I do adore them. I think he's just cute as a button although, he'd die of embarrassment if he ever heard me say that. For now, I find it to be harmless and having been a teen myself, not all that long ago, I'm happy with the boundaries we've got in place. I think we've given Tyler enough freedom to be himself but not enough room for him to make mistakes that can't be undone. Not to mention, the hubs has a really keen sense when things are off or wrong so that combined with prayer and mother's intuition leaves me feeling pretty confident in my decisions. I find it funny though, there are some that will have the opinion that I'm way to harsh and still, others who think Tyler shouldn't even be allowed to consider a relationship with a female at this point in his life. But, for our family, I think we've found a balance and as long as the hubs and I are in agreement, what more could I ask for? I do have a sneaky suspicion though that raising a teenage boy is going to be a cinch compared to my girls. I wonder if I'll still appreciate those small moments then? Wonder if the hubs will? My poor hubby, I don't think he has a clue what he's in for! The hubs has been telling me for years "don't sweat the small stuff." I think I've arrived, but there could soon be a day when I'll be giving him a dose of his own medicine. Let's hope not.
Tyler is struggling a bit in school, still getting acclimated to the new school, finding his place there and building upon the friendships he's made this year. His grades have slipped a bit. Tyler just got his braces on Tuesday followed by a fresh haircut. I'm hoping that combined with a new season of sports and more extra curricular activities that his self esteem will be boosted over the next couple of months. He plans to try out for the football team to play in high school next week which I think is a great idea. The team practices and works out in a weight room all summer. So if he's a part of the team then on that first day of school he'll feel more confident, will have formed stronger bonds with friends and made some new ones. So hopefully he'll enter that first day already feeling like he's a part of something. I'm a firm believer that the more involved kids and parent's alike are in school the easier it is for kids to feel free to be themselves and feel accepted by others and the bonus of that is, better grades! It took me until my thirties to not be hung up on other people's opinions and not care whether I belonged or not so I don't expect him to get it at this point. I remember all to well how tough high school really can be.
My husband will continue to keep Tyler in prayer and seek the Lord's divine intervention to help him seek healthy friendships, to feel confident, and perform well academically.

3 drops of sunshine:

Elizabeth said...

wow, raising a teen...you are doing it with such grace!!! i'll have to "star" this item for when I have a teen...especially if I have a boy. :-)

BTW...I have a giveaway at my place!

Melissa said...

Kari you have done well, my babies are young yet but oh how I could see myself feeling the same as you are. He is lucky to have a mom like you ~ your consistency in boundaries and teaching him morals will pay off...and I think it's a good thing that you remember how tough it was. I will pray for you and your family as you enter into sometough years. Lord knows someday I'll need it!

CIRCLE OF LIFE said...

wow mommy have your hands full.hubby has been travling look in to different area's no bite until he came home and we got a call from the coorpate office from t-moblie hooked and reeled he starts in april 18th so wish us luck.

i hear ya tough years gabby aka rella is umm 9 going on 16