Photo by RAZmom88
It's hard enough raising one teen -- but three?! Welcome to RAZmom88's wild and wonderful life. Check back every Thursday to find out what drama or joy she encountered this week.
A Difficult Childhood
Since it was a bit of an uneventful week, I thought I'd share a few of the reasons my husband and I parent the way we do, so you can get to know my kids and I a little better.
We believe our children are gifts from God, and raising them is the most important thing to us.
My husband has neurofibromitosis, a genetic disorder of the nervous system that affects the development and growth of neural (nerve) cell tissues. He was told as a child that he wouldn't live to adulthood. When he reached his teen years, he was told not to have children because the disease is hereditary and with each pregnancy there was a 50 percent chance of passing the disease on.
So he feels truly blessed to have a family at all but overjoyed to have three completely healthy children. He wasn't close to his own father as a child, can't even remember hearing his dad every saying that he loved him. The man was verbally abusive, and my husband wanted his children to know how much they were loved. He tells them he loves them every day.
My own family was poor. I was made fun of as child. I was also overweight as a teenager. The other kids teased me, while my mother said I should be grateful for being alive.
A Softer Parenting Approach
Because both my husband and I come from abusive homes, we spent years in counseling trying to learn how to deal with our pain. We learned the hard way that spare the rod, spoil the child does not work. We choose to parent by love. Despite our hard childhoods, our parents loved us and they are wonderful grandparents to our children. Without them we wouldn't be the people and parents we are today.
Our children are allowed to talk to us about anything, as long as they are respectful. We allow them to make decisions for themselves with our guidance. We are also very open with them, when we mess up we talk to them, we say we are sorry. They know about our lives as children. I want to know what they like, dislike, there dreams and hopes. I feel that it is important that they are able to express themselves to us.
The Power of Faith
My husband and I are Christians, and it is very important that our children have a relationship with Jesus. But unlike our parents, we don't force it on them. You can't make anyone believe, they need to make their own choice. They have to follow their own heart.
We have very few rules, we consider it more a way of life. You keep your house clean, not because it's a rule but that it is the right thing to do. You treat others the way you want to be treated.
I don't know if our way is the right way, but so far it is working for us. Ryan is the first person in our family to go to college. We have two kids over 18, and we are not grandparents yet and most important, even without rules they choose to do the right thing most of the time. They make mistakes and sometimes do crazy things, but they know they are loved unconditionally. They are responsible, loving young people of whom I'm proud to be their mom.
What holiday traditions do you involve your teens in? Do they resist -- or is it as fun and special for them as it is for you?