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Our teenagers are winning the battle

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Dear Rosie,

My husband and I are at odds raising our teenaged kids.  When I say no, he says yes.  We are pulling against each other and the kids know it.  We have a teenaged daughter who just got her license and she knows she has a curfew to get home by, however, she calls her father to buy time, so he ends up covering for her.  So she is not learning true responsibility and keeping her word.  Then we are also dealing with my younger son, who has been caught smoking regular cigarettes.  I’ve sat him down and told him about the hazards of smoking and how it leads to other recreational drugs.  I started to keep a closer eye on him and some of his friends, and this has caused a rift between my husband and I, because he says I am too hard on the children.  Rosie, I feel strongly that my husband and I should be a united front, but I feel as though they are dividing and conquering. I feel as though we are losing the battle.  Even my mother-in-law agrees with me and he still isn’t changing his stance.

Help me!

Dear Help Me,

You are definitely in a pickle here and I know it must be frustrating – especially knowing that the children are going along their merry way while you and your husband struggle to regain control and common ground.  I agree with you, something MUST be done or total control will be lost.
 The trick to this, I feel, is balance.  It would appear from your letter that your husband thinks that you overreact when coming to the children. As mothers we tend to have our antennas up for any changes that we may see or feel is happening in our children’s lives.  Many times we are right and that’s all about the mother’s instinct.  However, we also tend to smother our children as well, we want to protect them from every mistake or potential hazard that they may encounter, but realistically we can’t.  So this is where balance comes into play. You will have to call a truce and also eat a bit of humble pie by admitting some of your own anxieties when discussing your fears with your husband. 
 Only until you can come to common ground, then can you be on the same page.  No shouting, accusing each other, or being too laid back or uptight, and most importantly, do not have this very necessary conversation in front of or in ear shot of the children – another word, set the rules first, then proceed.  I feel that you can resolve this issue and regain some semblance of control with your ever evolving teens.

Good Luck!

Rosie

Send questions to Rosie at: heyrosie24@yahoo.com or PO Box 152, Kingstown,St Vincent & the Grenadines

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