My Teenager is Good and it’s All My Fault

Annnd it’s Wednesday again!  That means it’s time for another blogger to be recruited into the Nation.  Don’t know what a Sluiter Nation Recruit is?  Start here before moving on.

Today I am excited to recruit a DUDE into the Nation!  I met Lance via twitter…and when he commented on my blog once I almost had a heart attack because the only other Lance I know is an ex-boyfriend.  This Lance is way cooler.

I mean, his blog is called My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.  If that is not awesome?  I don’t know what is.

Anyway, he’s cool and he’s a parent and sometimes those lines get fuzzy…so he’s here to talk about it.

*************

I have been waiting three years for a disaster. My daughter, Tay, is 5’1″, barely over 100 pounds, with long blonde hair, and sparkling blue eyes of wonder. One minute she’s quiet, the next she’s embullient. Without warning she can strike. She’s fifteen years old.

I’m still waiting.

“What’s on your mind, baby.” My wife asked.

“Our daughter isn’t rebellious. She’s too good to be true. Where’s the crazy hairstyle, the out of control attitude, the unacceptable friends, the piercing we can’t believe?” I bemoaned.

“Are you really hoping Tay misbehaves? Be thankful she’s sooo good!” My wife told me.

A little over three years ago I met a 12 year old Taylor aka Tay, her now 6 year old sister Carly aka “the Goose”, and their mom, my wife, Deana aka Bobina. Everyone told me that what the Tay thought of me would determine my relationship with her mom. They were right. Tay and I got a long brilliantly. We were friends. Then, I married Bobina in November 2008 and everything changed. Tay didn’t like me anymore. I became her dad.

I started fearing her teenage years and high school. Twenty six years ago I was 15. That’s a generation ago. When I was 15 my parents took away my Whitesnake Slide It In cassette, calling it “trash”. They were strict and authoritarian. We never talked about music or sports or sex. I lived in fear of them. That sparked rebellion. I drank some, I made a few bad grades, I dated some awful girls, and I acted out. Tay does none of this.

“Don’t you think Tay is kind of boring?” I asked my wife?

“No, I think she’s 15, not like you or me at that age, and she’s amazing.” Bobina responded.

Then I talked to my daughter and found out the real reason rebellion has been squashed in my home.

“You and mom act sorta young . You joke, you’re dorky and you’re all dumb and stuff. It’s hard for me to walk around mad or rebel. Things are cool.” Tay revealed.

You’re reading that right. Because her mom and I are so awesome, Tay has no choice but to be a good kid. That’s how I took it. Ok, maybe that’s presumptuous and sarcastic.

My parents did a good job raising me. I became the first person to graduate college in my entire family. By 18 years old, I was living on my own, earning my way, and considered mature. What I didn’t get from my folks that Tay and her two sisters (we have a 7 year old named Lyla aka Bug) get is affection, heart to heart talks, and understanding. My mom and dad didn’t get me or give me break. I didn’t begin talking to them about my life until 5 years ago, when I was well in my thirties and divorced. My father and I are friends now. I didn’t see that coming.

My wife and I do act young. We have tattoos. We listen to better music than my teenager. Most of all, we talk and love our girls with as little judgment as necessary. This seed planting is bearing fruit in the form of Tay, our level-headed 15 year old.

I’m not declaring mission accomplished. The disaster could happen tomorrow. Tay has a friend who is a boy. I doubt that will end well. It rarely does. There will be harder classes, college, a challenging cheerleading schedule, driving, and the unexpected you’re never ready to face. But, I am satisfied that my differing style of parenting from my parents is working, for now. On the ride home from cheerleading practice I broke down and talked to Tay about what I was writing. Her answer blew me away

“Well, you know, I’m kind of happy most of the time. You and mom don’t make me mad that much. You listen to me. You let me talk. Even when I get grounded, it’s because I did something worth getting grounded. You don’t have better music than me. My music is the best because it’s good not shocking with bad words. I mean if you want me color my hair and my finger nails black and yell at you, I’ll do it, but whatever. I want some Doritos.”

Cue the Rage Against the Machine.

Thank you Katie, for letting me write for your awesome blog. I’m honored.

*************

No thank YOU, Lance!

You know you want to follow his blog and his tweets.

Lance is quite the fiction author, but he has a sweet spot for his girls:  Fake Plastic Trees.

And the guy LOVES music (which is probably part of why I love his blog): Moving Like Jagger.

He makes me giggle when he talks about how embarrassing it can be to live amongst privacy-ignoring women: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.

And the man can run like Forrest.  What?  Independence Day.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Lance-you’re famous now! Look at you in Sluiter Nation! I enjoy all your posts, and this one was no exception.

    I can actually relate to Tay a lot. My mom was a bit of a wild child herself, so there was really nothing I could do to rebel that she hadn’t done before. In fact, she was the one that showed me and my friends how to TP a house (starting with our own, as to not look so suspicious.) Because we had such and open and close relationship, I never really felt like screwing up.

    That doesn’t mean I still didn’t try eventually, but it came in subtler ways 😉 And if you listen to Rage, that makes you all kinds of awesome.

  2. Lance is awesome!!

    I can only hope that my kids are that well-behaved as teenagers, sigh…My parents were loving and affectionate but very, very strict. My teenage years (and very early twenties to be truthful) were not extremely pleasant for any of us. I hope that I learn from their “mistakes” like you did, so I can do better with my babes.

  3. Welcome to The Nation!

    You bear the burden of being an awesome parent brilliantly… although, I’m a little concerned your daughter thinks her music is best because it lacks profanity. As all audiophiles know, when used correctly, profanity can truly enhance the lyrical genius… to follow your lead, see “Killing In The Name”

    … wait, that goes against your post about her not rebelling… carry on, I’ll be over here waiting for my boy to slowly become a man and deal with that whole hormone change.

  4. congratulations on being featured at Sluiter Nation, Lance! I’m hoping my coolness aids in less rebellion of my kids too. The cartoon sort of says it all. 🙂

  5. Congrats on being a cool parent Lance. We had 4 kids (all adults now), and the first was our guinea pig and we did awful. Over time, we relaxed and changed our parenting style, and by the time the last 2 were teens, we had it figured out a little better. Sure we had our battles, but I believe that our relationship with those 2 was much better than the earlier 2. The oldest actually ran away from home at 17, lived in a drug house and got pregnant at 17. Thank God she turned around eventually, is in a great 2nd marriage, and she and I are best friends now. So even if you do screw it up, there is always hope!
    Bernice
    I have a swiss cheese brain

  6. Thank all. Let’s be clear one one point. Her mom and I THINK we’re cool parents. My kid thinks we’re dorks. I’m just saying that ruling with an iron fist and closed mouth doesn’t work with my kids. I use velvet gloves and The Velvet Underground.

  7. I love Tay’s rationale: ‘you’re dorky and you’re all dumb and stuff.’ That is high praise from a teen! I also think it’s hilarious that you can’t say THE WORD and only refer to Tay’s ‘friend who is a boy.’

    Congrats on being named a Sluiter Nation Recruit.

  8. Fantastic post. What struck me the most was that you refer to her as your daughter. I have quite a few girlfriends who remarried after divorce and their new husbands refer to the children as “hers” rather than “ours”. Just goes to show how cool you really are.

    Rock on.

  9. Great post Lance! And good advice for how to avoid the crazy teen years with my 9 year old. Hmm be silly and dorky, I think I’ve got that one covered!

  10. You both sounds like wonderful parents. I also sounds like you have done a great job keeping the lines of communication open.

  11. Thanks for the comments. My wife and I are plotting how to jokingly embarrass my teenager when I pick her up from cheerleading practice ina hour.

  12. Yay, Lance!!

    That is all.

Trackbacks

  1. […] how it’s possible. My parenting style is suspect, although the current results are good  http://sluiternation.com/2011/07/my-teenager-is-good-and-its-all-my-fault/ I wouldn’t recommend employing my techniques, unless you have really thick skin and good […]