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Grandmother With Teenagers!
by Barbara Sanders

You all have heard the quote 'mother with teenagers', but how often have you heard 'Grandmother with teenagers'? Not, often, I'm sure. But, if we have kids and they have kids, then we have kids which usually become teenagers.

My daughter has four children, two of whom are teenagers. I have to say, though, they aren't your typical teenagers. Oh, they do the usual teenage things, wear some of the teenage duds, and get into scrapes with Mom. With typical teenagers, you can see them following after their siblings, hanging out where they shouldn't be and with people they shouldn't be hanging out with, drinking, smoking, driving fast, and just completely disobeying parents' orders. Well, the difference in my grandchildren and most teenagers is this: their Mom! She's know all over her city for her strictness. If she sees something she doesn't like, you hear about it.

Mom interrogates the kids my granddaughter dates, literally. First, she does 'research' on them, by asking people who know them, go to church with them, etc. Then, after she is satisfied with what she's found, she will let her daughter invite the boy over. But, she gives him a good 'motherly' talk as well, giving him the does and don'ts and the consequences, if those rules aren't followed. And, I think the kids respect her for looking after her daughter the way she does. The daughter isn't allowed to really 'date' like most teenagers, because of her age, so most of the time is spent with Mom or in church, where his family is. And, they seem to enjoy doing this and including her Mom in most of their plans. And, she enjoys being with them.

Today's teenagers need lots more guidance than we did, when we were young. First of all, there wasn't that much we could get into. Some of us were more sheltered than others, and probably didn't see most things going on. Oh, there were drugs and alcohol and teen pregnancies, just as there is now. But, it wasn't as prevalent and it is now. Most kids were too close to their parents to be subjected to the pressure of their peers that did those things. And, they weren't ridiculed, if they didn't follow 'the crowd'. Teenagers today hear that their peers are doing it, and think it's okay, if they haven't had some strong upbringing and teaching in those areas.

My daughter has become sort of a surrogate Mom to lots of the teenagers, in that they are able to talk to her about things that they feel uncomfortable talking about to someone else. They know she won't pass judgement and will listen and give them her best advice. She has teenagers and knows the feelings of teenagers; after all, she was one once.

So, having been there, she also has a Mom (me) who has been there, as well. I still consider my children as my children - they never grow too old to be given advice. My daughter laughs at this, but, in dealing with situations with her teenagers and other teens, it all comes back to her. This gives her ammunition to use on the kids, trying to teach them that they are only teenagers once - don't ruin your life with stupid decisions, when you are too young to really make those kind of decisions. Keep yourself pure for marriage, and above all, be true to yourself, your friends, your parents, and to GOD. I thank the Lord for my daughter, who is a great Mom to her teenagers, having to raise four children as a single parent. She has learned a lot in her life, and I thank GOD that she is able to use it to reach other teenagers, as well as her own.

Written ©March 7, 2005 by Barbara Sanders, AL. All rights reserved.

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