All stages of parenting are challenging, be it infant stage, toddler stage, the kid stage, but one of the most challenging stages is teenage. A teenager is physically independent and the mother is free in that regard but emotionally it is one of the most challenging stages.
My son is 13-1/2 years old now. He has always been a “good” boy with his values intact, never given me or my husband any troubles during any stage of his growing up. But I could see the changes in him both physically and emotionally since the past 1 year. The change has been dramatic! Suddenly, my shy introverted boy was taking interest in dressing up, his hairstyle, wearing perfume. I could see him chatting with “friends”, smiling, hiding from me sometimes..
Few days back I realized that he was attracted towards a certain classmate of his and that the feeling was mutual. As a typical “Indian mom” my first reaction was of shock and fury! How could my “little boy” get into all this? He was too young to be attracted to a girl!
Then I calmed down a bit and introspected. I put myself in his shoes and thought like a teenager again! Wasn’t this normal for a teenager to get attracted to the opposite gender? This is an age where hormones play havoc, the mind behaves like an “adult” but that maturity is lacking. What was wrong in this thought process then? The mind is altogether in a different zone!
I decided to handle the situation a bit more maturely now! Both me and my husband had a chat with our son. He was embarrassed and a tad guilty. We told him that this is very normal and that that it is nothing to be ashamed of! The only thing that he should take care is of knowing his limits and concentrating more on other things. We told him that he is still immature to understand about “love” and that what he feels is just infatuation and that this is not “wrong”.
He hugged both of us and promised to be more thoughtful of his actions!
When I was growing up, I couldn’t confide all these feelings to my parents as I wasn’t too free with them and talking about boys was the last thing that I could do! But I so wish I could! My parents must have gone through the same emotions as teenagers too!
I don’t want to impose restrictions on my son; I might create a rebel out of him then! I only told him to think more logically and to think about the consequences..
Generations change, times change, 20th Century has given place to 21st Century; the shoes remain the same, only the wearer changes..