by Peggy Kumke

Do you have a teenager? If you have children you sooner or later will understand what it is like to live with them. Teens are so different from most people. They live in a different world. I know this because I have teenagers.

Reality Exclusion
Their world is for them and they seek out a type of togetherness, which excludes them from any reality of making, what we parents call “good choices.” What rules do they live by? A teen does not seem to have the same rules we raised them with!

Why do we worry about them? We really must not, as they know what they are doing. Time and time again my teens have shown me this.

Grounding Decisions
The decisions that are made by teens gives us gray hairs and ulcers. One of the great mind-boggling times for our household is when we have grounded them for an unacceptable decision that was made by them using the most brainless excuses.

Immediately after they get released from grounding they make the same, identical, unacceptable decision to do it again.

No Right; No Wrong
Why? Why do teens have a mind of their own; a mind that is not capable of thinking at the level we expect of them? There IS a reason.

Teens are unique and they are tuned in to their own needs and their own desires. Their minds do not wonder what is right and wrong. There is no right or wrong in their world.

Learn to BE a Teen
Listen to what they are saying! We need to learn from their example. This precious non-reality world can be OURS too. Trust me. I have been living in their world the last few months and I now understand how much better my life can be by not facing reality as the rest of the world sees it.

Teen Rules
• Make your decisions based on YOUR needs and on YOUR desires.
• Don’t get all caught up in what others might think or how they see you.
• It is your life and you should live it as you see fit.

The best thing I have learned from teenagers is this: A decision may effect a loved one, but allow the loved one to deal with it. It is not your problem you aren’t understood. Your decision could cause hurt to a loved one. It may be devastating to the family, but it is your life and your decision to make. If a loved ones get emotional over it, that is something they have to deal with. After all it is your life and they can’t live it for you.

Show Understanding
I want to do something special for my teens for all they have done to me. I want to show them that I understand their ways and that it is not them that needs to change, it is what I need to do to change the situation. I have been through so much in seeing their world and I do believe they mean what they show in their actions.

To expect too much from a teen is just not realistic. They are what they are.

Plan a Special Vacation
So, through a lot of research, talking directly to the source, many minutes spent, I have come up with a wonderful surprise for my teens. I am sending them on a vacation. I found a place that provides free lodging for an unlimited time.

They provide kitchenettes with food supplied in the refrigerator. The bathrooms are not directly in the bedrooms, but just down the hall within a few steps. There are other kids of their age level. Their parents sent them for the same reason I am.

They won’t have their parents around to tell them any rules. They only have to follow the rules of this vacation place which provides activities for inside and outside.

Escort to Lodgings
When I told my teens, they looked so surprised. I felt like I had accomplished happiness for them and myself. The really odd thing was when I dropped them off at their vacation place the owners called the place “a foster home for teens.”

They mentioned that the activities they provide were called “chores.”

The lodgings were rooms shared by other teens in each room.

Who’s Fooling Who Now?
The rules, which I never asked about, seem to provide less time in the social department than what I provided for them. The bathrooms are down the hall like I was told, but they are small and shared by 16 other teens.

From the look on their faces, my teens seemed to know where they were now. I can’t understand how this vacation place was not what I thought it would be. I researched this place for at least two hours before making my decision.

Sounded good to me.

Ah, visitations! I especially liked the idea of visiting on the weekends, if I desired to do so.

I am sure my teens will adjust and find their places.

With my changing life style I just don’t have time to research another place.