Teen Anxiety and Blaming Parents

I recently read an article titled “10 Reasons Teens Have So Much Anxiety Today” and I was really quite shocked at just how much the author generalized and blamed parents in this article. A little too much blame methinks. As if parents don’t have enough stress on them too! How about the fact that in America it’s all about working rather than spending any quality time with your family? How about the fact that teachers aren’t given the respect and recognition they deserve? And yes, I do believe (highly unfairly) some parents expect teachers to raise and discipline their kids.

I think another factor is that society wants to give everyone a medal! God forbid we recognize that our child lost! – Our daughter had a soccer game the other day and it was awful! It was awful to watch. She played terribly. Her team was annihilated because none of them played well. She got into the car afterwards and told us how she played terribly. I said she had some moments that were good, but it definitely wasn’t fun to watch and she certainly wasn’t playing her best. She said she didn’t give it 100% – All we ask is that our kids do their best. Every time. If you are going to commit to something then you need to give it your best. I told her I appreciated her admitting that, but if she wants to play soccer then she needs to give it her best, every, single time. There is no talking it up at our house. We are by no means perfect parents but when our kid doesn’t commit and recognizes it themselves, I’m not going to disagree. I’m not going to praise the not-so-good. I am going to praise her great moments though. Our other daughter has just made a lacrosse team. It’s the B team. She started playing lacrosse at a free clinic last Summer. She did another clinic in Autumn. And another this Winter. She can’t expect miracles. She can’t expect to be the best immediately. It just doesn’t work that way. I’m proud of how she responded though when I told her this morning that she had made the B team. She said that if she wants to get better then she has to work hard. But she’s going to play hard nonetheless and actually said how thankful she was that we actually let her start playing the game now (14).

No one knows if they’re doing the parenting thing the ‘right’ way. Articles like these point out some great things to keep an eye on but they also blame parents in so many ways and that’s when it becomes unfair. We are trying to do our best. We are told what we can and can’t do as far as our parenting goes. We are told we are doing it wrong all the time. “Too many electronics!” “You have to have your kids skilled in electronics!” “They’re not exercising hard enough!” “You’re putting too much pressure on your kid by having them exercise hard throughout the week and playing competitive games on weekends!” There’s a happy medium somewhere there, but we can’t be blamed for everything! Society as a whole needs to intervene in a more productive way. Playtime at school has to happen. Yes to less screen time, but haven’t the so-called experts been saying that for years about TVs?

My son told me he was bored the other night, I told him to read a book or play legos or take his imagination on an adventure! We ended up playing a family card game of Uno. It was fun! Kids need to be bored and parents need to allow them time to develop coping skills, it’s also a time when parents can add some family fun into the mix.

I very much believe in the hierarchy point though. I have friends whose kids seem to dictate all that they do. I have friends who treat their kids as equals and share with them far too many facts about themselves or other adult friends. Your kid is your kid. Not your peer. Not your friend. When they are adult enough, become friends. But they need you as their parent, their guide, their guardian, right now.

This article points out things to keep an eye on within ourselves (as parents) and some modifications we can definitely make in our day-to-day lives as the parents of teens or even tweens, but blaming us for everything isn’t the answer either.

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Challenge Accepted Day 53/Day 11

Well there’s never a dull day in South Korea and today reaffirms that for me. My plans were changed this morning due to my friend not feeling well, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from doing anything as A; we really needed some groceries and B; I just didn’t feel like staying at home. A day out with my son would be nice. Then he decided he desperately wanted to go to school today. Oh well, Mummy will have a day to herself. That’s just fine with me.

And that’s what I did. Had a day to myself. I dropped son and hubby off then planned to come home and work out before heading out for the day. On my way home, I got a call from the travel agent confirming she could get the hotel and hire car for Memorial Day weekend at Jeju Island. Our first real adventure here in South Korea is now confirmed for that weekend! So off I went to pay for that. Well boy did she keep me waiting! No one else would/could help me so I had to wait for her and it was close to an hour before I was seen, delaying all plans for the day. I was finally able to finish up the business and get home only to realize I no longer had time to workout this morning and would have to dress and get on my way. With no real plan in mind, I headed to the International Market outside of the Air Force base. Only knowing I wanted to go back to this little Thai restaurant I had tried once before, to ensure the food was as wonderful as it was the first time I went with my darling son. 


I was not disappointed. If you head to the US Air Force base main gate, in Songtan Station, about 8km south of Osan City, you will find one of the best Thai restaurants I have ever been to, outside of Bangkok! I do not say that lightly. I got ‘stuck’ in Thailand for 3 months a long time ago and the only time I ate anything other than Thai food (mainly from street vendors) I regretted it. The Thai people are some of the most incredibly gentle, lovely people, I have ever come across. Not only are they sweet and generous, but they can also claim some of the most amazing food I have ever tasted, as part of their cultural heritage! I kid you not, you will find something on a Thai menu you will love. And this restaurant is no exception. From the main gate, head into the main entrance of the marketplace, you will see a number of Thai restaurants around you and I cannot vouch for any of the others as I have not been, but this one, “Yummy Thai Restaurant” is on the second floor, above a coffee house on the left hand side as you head into the market, but not too far down. You enter some stairs that lead to a small alleyway. It continues on to some very clean public toilets and a carpark and the restaurant is on your right hand side. It is very small but inviting. It is not opulent, but it is clean and the window seats look straight out over the Main Street, making people watching easy. Juree is the owner, head chef, head waitress and possibly the only waitress but on top of all that, she is the epitome of all I remember about all the Thai people I have met. She is kind and sweet and lovely and she can cook incredible, authentic Thai food! I believe she came from Bangkok but I could be mistaken. She is definitely Thai and welcomed my Thai greetings and thank you’s. Now, I also have to tell you that my favourite Thai food is Tom Kha Gai and that is what I have had both times but I have heard other patrons exclaiming wondrous words about their food. This little restaurant is truly a hidden gem. But hopefully not for much longer as she deserves to have her cooking shared with many.


After enjoying my solo lunch, I made my way through the ‘Ville’ to look for a hairdressing salon. I haven’t had my hair cut since January and with our ball being just over a week away, it desperately needed a good cut! I wound my way through the streets of the ville and ended back in front of the main gates at a salon called Yi Beaty Salon. Where Ms Yi gave me a very simple haircut and took a good four inches off. I told her to just get rid of the dead hair, and so she did. My hair feels so light, and so much better. The curl has come back to it too. I didn’t have time for her to do anything else, but it was nice to be able to get a haircut when I needed it. From there, I went to the ‘fish’ place – see my previous blog a few weeks ago – and got my eyebrows waxed. Obviously threading (where one who specializes in this skill, uses cotton thread to interweave through the eyebrow hairs to pull them out in rapid succession) is not a popular thing here and that is definitely my preference when it comes to taking care of my eyebrows, but waxing will do. I’m not so sure about this woman though. She didn’t speak the entire time she did my brows (she was European too) then I thought, maybe she doesn’t speak English, but at the end I asked her about reading and she completely understood and told me that no one does it. I guess I just didn’t get warm and fuzzies from her. 
I had to get the groceries in a reasonable hurry and I also went and bought a clear shower curtain from the other end of the base, as we are doing a bake sale next week and the area my hubby works in has these beautiful table cloths that have been handmade (I think) and we want to use one to advertise ourselves but they need to be protected and how better to protect them without spending a fortune than to use a clear plastic shower curtain. I guess we’ll test it out and see how it goes. 
Then it was a mad panic to get home with every possible red light, filling of potholes, crazy Koreans, getting in my way! What would normally take 20-30 minutes, took a good 50 minutes and I didn’t want my daughter getting home without me there. I was literally less than 5km away and moving at 0! Everything in me was trying not to panic/worry because that’s what I do, I took deep breaths, tried to stay calm and think if I was 5 minutes late, it would be ok. But in my heart of hearts, I knew I wouldn’t be ok if I was 5 minutes late. It’s just me. But I didn’t completely stress out either. When I finally came close to the house and saw the bus coming from the other direction, I was finally able to relax. Yay, somehow, I made it, even after the arsehole truck cut me off at a red light! 


We picked up Hunter, who had another great day at school but by the time he got the three steps from school to car, was completely exhausted and went into crazy preschool tired mode, where everything was an incredible drama, including the fact that I had brought Luna in the car with us and three of the boys at school were looking at her through the window. It only went down from there. Literally, three steps and the dynamics changed. But that’s how kids roll! Luckily he’s number three and I recognized all the signs. He’s still determined to go to school again tomorrow! In fact, this kid was so tired that at 7pm (we had almost finished dinner) he put his fork down and said, “can I please go to sleep!” Oh the pain of being three! 
When I was finally done with my day, including driving around trying to locate a dog groomer after doing an Internet search and finding most English speaking groomers have either stopped or are on maternity leave! Seriously, English speaking dog groomers could make a killing here! Anyway, randomly driving when I found one! Yay! I was stuck at a never-ending red light, so was even able to type the number in on my phone and make an appointment tomorrow! She so desperately needs it and I just cannot do it, don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried. I failed. Three hours of my time and I ended up just making her look like she was clean. Not cute and she’s the cutest dog, just clean! Grooming failure! I was sweaty, the house was covered in hypoallergenic dog hair, but dog hair nonetheless, the bathroom was a mess, the clippers were blunt, the dog was unhappy, I was unhappy. Three hours of both our lives gone with very little result! No, I’m good at lots of stuff but dog grooming is not one of them! So yay for appointment tomorrow. Unfortunately, the guy couldn’t give me a price, so let’s just hope it’s reasonable! Otherwise, I guess we’ll be driving around once again tomorrow looking for the original dog groomer I had been told about that obviously requires a treasure map with secret password to even locate them! 
Home. Children home from music lessons. Husband actually home reasonably early. Time to exercise. Didn’t want to! At all. It is really difficult to motivate yourself when your family is home and you want to hang out with them. It is so easy to come up with excuses but at the end of the day, the only person I’m doing this for, is me, so the excuses I give are to myself. That just doesn’t work if you look at the big picture. I’m letting myself down, no one else. I think that’s what a lot of people forget when they come up with excuses. They are only lying to themselves. My birthday is in nine days! Holy wow! There is no time for excuses, especially given how genetics have suddenly given up on me and age has taken over! The gala is in 8 days! My Rodan + Fields challenge comes to an end in 7 days! This is the big deal for me. I’ve worked hard for the majority of this challenge and I cannot give up now. So I didn’t. Thank god, it was cardio recovery, although some of those stretches are literally insane! Shaun T, I’m not sure what the hell you want from my thighs and buttocks, but they couldn’t play for the entire time today! Perhaps next time? 😜 I did my best! And there were only a couple of moves that I couldn’t continue to do for the crazy amount of time they were asking of me!
I made Alfredo pasta and Alfredo pizza for dinner for everyone and even Maddy had 4 (yes four) bowls of it! The pizza wasn’t that big so I had a small slice of it, as did Ally, and hubby ate the rest. But the pasta was a huge success. On top of that, I made myself a very nice, plain salad and finished off my Tom Kha Gai, that I had brought home. All in all, another great day, filled with mini adventures! 
I hope you are having a lovely day and/or night, no matter where in the world you might be. 
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Challenge Accepted Day 46/Day 4

This picture is of my darling son as he came downstairs this morning after changing from his pyjamas. All he wanted to do was to grant Spider-Man wishes, ergo, the Spider-Man Fairy! It made me chuckle and that was nice today as it was a Bit of another somber day today. My friend’s funeral is today and I cannot be there. I cannot believe she is gone so soon. She had booked a holiday for the end of April with her husband, hoping to just not be in hospital, not thinking she would be gone already. No one was ready. Including her. 
I had double booked myself today, forgetting about my original plans, so I had to cancel one of them, then unfortunately the other one was cancelled as well, so dear son and I have hung out today, me trying not to think about where I should have been and Hunter wishing he was at school and begging me to go. With no car, there was little I could do. In fact this no car business is driving me crazy! I just need for my hubby to have some time to get this paperwork done. Unfortunately nothing seems to be easy in his world right now, and my needing a car for independence is at the bottom of the totem pole. No, not because I’m not one of his priorities, but because he is facing craziness right now and is trying to ensure the lives of his people are better taken care of in their working environment. I knew there was a mess that needed to be cleaned up and I knew somewhat what we were facing when he took this job, unfortunately it’s worse than we expected meaning my needs are not so important at this time. Today however, I just felt like getting out after my plans got cancelled. Instead, I spent over an hour untangling this mess: 
  
Yes, even though I had gone to Pinterest and tried to use the idea of the straws to ensure my necklaces didn’t get tangled on our cruise and subsequent trip over here, they did. Big time! Afterwards, I used big straws, sometimes doubling them, so there was no room for extra chains/possible tangles. 

  
I made ‘nice cream’ also –  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/neapolitan-banana-ice-cream.html – It turned out a little differently to what they have, but I also added a little bit of apple sauce and some honey to sweeten it up for the kiddos. I’m about to test it out on them….and……. it wasn’t much of a success. It certainly didn’t quite have the texture the one on the video had. It tasted good but definitely tasted like banana, so the only one who ate it and liked it was Hunter. 

  
The whole reason the idea started out was because I had lots of left over strawberries that weren’t going to be any good after today, I put them in the juicer, after discerning those still good enough to eat as is, and those my kiddos wouldn’t touch because they had started going soft. There was a large container leftover after I had made the nice cream and I thought to myself, I’ve got very little freezer space, I don’t do jams, I don’t have enough dried fruit to do my other experiment (an Aussie thing called a fruit stick) so, the only thing that came to mind was a margarita! Yum! Unfortunately, by this time, my early afternoon had passed and it was bus pick up time! So what does one do with a freshly made, spare of the moment margarita when one has to walk to the bus stop; take it in a to-go cup of course! Afterwards, the kiddos and I just hung out not doing too much until hubby got home and it was time for our recurrent dental appointments, this time for Maddy and I. 

So who would have thought it would be a neighbourhood catchup at the dentist? I’m telling you, my daughter Madison is like my mother, everywhere we go, she seems to know someone. Seriously, that joke about my Mum standing beside the pope would work just as well with my daughter; you know, where the pope is standing beside either my Mum or Madison and the crowd says, “who’s Lyn and Madison standing next to?” Everywhere we go, they know people! 

Back to the dentist we are, me still dealing with all the problems with my pits and fissures and cavities that have come in underneath them and Madison just beginning her journey dealing with the exact same problem! Obviously inherited directly from her mother! Poor girl, we got sealants on her teeth in Colorado and obviously there’s no guarantee because the X-ray showed a cavity and when he removed the sealant, the cavity was really large! She’s seven. Crappy teeth unfortunately. Neither hubby nor I have great teeth and we both clean them and take care of them and have looked after our kids’ teeth too but I guess sometimes, it just doesn’t matter. I also had to discuss Ally’s treatment as we’re not sure of the best options there either. Being a parent is so difficult sometimes! Trying to figure out what’s best for your kids and what’s best financially! Sometimes I just don’t want to adult, let alone parent! I’ll let you know how it all goes afterwards. All this after a mid-afternoon margarita! OMG! 
So, just as a side note, the cardio recovery workout today was awful! Here I was looking forward to stretching but that was way beyond normal stretching! My legs are hurting from all those squats and pulses and lunges and holding it there! Wow! Rodan + Fields has all gone well today though, I’ll do the AMP MD tonight once again too and it’s time for the second last ACUTE Care treatment too! Well that’s it from me for tonight. I hope you and yours are fairing well and life is good.