Teenagers- The Struggle Is Real

A little voice inside my head says “Houston we have a problem” but I can’t laugh at this.

I want to laugh, I want to take a deep breath, smile and say it is all going to work out just fine but I can’t bring myself to do it.

The funny thing is I know it will be fine and that it will all work out, except there is a little whisper inside that says “what if you are wrong.”

It is the same voice that reminds me Houston isn’t responding, you are all alone.

Teenagers- The Struggle Is Real

There is an ongoing situation that I have tried not to write about because there are boundaries in blogging and some stories shouldn’t be shared this way.

It is not a complete secret among family and friends, this situation that is.

Hell, I know other parents who have teens who are facing much more serious stuff than we are, but let’s be honest about things.

That is their kid(s) and this is mine.

I feel concern and compassion, but it is never the same as when it is your own.


This promotion should be seen as one of the best things that has ever happened for me and my family.

It should be celebrated but I haven’t been able to do that the way I want to because there is an anchor around my legs.

A huge weight that tries to drown me each day.

I won’t give in and I won’t budge because intellectually I know I am best positioned to help my teen by succeeding here.

But emotionally, well some days I take a beating because there is always the voice that asks if there are better ways to go or smarter choices to be made.

Every day I wonder if I could or should do things differently.

But those aren’t questions that can be answered and I am focused on long term solutions and not short term bandages.

A High Threshold For Pain

Many years ago my doc told me I have a high threshold for physical pain.

I thought it was cool and smiled.

He shook his head and said it wasn’t always a good thing and told me I had hurt myself by not getting some things treated.

A couple of years ago we found out that my teen shares that too.

Kid broke his arm during a soccer game but we didn’t know because he fell and bounced right back up again.

He had some pain the week after but we all figured it was just sore after the fall and since he was using his arm we went about our business.

When he still felt pain the following week I told him it was time to get it checked out and we discovered he had a minor break.

Doc was surprised to find out he hadn’t complained more and then my teen said he didn’t think it hurt enough to see a doctor.

I felt guilty and wondered if I should have taken him in earlier, but when I asked he said he didn’t think he needed it so I went with what he said.

Cut to the future and I see that the current situation we are in is because of that high threshold and I wonder if the sins of the father are visited upon the son.


Ask Your Father

I called my dad last night to check in and see how he is doing.

“Three surgeries in five weeks is enough, cut it out.”

He laughed and told me he is feeling much better.

“Glad to hear it, making good progress on the job, but not as much as  I would like.”

“You made the best choice you could make and are doing the right thing. Stop beating yourself up over things you can’t control.”

He paused and filled the silence with another comment.

“I don’t have to see your face to know you are irritated but trust me I know something about raising teenagers and I know you.”

It made me laugh and I told him he was lucky I was so damn easy.

“Don’t kid yourself, you were a huge pain-in-the-ass and you won’t solve this until he is ready to do it. So let go and do what you need to do to be successful at work because that is the best you can do to help.”

I thanked my father, asked him a few more questions and then smiled when he said he wished his dad was still here.

“He’d tell you what I did, but he’d say it better and  maybe he’d know more about how to help. Wish I could ask him.”

Conversations With Teens

Told the kid I have faith in him but that my faith wouldn’t prevent his own stupidity.

“Sooner or later the things we do catch up with us and it won’t matter how lucky you have been. We either get smart or stay stupid.”

It wasn’t exactly what Ben Franklin said but it was close enough for my point to be made.

We went back and forth for a few more minutes and I wondered if he really heard what I was saying and asked him if he was listening.

He assured me he was and yet somehow the conversation turned ugly.

It is not something that normally happens or one that I am used to with him.

But like a good teen he figured out what buttons to push and I finally reacted.

The apologies came hours later from both of us and I told him again I had faith in him, said this doesn’t have to be the defining moment.

He pushed back on that and I told him the advantage of age and experience is that I can see things differently than he can.

Said he didn’t have to accept it and that I probably wouldn’t have at his age either.

But damn, I wish he would.

Teenagers, the struggle is real.

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  1. Larry November 1, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Sorry, you are having such a rough time with the teen. My oldest is one year away from that status.
    Anyway, I hope he will get it together – with your assistance and encouragement – and figure things out.

  2. kat November 1, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Yep, the struggle is definitely real. Mine are 16 (girl) and 18 (boy) and getting them to see that, perhaps, I may actually know what I’m talking about can sometimes be an uphill battle; especially with the boy. I guess he’s not really a “boy” anymore but he sure doesn’t know all that he thinks he knows. I’ve learned that I have to pick my battles and sometimes let them make their own mistakes. After all, that’s how I learned what I know now.

    • Jack Steiner November 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      It feels like we are going uphill both directions sometimes and I am amazed by how quickly things can turn. I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.

      I understand the battle to get them to recognize we are not just making things up and that some of our experiences are the same as the ones they are going through.

  3. sailwawasee November 1, 2016 at 8:54 am

    It sure is a tough one; the job of parent. Been here too so sending empathy and good wishes that things keep moving forward towards the positive.

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