If you have a teenage child who is facing drug abuse problems, reading teenage drug abuse articles online or otherwise may teach you how to deal with such an issue appropriately.
Parenting Tips for A Truckers Wife
by Jennifer S.
Parenting Today’s Teenagers as a “Truckers Wife”
Women in today's world have more challenges than ever before in history, (the current economic crises aside) Lovers, House keepers, Laundress, Friend, Daughter, Wife, Mother- and add to this already complicated role-employee's.
I have to ask, with so many roles, what falls behind? What do we lose in the process? It has long been considered the "norm" for mothers to stay home, yet we fought for equality to be able to work along side men, and to earn the same wages. Although still we are not completely there, we are making progress. Yet, are we really?
Now add to this role the “Single Wife” role that we play as a Driver’s significant other.It is very hard to say the least. We are to be the mother and the father all at once. This is what my daughter calls a MoFa- Mother/father all rolled into one. I have to say the first time she said it I thought about backhanding her, Of course she quickly explained, and we were both quite relieved.
The job of a woman is never easy, and yea, yea, yea, I know, Men do not have it easy either- but I am not speaking about men, I am talking about women, those of us that wonder what it is that we are trying to prove.
With each generation, the generation before says "What is wrong with these kids today, we would never have considered that when we were kids." Or the so often heard "When I was a kid, I walked 10 miles to school with no shoes."
I guess my point is- what do we lose in our lives when we take on much more than we can handle? We often find ourselves caught up in the "Keeping up with the Jones", Why is it that with each passing generation, we want our kids to have more than the last generation.
At this point, I cannot help but to ask- how much is that brand new car worth, 20-50 thousand? Your home, with its 4 bedrooms, 2 car garage, what is it worth 180 thousand? Now let me ask you- what is your child worth? If you were to put an estimated value on the life of your child, would he/she be worth 250 thousand? I don’t know about you, but my answer is "priceless".
With that said, How many are aware that between the hours of 3-6pm are the most dangerous hours for teenagers, and the most likely for them to get into trouble, experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex, and engage in other illegal activities?
Of course, with this said, we understand that the reason these hours are so dangerous, is because these are the hours that most "latch key" kids are unattended.
We think- Finally, I can get a job, my children are old enough to supervise themselves, I don't need daycare. Now mind you, I am not advocating day care for a 16 year old. I am asking you to consider where you are, and how strongly do you believe that our children are our future generations?
Research has found that 1 in every 5, 8th graders has tried illegal drugs (more importantly, marijuana) Now with this being said, many parents have the attitude that "its just pot." Nothing major will come of this- I have to say this. The gateway drug's into illicit drug use starts with marijuana. Then when left unattended, or overlooked, the chances increase dramatically to the use of other more potent and illegal drug use.
In a speech I give every month to 120 teen's and parents, I asked this of the audience, if marijuana is "a natural substances, then are you going to go out, pull some poison ivy, roll it into paper and smoke it?" Of course I got a lot of chuckles, but when they got serious, the answer was a unanimous "No."
In the 1950's, the average age for girls losing their virginity was 19 and boys comparably at 18. The average age in 2008 for girls was 15, as it was the same for boys.
The latest data, from an annual analysis of birth certificates nationwide, found that while the birthrate among girls ages 10 to 14 remained unchanged, the overall rate for those ages 15 to 19 rose again, from 41.9 births per 1,000 to 42.5.
Girls are no longer immune as they seem to have been in the 50's to crimes. Girl’s statistics has raised a sharp 25% in the last 5 years. Is it that girls are getting more out of control, or that we are now placing just as much responsibility on girls for their actions than we did years ago? Or is it that we are giving them more freedom that they are not mature enough to handle? Right, wrong, or Indifferent, we are still finding that kids are becoming more and more out of control!
All-in-All, you cannot help but to wonder why the difference now? Why is it that it seems our "children are getting worse?" Is it our "Not my kid" syndrome that we all tend to believe that our children are angelic and would never do something like this? Or is it that we actually have lost ourselves in making sure that our children want for nothing? That they have the best of the best? The cell phones, the nice car at 16, the stereo's, DVD players, the big screen TV's, and lets not forget the 100 dollar shoes, and 75.00 dollar jeans. And what about the Game stations, the computers, on and on and on.
When is it that we as parents are going to wake up and realize that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? When do we take a step back and reevaluate what should truly be important to everyone’s future?
When we are sitting back in our 70's, and we see the world of chaos that we alone have created, we are the only ones that can be blamed. We are raising our future!!! We are responsible for our Presidents, our Doctors, our Lawyers, our steel mill workers, our construction workers, our stay at home mothers, and of course our truck drivers. ;)
We alone are solely responsible for what our future looks like. I have no magic wand, nor does any mother, to make things perfect in the universe. We have no "answer" that will make every child behave and unfortunately there is no A B C book, on perfect parenting.
Kids are going to be Kids, but it is what you teach them while they are young that they will remember. It’s the roots that they have to come back too.
However, it is extremely important that we take a long look at our lives, and figure out what is in the best interest of the family as an entire entity. Not just "parents vs. children".
There is no freedom gained when you children are teen's. In fact, it is 100% my belief this is when they need you the most. Not when they are 1-10. But from 10-25!
The brain is not fully developed until a child is 25 years old, now this is of course taking into consideration that the child is not currently using illegal drugs. If a child begins to use drugs, the age of onset-for arguments sake, let’s say 15, the brain has stopped maturing mentally, and will stagnate at that age until after sobriety.
Children are a LIFE time commitment, I often tease my children that even after they have moved out- they truly never have. I still do laundry for my 20 year old, when she comes over, and changers her clothes, I often find shoes, clothing, and other garments in my laundry. My fridge is raided daily, and often enough so is my closet.
We all have to make our choices, and we must all live with the consequences there of. But, I implore you to weigh your options carefully. Struggling financially now will be worth the sacrifice when your children are adults, and you know you have done the best you can!
With our husbands gone all the time, of course, the majority of these issues fall squarely on our shoulders. We must stop and think- what can we do to help our children become successful and productive members of our society.
It MUST start when they are young. We MUST teach our kids some very solid foundations in life. Even with these foundations firmly in place, it must be understood that these kids will try their hand in “peer pressure issues” that will face them. Not all, but the majority of children will steal a beer, or some whiskey out of you cupboard. Some will circum to the peer pressure of drugs, and most will try to smoke a cigarette. Whether we like it or not, it is a reality that I have already faced, and deal with on a daily basis.
What is the most important for your child during these years is YOU- Do you remember rebelling against your parents rules, those that you knew that they would kill you for (of course an exaggeration). Despite your “running wild” we all tend to come back to our solid foundations that our parents taught us. This is so important in raising your children.
We must provide a set of morals, that even when you’re faced with very tough situations, it is YOU in the back of their head nagging them. The proverbial Angel and Devil cartoon’s on each of their shoulders. Of course, the Super-Ego, and the ID (Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche)
Since my kids where young, I have had 5 major rules (these are hard to apply to a baby, but they can be added too- but this foundation will take them beyond infancy, beyond the horrid and sometimes terrifying teen-aged years, beyond the “freedom” of their young adult years. Here they are. (My kids can repeat these verbatim)
1.) No Sex, No Drugs2.) No Alcohol, No Tobacco3.) Be where you are suppose to be, when you are to be there4.) Do NOT touch what does not belong to you5.) Respect the others in the home.
If you look at these rules they are so important- they are of course life lessons! There are of course other rules in the home, but these are the 5 main issues that will arise in the teen years. Of course as adults some of them will be forgotten, but the basis for a moral outlook on life is there.
There are so very many battles as a MoFa that you can fight, but you seriously have to sit back, and look at it. What is truly important? Is the fact that your children are fighting, and screaming “MOM” at the top of your lungs a battle that you want to take on? How about those loads of laundry that you do, you find on the floor in their bedroom. Is that a worthy battle?
The way I deal with it is this. If I fought every battle, I would be too worn out to win the war.
Every one is going to look at situations from a different point of view. When dealing with Teenagers- you MUST have consistency, and YOU MUST be aware of every move they make. Being their friend could be the worst mistake of THEIR lives.
You want to take on the battles that you know are life lessons. Kids are going to make mistakes, it is part of the learning process…they will likely make the mistake more than once, and that mistake will repeat itself over and over. But it is these mistakes that build character. Your reactions to these mistakes—or life lessons are truly important. If your child is out doing drugs, and steals your car one night when you are sleeping- This is a battle that must be dealt with. I 100% advocate having the child arrested. Quick and Swift punishment in these situations are mandatory, and the only way they are going to learn this very hard lesson, is to be aware that even as children they are held to society Standards. It is hard as a parent to make such decisions. But we have to think in the “future”, not in the today.
Again, the rules of thumb in being the “Single Wife and MoFa” are first and foremost, consistency! Secondly, pick and choose your battles accordingly. Rule your home with love, understanding, patience, all the while, remembering you are more than just mom- you are now the MoFa.
Our future is a scary thought to me at this point. I often am confronted with parents that could careless, and allow their children to run amuck. Unfortunately when I look into the faces of these young men and women, I often find myself disappointed in my Generation and their inability to raise children with Respect.
Today’s parents are afraid of discipline. We all know, but mostly are afraid to voice the Iron fist rule of the government in their “do not spank your child” laws, that they now regret, and are letting up on.
It is a fact, that in the state I live, a parent is allowed to use corporal punishment in their home. Believe me, there is a very thin line between discipline and abuse. Parents must use with caution. Not many speak of this issue because truly we are afraid. I however, am not. I feel this is just 1 in the many places that parenting went wrong. I make it quite clear on my stance on this type of punishment. However, even though I do agree with it. I use it sparingly! I honestly cannot remember the last time I have used it in my home.
Great punishments such as grounding can usually more effective anyway. I once had my daughter (she was 8 at the time) get grounded for something. I really don’t remember what it was. But she actually came to me and said “I don’t want to be grounded, I would rather you spank me instead” I was quite shocked by this. She was very serious. I of course refused the offer- my reason- It hurt more to be grounded for the evening, then to have 3-4 swats on her behind. The point was made more effective, and more time to think about it. You may find that your kids sway one way or the other. When a punishment is handed down, it is always important that “the punishment fit the crime.”
Teenaged children are a category all on their own; you know what really gets to your teen. The phone, The TV, borrowing the car, things like this are handy things to use for punishment.
In summary, it is hard being the “Single Wife, and the Mofa”. It is a multi-situational role, which we must stop and consider what we are losing in the process. We could likely be working towards our retirement, but be losing our future in the process. I am not asking you to “quit” your job. But I do believe we all need to stop and consider what we are losing in the process.
Chin up, and give yourself a pat on the back. It is never easy being a “Truckers Wife,” nor is it ever going to receive a great reward, but as we lay our heads on our pillow at night, we have got to be satisfied with our efforts for that day ;)
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