Raising a Teenager…

First things first, Mom and Dad, I love and appreciate everything you ever did for me growing up! You Rocked as parents! I loved hanging out with you. Our house always felt safe. Having kids of my own entering their teens I understand how important it is for them to feel like they have a place where they can be themselves. I love being the house where kids gather and hang out.

Teenagers are naturally programmed to push the boundaries to get their own independence. One day parents are hilarious and the next day our behavior is embarrassing and frowned upon. That’s a hard transition to make as a parent. Words out of the mouths of babes are cute, out of the mouths of teenagers can sometimes sting.

Surging hormones, cry-laugh-bitch all within 3 minutes of each other sums up the unpredictable life of a teen. Remember how up and down your emotions were during puberty? My only hope is that I don’t go through peri-menopause at the same time my daughter goes through puberty or she’ll be going to the moon with Alice!

I was a great kid growing up, until my Mom wouldn’t let my older boyfriend (wild bill) who had a beard, study in my room with the door closed. Okay I find humour in that now, was it really that obvious! What-EVER! She turned into the opposition that day but fortunately it only lasted a short time, at least that’s my recollection. My Mom just let me ride the hormone wave until I was done while she maintained her loving support with my Dad at her side incase she needed the big guns for back-up. (she did, it worked) Thanks Mom! I learned a thing or two about respect in a very short time. (ya never call your Mom the B-word…doesn’t turn out in your favour…ever!)

When you’re a teen you can’t imagine your parents doing anything remotely close to sex so you assume you can pull the wool over their eyes! If your reading this Jordan, if your boyfriend has a beard, he won’t even be entering the front door let alone your pig sty you call a room! Fortunately for me my Mom was smart, understanding and stood her ground keeping me headed in the right direction. I can now appreciate how hard it was for her to deal with a girl-tween.

I have a 13 year old son who is way too charming and handsome for his own good and a 10 going on 16 year old girl who is starting to strike fear into us with how beautiful she is inside and out. Thank god she has a hilarious sense of humour! Her brother is going to have his work cut out for him in high school. The fun has just begun! I’m definitely up for the challenge and also have a great support system in place. Hugely important!

I liked my parents so I spent lots of time with them. They were cool parents that were always there for me no matter what. My Mom was generous, loving and very open and my Dad was encouraging and hilarious so were laughing all the time. We still do. I was never able to lie to my Mom, maybe because I didn’t need to. She was completely tuned into what I was up, and still is. She can tell by the sound of my voice what’s going on in my life. Honestly I always feel better after hearing her advice. I don’t always take it but I still like to hear it.

I recently had ‘the’ talk with my son on the way to a party about being aware and safe. I had the same talk my Dad had with me. He simply told me I was his only daughter who he loved and trusted and couldn’t imagine life without me. He always wanted me to be safe. I told my son how important it is to always have a clear mind. It’s when your mind is clouded that things can go terribly wrong. Teaching your kids to make conscious smart choices is so important, to be a leader not a follower. Its tough raising kids when they’re little but nothing prepares you for when they start to spread their wings to fly on their own, bitter sweet for sure. Telling your kids that you trust them right before they go out is like buying insurance, no kid really wants to disappoint their parents. Say it even if you don’t! 🙂 All kids make mistakes, the key is to be there for them when they do and support them, don’t say I told you so!

Kids need their parents when they are little to survive, but I think when they start to naturally push us away is when they need us more, even if it’s sitting together in silence. Just knowing your there if they reach out is sometimes all they need.

 

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Coaching and Sports!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACQUIE!! XOXO

Coaching has a huge influence on a child’s ability to excel. Good coaching can make or break your child’s experience in sports or any other extracurricular activity they partake in. You don’t really appreciate a good coach until you experience a questionable one. A coach can either send a child to the next level with the tools to move up or they have the ability to coach a child’s natural instinct right out of them.

I appreciate anyone who has taken on the task of coaching kids, it can be a challenge! A coach has to get to know your child in a short amount of time, assess them using their instinct to figure out where they fit best into the team, and at what level they should be playing. Every parent deep down just wants their child to be challenged and given the same opportunity to develop as the rest of the team. Having a great group of kids and parents is the ideal for development and fun in sports! With positive encouragement they will excel in leaps and bounds!

The coaches philosophy is what’s important, I would rather have my child coached by someone with integrity whom I would like to also spend time with than someone who only strives to win! A great coach not only teaches the skill of the sport, but shows by example what it is to be a good winner and loser. We all learn from mistakes, we don’t gain as much from winning as we do from losing. Losing teaches us how we can improve next time and has a way of humbling our egos. Winning definitely feels better and is the pay off for hard work. But sometimes even with lots of hard work we still don’t win. That’s what I love about watching sports, at play off time, it can be anyones game.

I’ve always told both my kids that there will always be someone who is better than you and someone who isn’t, what’s important is being the best you can be for yourself. Set goals and strive to reach them. Reaching goals goes hand in hand with making compromises in other areas of your life, no junk food, missing the school dance, hours of practise and most important, discipline. There is always someone else doing more than you are willing to do!

In all sports rivalries arise, and everything changes. It becomes Good vs Evil. When it’s about the other team losing and not about winning, you have to step back and think why you want to win, not why you want them to lose! If it’s because you want to kick their sorry asses because their coach got under your skin or you can’t stand to look at the gloating parents any longer, that’s wrong! lol Although it’s an enticing gamble, if you do win it feels just that much sweeter when you beat a team who doesn’t play fair. Good should prevail over Evil, right?

Sometimes teams who don’t play fair win too, that’s a part of life, it’s how you react to this is what makes you who you are and shows a great deal about your character. Do you continue to play your game, clean and fair with integrity or lower yourself to their game? Anyone who has played sports themselves or have kids in sports knows teams such as these with reputation for unfair play or parents who turn into monsters while the game is on! We all get caught up in the moment from time to time. I am not proud to say I have rung my cow bell in the direction of some opposing parents to rub in a goal, I am only human. This happens when passion for sport turns into obsession of winning at all costs! Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that IT’S A GAME! No one wants to lose to their nemesis, nothing sucks more, it feels better when defeat is to a team you feel is worthy of winning, one you would be proud to lose against. If you both played fair and hard and can appreciate the other teams skill, that is what it’s all about!

My son Jesse’s Lacrosse team won the Gold Metal in a tournament we attended in Calgary which was sweetened by him scoring the winning goal from a great pass from team mate Ryan A! They played hard as a team and won as a team, no one person was responsible for the win, they did it together and came out on top! Hard work, great coaching, supportive parents and the stars were aligned just perfectly! It doesn’t get much better than that!

We were ranked 2nd in our division entering into the Provincials last week but this time we came out 4th in the Province. What made me most proud of our boys was that when they came out of the dressing room they still smiled. They had their moment of disappointment, they talked about the game in the dressing room, and then moved on. I’m sure each and every one of them, coaches included, played over and over in their minds what they as an individual could have done better, that’s expected with any loss. It doesn’t change the outcome but it’s a great way to process the experience in order to move forward. Someone had to lose and we showed good sportsmanship by being proud of what we achieved this season. We held our heads high and were proud to be in the Provincials of Canada’s National Sport, Lacrosse!

Thank you Rob Bosa for your generosity, Rob Martel for your passion, Terry Stead for conditioning the boys and Tom Johnson for giving back to the younger generation, you made a real impression on all the boys!

The friendships these boy’s have made through Lacrosse will follow them into adulthood and give them memories they will look back on often. And last but not least… “there’s always next year”, right Brock! lol 🙂 I already miss your emails Laurie! xo

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Tracy Talks Aging Parents Adult Kids & Twaddle~ Edited Version !

TracyWe are here to inspire thoughts, provoke comments, create change, stimulate conversations and make our viewers look at themselves, as we have, and ask “Am I living my life authentically, with no regret, passionately?” “Am I being the change I want to create?”

My posts are based on My opinions! Tara Cronica is based on our opinions, our views, our perspective.  The way you can get involved is through the comments, if you keep them polite and respectful, otherwise your comments will be yours and only yours.  We love to be challenged, in fact it makes us giggle.  We write about what we feel passionate about which is varied among the three of us.  Suggestions are always welcome!

When someone ruffles my feathers I try to keep in mind that they don’t start out their day thinking “I am going to cause as many waves as humanly possible today.” Some of us, me at the top of the list, like to stir things up to get conversations rolling but never to intentionally be negative or hurt ones feelings.  I am not inside your head, and you’re not in mine (Thank God!) so we don’t really know what’s going to cause a riff at any given moment.

Aging Parents, Adult Kids~ I agree with Dr Joy Brown that children are obligated to have respect for their parents but I think that respect has to be reciprocated.  We pass an age where I think the playing field levels.  We become friends with our parents and their advice is still heard but perhaps not always taken.  What might be a mistake for them might not be for us.  I know it will be hard as my kids become more independent to keep my thoughts to myself because I get that as a parent we want what’s best for our kids.  In the learning years our job as parents is to guide our kids and it’s got to be difficult to stop that when they get older.  I know as a Mom my son will always be my little boy, same goes with my daughter.  As parents we take what we liked from what our parents taught us and add what we feel comfortable with and that is our ‘Parenting style’.  It’s all a guessing game really!

The motivation behind having children for me was to have little slaves serve me and clean up my house when I can remember it, not in my twilight years when they may as well be the neighbours kids because my memory has failed me, go for the brownie points early kids while we remember who did what…kidding.  I am not really keeping tabs, that will start much later when the buy in is significantly higher. hee hee.

I had children to bringing other souls into the world and have the life experience of taking care of them while watching them grow and go off on their own.  I will do my job to keep them safe and if asked will give my humble opinion.  I will not ‘expect’ anything in return when they become adults.  I hope  my kids want to spend time with me and I will do everything I can to make our time together memorable.  As the roles reverse and I become the ‘Aging Parent‘ I do know what role I want to play, I want to be involved and will take care of myself so that I can be very much a part of my grand children’s lives.  All of my grandparents were not a big part of my life for various reasons except my Nana, (Vilma Westerholm) who spent a lot of time with me.  I have written about her and I hope my kids kids feel about me, like I felt about her.  It’s a Special bond that you only get the opportunity to create for a short time in your life.

I think naturally as human beings we like to help out where and when we can because it feels good to do something for someone else.  We can say no if we are not able to.  I think if you continue to bail anyone out repeatedly whether a child/teen/adult it serves no purpose at all for their own growth in life.  You become an enabler and are no longer being a help.

If we do things because we WANT to not because we HAVE to, it truly makes the difference.  Each person has the right to say “No”.

When you expect something in return you are doing things for the wrong reasons.

I will do everything I can to help out my aging parents because I want to not because I have to, but it is a two way street.  They too need to compromise to make it work.  Same goes for my children.

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What events, if any in your childhood significantly influenced who you are now?

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie’s Happy Place~ Of course everything that happened in my life has influenced who I am today,  but the one that sticks out the most for me is the summer I spent with my grandparents when I was seven.  They lived on some acreage about an hour outside of Penticton, BC.  There was no running water or electricity and it felt to me like we were back in Laura Ingalls day.   I loved it.Wikiup We lived in what my grandparents called the “Wikiup” which was a large wooden one roomed tee pee that sat on the crest of a dry hill top.  It was a temporary home while my grandfather built their larger house in a better location a short distance away.  Their plan was to eventually build a golf course and the Wikiup was going to be part of the “Cowboys and Indians” themed club house. It doesn’t get any better for a seven year old tomboy.

Coming from my apartment in downtown Vancouver (Davie and Denman no less) to this wild country was better than chocolate to me.  I could run free all day long with Penny, my grandparents little dog.  I had no toys other than nature and I learned to rely on my imagination for my fun.  I was so close to nature and without any modern-day distractions during this time that I really believe I re-connected with my soul…my real Self.  It felt magical and I have never forgotten those times.  When life gets to be too much I can fall back into those memories and feel aligned again.  I can imagine I’m barefoot and jumping from one warm flat rock to the next in the creek or that I’m walking alone along the deer trails.   I can smell the warm pine needles, feel the hot sun on my back and hear the squirrels and birds chattering.  And I’m there again.  I’m back to my Self.

Post Insert Jacquie

Jacquie~ I don’t remember many specifics from my early years but one event really made a huge impact on me.  I had just started grade 2  and, as per usual, making friends was top priority.  I was playing with a group of older girls after school when one of them told a joke that made everyone laugh.  I filed that info away, and the next day in class we were asked to do a bit of creative writing.  I thought I was so clever!  I wrote down that joke as best I could remember it.   When it came my turn to stand in front of the class and read my draft I was sure I was going to have them rolling in the aisle, but instead the teacher very kindly but sternly reprimanded me and explained how hurtful these types of comments could be.  What?!  I had told a …racist joke?  What was that? I didn’t even realize until that moment that the words I had repeated could be so hurtful to so many in my own classroom!  All I had been thinking about was that I wanted to make the kids laugh the way the other girls had the day before.  I really hadn’t thought much about what the words actually meant.   I suddenly saw it so clearly and felt sick and ashamed, but I also remember my teacher being very understanding and me feeling so glad she wasn’t mad.  I looked at the kids in the class that I had offended like I was seeing them for the first time and wanted them to know I was truly sorry, that I simply hadn’t been thinking, and that ugliness wasn’t me.

I see this event as a pivotal moment because it taught me about the power of the written and/or spoken word and that I needed to pay more attention to what I was saying or doing.  It also made me realize I saw everyone as different ~ but equal.  I wish I could remember my teacher’s name and give her a shout-out because she also deserves credit for how she handled the situation.  I’m sure my ‘episode’ gave her a perfect opportunity to teach the kids about racism, tolerance and respect.  I know I learned a lesson that day I’ve never forgotten.

TracyTracy Reminisces~ This ones easy for me Bonnie.   We are influenced so much as children and I often wonder myself what events I have created in my kids lives that will help make them who they are becoming.

I would have to say without a doubt traveling throughout Europe for a year with my family when I was 10 years old would be the most significant event that influenced me.   Although I was only 10 years old and it took many years to really show up in my personality, it did impact me throughout my entire life and still does.  It showed me that there is an entire planet out there to explore.  I learned that people from all over the world were so different, yet so similar.  It broadened my horizon.

Tracy, Mohamad our guide for the Kasbah, ChrisI would daydream after that year long adventure about the people I met along the way, one I still write to after 35 years, Silvia who lives in the Netherlands.  Some only crossed my path for a day but they too are still a memory that will be with me after I am old and grey.

I became more independent.  As a family we compromised and worked things out because we were all we had.  It gave me a sense of freedom and confidence to live my life how I wanted to.  My parents were not like other parents when they quit their jobs and sold their house to travel.  They gave up security to live their lives the way they wanted to.  They were not conformists, which I totally admire.  Having kids didn’t stop them from living their lives.  They showed me that dreams are real, you just have to live them.  I continue to learn even now from that event or experience that happened so many years ago.  I also learned that balance is very important in life experience.  Which is what I am still striving for today.

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