Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

Month: July 2011

Stranger Danger at 14

Some weeks ago my daughter called me at work telling me there were two men knocking on the door and ringing the doorbell constantly. I told her it was probably people soliciting. A few minutes later, I get another call from my daughter, whispering, “Mom, there are two guys in the house. I can hear them walking around in the house.” I told her she must me mistaken because we have an alarm set in the house and it would have gone off.

Needless to say I was so wrong. The terror in her voice was one you hear and see in movies. Denial is the first emotion I felt because, this cannot be happening is what I thought. I told her to hide in her closet and call 911.

As she went to go see if the alarm was on, the robbers saw her and took off out of the house.  My daughter ran to her room and hid in the closet with the 911 operator on the phone with her until the police came.

I frantically called my husband who works 7 minutes away and told him that someone broke into the house with Olivia home. He took off and I took off for a 45 minute commute from Miami. Let me say, it was a long ride home. Helpless is the best word to describe how I felt and terrified for my daughter and her ordeal. I had no idea what I was coming home to. I did not let my mind think the worst.

I called my husband and asked how Olivia was doing. She was fine. The robbers did not take anything, he said.  They smashed a window and ransacked our bedroom. As I pulled up to the house, all I wanted to do was hold my daughter tight and protect her from this world, but I knew that wasn’t realistic.

As I entered finding a forensics team and police officers, I got to my daughter and hugged her and asked her if she was okay? She seemed perfectly fine! I was shocked. Was she in shock or did she not like the attention? I did not want her to know or sense that I was scared for her because clearly she was not.

The police mentioned to my husband and I that they reason the robbers left was because of our daughter. They also mentioned how  great she conducted herself and handled the whole situation. It was because of her that they did not rob us. It was at this point that I realized how proud I was of my daughter and that maybe this teen who doesn’t like mom to shop at Hollister with her, just may be growing up.

My husband mentioned to me later that night how proud he, too, was of her and that all the years of teaching our kids about “stranger danger” and what to do had paid off.

The incident was something I will never forget and do not wish on any parent, however, I will always remember how brave my daughter was that day.

Should there be text-free zones?

texting on bike

A few days ago, I asked my two older kids if they wanted to go on a bike ride. It was dusk, the scorching hot sun was beginning to set and I thought it would be a great way to exercise and talk about our days. Foolish me.

We’re riding along and I hear that familiar buzz…..someone is receiving a text message. I didn’t even realize the kids’ had their cells with them. Suddenly my son’s thumbs spring into texting position. The buzz has caused my daughter to look at her phone, too.  Next thing I know, both my kids are riding and texting at the same time. I slammed on my brakes. “This is ridiculous,” I screamed. “Can’t you put those things away and enjoy a bike ride?”

The incident started me thinking about cell phones and restrictions. I’ve made it clear to my kids that the driver’s seat of a car is a text-free zone. So is our dinner table. Now that my daughter spent $200 on a BlackBerry, she wouldn’t think of getting ketchup on it anyway.  Text-free dining has become accepted in our home and when my kids have friends over, they voluntarily tell their friends the house rule. Though, they probably won’t admit it, I think they like the non-interrupted time to talk about their day.

I know other parents who don’t really mind their kids texting at the dinner table. Mostly, because the parents do it, too.

Pew Research found teens send an average of 3,000 a month. If you have a daughter, you might not be surprised to know that teen girls text more than boys, the research shows.

So far, I haven’t made our bathrooms text-free zones. I’m still considering it. My kids take their phones in to the bathroom with them. I caught my daughter opening the shower curtain because she couldn’t wait the five minutes until she finished to see the text that just arrived on her phone.

My friend recently created a drop box in front of her patio door for cell phones. She doesn’t think they have any business outside by the pool where people should be enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. I kind of like that idea.

One parenting site suggests making teens’ beds text-free zones. Many teens stay up into the wee hours of the morning texting instead of getting the sleep they need.

What are your thoughts on text-free zones at home? Do you think they are too difficult to enforce?

Should there be text-free zones?

texting on bike

A few days ago, I asked my two older kids if they wanted to go on a bike ride. It was dusk, the scorching hot sun was beginning to set and I thought it would be a great way to exercise and talk about our days. Foolish me.

We’re riding along and I hear that familiar buzz…..someone is receiving a text message. I didn’t even realize the kids’ had their cells with them. Suddenly my son’s thumbs spring into texting position. The buzz has caused my daughter to look at her phone, too.  Next thing I know, both my kids are riding and texting at the same time. I slammed on my brakes. “This is ridiculous,” I screamed. “Can’t you put those things away and enjoy a bike ride?”

The incident started me thinking about cell phones and restrictions. I’ve made it clear to my kids that the driver’s seat of a car is a text-free zone. So is our dinner table. Now that my daughter spent $200 on a BlackBerry, she wouldn’t think of getting ketchup on it anyway.  Text-free dining has become accepted in our home and when my kids have friends over, they voluntarily tell their friends the house rule. Though, they probably won’t admit it, I think they like the non-interrupted time to talk about their day.

I know other parents who don’t really mind their kids texting at the dinner table. Mostly, because the parents do it, too.

Pew Research found teens send an average of 3,000 a month. If you have a daughter, you might not be surprised to know that teen girls text more than boys, the research shows.

So far, I haven’t made our bathrooms text-free zones. I’m still considering it. My kids take their phones in to the bathroom with them. I caught my daughter opening the shower curtain because she couldn’t wait the five minutes until she finished to see the text that just arrived on her phone.

My friend recently created a drop box in front of her patio door for cell phones. She doesn’t think they have any business outside by the pool where people should be enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. I kind of like that idea.

One parenting site suggests making teens’ beds text-free zones. Many teens stay up into the wee hours of the morning texting instead of getting the sleep they need.

What are your thoughts on text-free zones at home? Do you think they are too difficult to enforce?

Should there be text-free zones?

texting on bike

A few days ago, I asked my two older kids if they wanted to go on a bike ride. It was dusk, the scorching hot sun was beginning to set and I thought it would be a great way to exercise and talk about our days. Foolish me.

We’re riding along and I hear that familiar buzz…..someone is receiving a text message. I didn’t even realize the kids’ had their cells with them. Suddenly my son’s thumbs spring into texting position. The buzz has caused my daughter to look at her phone, too.  Next thing I know, both my kids are riding and texting at the same time. I slammed on my brakes. “This is ridiculous,” I screamed. “Can’t you put those things away and enjoy a bike ride?”

The incident started me thinking about cell phones and restrictions. I’ve made it clear to my kids that the driver’s seat of a car is a text-free zone. So is our dinner table. Now that my daughter spent $200 on a BlackBerry, she wouldn’t think of getting ketchup on it anyway.  Text-free dining has become accepted in our home and when my kids have friends over, they voluntarily tell their friends the house rule. Though, they probably won’t admit it, I think they like the non-interrupted time to talk about their day.

I know other parents who don’t really mind their kids texting at the dinner table. Mostly, because the parents do it, too.

Pew Research found teens send an average of 3,000 a month. If you have a daughter, you might not be surprised to know that teen girls text more than boys, the research shows.

So far, I haven’t made our bathrooms text-free zones. I’m still considering it. My kids take their phones in to the bathroom with them. I caught my daughter opening the shower curtain because she couldn’t wait the five minutes until she finished to see the text that just arrived on her phone.

My friend recently created a drop box in front of her patio door for cell phones. She doesn’t think they have any business outside by the pool where people should be enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. I kind of like that idea.

One parenting site suggests making teens’ beds text-free zones. Many teens stay up into the wee hours of the morning texting instead of getting the sleep they need.

What are your thoughts on text-free zones at home? Do you think they are too difficult to enforce?

Mom shops at Hollister?

So 2 weeks ago I take my 14 year old daughter shopping at the mall for her annual summer trip to NY to visit family.  She wanted to use her birthday money and gift cards to buy clothes at Hollister .

So far so good! Well, we enter the dark, cologne smelling store with loud music and friendly staff. My daughter starts her shopping and I decide to go to the sales table to look at tank tops for me. Well,  it did not take long before my daughter comes up to me and says “Mom, YOU are NOT shopping at Hollister! Mom’s don’t shop at Hollister. You are too old for this store. OMG, I can’t believe you are buying something here!” I told her that the tanks did not even have the Hollister name on it only the small logo at the bottom of the tank. That did not convince her. Off she went in a huff with a face filled with horror. 

When we were ready to check out, she sternly says to me, “Give me your tops, make it look like I am buying them.” I just stood there looking at her and thinking, she is not serious. This is not happening. But, I was wrong. She took them as if they were hers and I paid for them!!

As you know from my intro from Cindy Goodman, I am a proud and active PTA mom. I say this so you will understand her next comment as we are leaving Hollister. “Mom, what are you a PTA Mom wearing teenage clothes to try to relive your teenage years?” In utter shock, I said “No.” I just wanted two tank tops, not because I wanted to feel like I was a teenager or that I could fit in the tank but, that I really like the tops.  She also decided to hold the bag with my tanks so it looks like she bought them. I don’t make this stuff up. I am not old and I don’t feel old but heck my daughter sure thinks and makes me feel like I am. 

So, I ask you, is it okay for Mom’s to shop at Hollister? Are we trying to feel or look younger by wearing their clothes or is this just our teenager’s feeling embarrassed by their mom shopping in their store?

Mom shops at Hollister?

So 2 weeks ago I take my 14 year old daughter shopping at the mall for her annual summer trip to NY to visit family.  She wanted to use her birthday money and gift cards to buy clothes at Hollister .

So far so good! Well, we enter the dark, cologne smelling store with loud music and friendly staff. My daughter starts her shopping and I decide to go to the sales table to look at tank tops for me. Well,  it did not take long before my daughter comes up to me and says “Mom, YOU are NOT shopping at Hollister! Mom’s don’t shop at Hollister. You are too old for this store. OMG, I can’t believe you are buying something here!” I told her that the tanks did not even have the Hollister name on it only the small logo at the bottom of the tank. That did not convince her. Off she went in a huff with a face filled with horror. 

When we were ready to check out, she sternly says to me, “Give me your tops, make it look like I am buying them.” I just stood there looking at her and thinking, she is not serious. This is not happening. But, I was wrong. She took them as if they were hers and I paid for them!!

As you know from my intro from Cindy Goodman, I am a proud and active PTA mom. I say this so you will understand her next comment as we are leaving Hollister. “Mom, what are you a PTA Mom wearing teenage clothes to try to relive your teenage years?” In utter shock, I said “No.” I just wanted two tank tops, not because I wanted to feel like I was a teenager or that I could fit in the tank but, that I really like the tops.  She also decided to hold the bag with my tanks so it looks like she bought them. I don’t make this stuff up. I am not old and I don’t feel old but heck my daughter sure thinks and makes me feel like I am. 

So, I ask you, is it okay for Mom’s to shop at Hollister? Are we trying to feel or look younger by wearing their clothes or is this just our teenager’s feeling embarrassed by their mom shopping in their store?

Mom shops at Hollister?

So 2 weeks ago I take my 14 year old daughter shopping at the mall for her annual summer trip to NY to visit family.  She wanted to use her birthday money and gift cards to buy clothes at Hollister .

So far so good! Well, we enter the dark, cologne smelling store with loud music and friendly staff. My daughter starts her shopping and I decide to go to the sales table to look at tank tops for me. Well,  it did not take long before my daughter comes up to me and says “Mom, YOU are NOT shopping at Hollister! Mom’s don’t shop at Hollister. You are too old for this store. OMG, I can’t believe you are buying something here!” I told her that the tanks did not even have the Hollister name on it only the small logo at the bottom of the tank. That did not convince her. Off she went in a huff with a face filled with horror. 

When we were ready to check out, she sternly says to me, “Give me your tops, make it look like I am buying them.” I just stood there looking at her and thinking, she is not serious. This is not happening. But, I was wrong. She took them as if they were hers and I paid for them!!

As you know from my intro from Cindy Goodman, I am a proud and active PTA mom. I say this so you will understand her next comment as we are leaving Hollister. “Mom, what are you a PTA Mom wearing teenage clothes to try to relive your teenage years?” In utter shock, I said “No.” I just wanted two tank tops, not because I wanted to feel like I was a teenager or that I could fit in the tank but, that I really like the tops.  She also decided to hold the bag with my tanks so it looks like she bought them. I don’t make this stuff up. I am not old and I don’t feel old but heck my daughter sure thinks and makes me feel like I am. 

So, I ask you, is it okay for Mom’s to shop at Hollister? Are we trying to feel or look younger by wearing their clothes or is this just our teenager’s feeling embarrassed by their mom shopping in their store?

A new contributor shares her thoughts and raising teen dilemmas

I want to introduce you to Raquel Alderman. She’s the mother of two and a real go-getter. Raquel always makes me laugh with her parenting tales and I’m thrilled that she will begin contributing to this blog and sparking conversation with readers.

Raquel’s day job is Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Miami Children’s Musuem.  She was born in Mamaroneck, NY and moved to South Florida 30 years ago but still considers herself a New Yorker. She has been married for 20 years and has daughter who is 14 and son who is 9.

In her free time, which is rare, she enjoys traveling, being involved in the PTA, running, spinning, working out and spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys her sports-Heat, Dolphins, NASCAR racing and her alma mater’s, Florida State, football games.

Look for her first post in the next few days.

–Cindy

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