Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Guest Blogger: Talking to Teens

Our guest blogger today is my dear friend and veteran homeschooling Mom, Kristi Scorcio. As you can see from the pic, Kristi is the Mom of 3 teen + boys (and 1 daughter), and therefore is my go-to gal whenever I want to be assured that yes, indeed, all this craziness is normal.

When any of my three teenage sons come home, whether it's after a college class or a part time job or even from a movie, they usually head for the kitchen. I wander in to join them saying things like, "Did you have fun?" "Who was there?" "Did you eat?" and "Anything interesting happen?"

They respond in polite but terse answers. Instead of taking the hint and stopping the questions, I persist. "When do you work next week?" "How did your test go?" "Did you get your research paper back yet?"

Why do I keep asking them questions? Because they should talk to me!

Raising boys. Will I never learn to let them talk in their own time?

Two days later, while I'm browning the hamburger for chili or sorting a load of socks (where is the mate for this sock?) or sweeping the floor (there's the back to that earring) – they may find me and talk, in their own time, in their own way.

When one of our sons was 15 years old, I would drop him off at the community college at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday, for a pre-calculus class. After the class he would get into the van, smile politely at me and then sit silently.

I grew more and more agitated until I hit upon a plan. After he had settled in, buckled his seat belt and we were headed home, I would say "What's the worst thing that happened in class today?"I would then pause, listen to his answer, comment in an accepting way and then say "What's the best thing that happened in class today?"

He tolerated this for a day or so and then when his tolerance had become maxed out, he said "Mom, what BOOK did you get THIS idea from?"

I promised to stop asking so many questions about his class and he promised to tell me if anything worth talking about ever happened. Seems he only wanted to talk when he had something important to say.

Some mothers tell me that their sons are chatty and their daughters the silent ones. Not in our house. My daughter and I can gab on for hours, especially after she's been away from home. "Who was there?""What was the movie about?" "When is the next meeting?" And she ANSWERS me. She even volunteers information and funny stories.

Don't get me wrong. These same boys, who may not be talking right now, can tell stories that make me laugh so hard I cry. At times they pour out their concerns and worries and dreams. But the key seems to be that they talk when they feel it's the right time.

Drives me crazy!

Oh, oh. I just heard one of them come home. Maybe I'll go down to the kitchen and brown some hamburger. I could sure use a funny story about now.

1 comment:

  1. My boy loves to chat and chat he does. But I'd rather it be that way than to not know what is going on. My dd is more the silent one(I think because her brother dominates the conversation), but when there's something she has to tell me, she does.