First time mum of a high schooler

So we've managed to survive our first term of high school - phew!

I have to say that having a child start high school is less stressful than when he started kindergarten.  Could also be that the poor child is the eldest of five so I'm not too fussed by the lack of communication from the school to the parents (which I know lots of parents find hard).

I've also decided that it's time for him to step up and take a lot more responsibility with his homework and projects.  In many ways knowing less is good.  I can't rescue him because I actually don't know much about what's going on.  When he doesn't study for a test - well, he's certainly feeling the consequences of that (except for the time he fudged his way through a history test and got full marks - all thanks to those "Horrible History" books!).

The thing that is a bit painful is his last minuteness - sudden remembering of homework due the next day at 8:30pm.  We've been pretty tough on him about this - he needs to go to bed at a reasonable hour and just needs to start his homework earlier.  Of course, we are apparently the only parents in the entire universe who have a set bedtime for their Year 7 child so there has been some unhappiness about this at times.  Most of the time he doesn't argue - he's pretty exhausted.

We're also apparently not giving him enough freedom and his friends at school keep pushing him, to push the boundaries of what we will and won't let him do.  Fairly tedious.  The fact that we won't let him hang out on the internet whenever he likes, doing whatever he likes is also apparently outrageous and I quote, oppressive (we sound like some kind of military regime).  The shock, horror of - gasp - not being able to watch M movies continues (although I'm not really sure what he's up to at his friend's houses - see, I can be a bit chilled!).

I feel a great weariness descending about the years ahead - the ongoing battle between what we think is acceptable, what his peer's families are cool with and how to not make him feel ripped off and resentful and angry with us the whole time.  Ahh - deep breaths.


Gordon Cheng said…
This is reassuring as the Cheng household faces near identical issues with eldest daughter in year 7. 8.30 is the bedtime here too, so you can quote at least one household which does exactly the same.

And, we no longer run rescue missions to school, or anywhere, with forgotten sports gear.
Tasmanian said…
I only have three preschoolers, but my sister has five kids and their youngest is 15. They are sociable, intelligent, helpful and successful in Uni and budding careers. They too had set bedtimes as teenagers, had to petition their parents to watch ANYTHING, and had limited internet time on the family room computer. It inspires me to parent the same way, because they are such awesome young adults, and with no frustration toward their parents. In fact, they all tell me that looking back they are grateful for their parents' boundaries etc. Well, except the 15 year old. But that will pass.
Jenny said…
Thanks for the encouragement Tasmanian - your sister's kids give me great hope!
Deb L said…
Like the new photo.
Motherhugger said…
This today. 10 y o at friend's house with other girls. Someone suggested watching an M rated movie. My child says no - she doesn't want to and thinks it is a bad idea. Other children watch the movie, even though they know they aren't allowed to. She does her own thing on her own while the others watch the movie, and she's disappointed no-one backed her up. One girl tells her dad as he picks her up, so they know they've done the wrong thing. And yes, it was Harry Potter, but it is still M.

I asked if it was likely her friends would hang out at our place, or don't we have enough electronic gadgets (no ipods, iphones, xbox, wii, flatscreen etc) and she said no, due to having younger sisters.

It helps to know we're swimming against the tide together.

As for high school, I'm kind of looking forward to not being so involved...
I have been really encouraged in the last month to keep persevering in this too (although our oldest is only 10, we haven't quite got to the highschool issues yet) - Tedd Tripp came here for a "Shepherding Your Child's Heart" conference. It was an excellent reminder of the big picture and what our goals are in parenting. We have had a really good response from our kids when we talk to them about why we make decisions and put limits for them - i.e. because we want to honour God. I think it helps when they know that you love them and have a goal - your "oppression" is not just random.

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