Fourteen and frazzled

Fourteen year old with air rifle

If you’ve been around and reading lately, you’ll have picked up on the fact that I’m feeling my cup is overly full at the moment. I cannot really comfortably complain, we are so fortunate to be in a position where we can decide to homeschool our youngest and take on the extra stress that it will place on our work schedules at home. So don’t catch me complaining, or at least don’t let me try and get away with it.

Interestingly, our older boy is feeling some extra pressure in his own life these days. It’s been a big year starting high school and juggling all of his extracurricular activities, including a job at our local library that has temporarily grown from two to three shifts per week. I was also working at his age, and had other activities and pursuits, but I don’t recall ever feeling quite so busy as he obviously is and feels. We still expect good pitching in at home too, so there isn’t much time for R&R (though his dad and I are good at making sure we get a break together on weekends – we had a movie and Chinese takeout when his little brother was away at camp this past weekend).

Realizing that he can feel the pressure at this tender age is eye opening and helpful, and it makes me all the more grateful that he willingly accompanied me on the jaunt to view our otter/fisher the other morning. He got into the spirit in his own way, choosing to bring along his air rifle. Not to take aim at the poor creature, but to use the sight to improve what he could see of it!

Teen looking through sight of air rifle

6 thoughts on “Fourteen and frazzled

  1. We sure relate to this post around here – we too have a 14 yr old in her first year of high school. For us, though, the trail was broken by her older sister a few years ago, so we are not completely caught by surprise this time round. It was a tough year when our eldest went through it though. Funny you should post about it, I was mulling over my thoughts in this area today.

    1. It’s funny how the universe can echo what we’re thinking. My husband does have an adult daughter, so I wasn’t completely unprepared for the teen years, but her upbringing was so different (private school in the UK, nothing outside of it), and I find that with my firstborn I tend to cast myself back to my own youth for comparison.

  2. I feel that there is alot of pressure on today’s youth – either ‘self inflicted’ or by default of society….. At times, life is moving SO fast for them, it’s prudent to just take a step back – perhaps cutting back on some activities. I remember as an adult with babies and young children, having to do just that when the pressure to say ‘yes’ to all things was stressful.
    Teens still need HOME and caring parents more than anything – they are trying so hard to be independant and grow up, but sometimes they just want to ‘vegg out’ at home in their room or while watching a movie with Mom and Dad. It helps them to ‘re-charge’ their batteries!
    No child should feel such pressure as alot of teens do today. I’m sure your boy knows that he can feel relaxed in the loving ’embrace’ of his home and family……
    I remember long ago reading a book called “How to Really Love Your Teenager” by Ross Campbell…… but it’s just really parent-sense.

    1. I think that’s true about pressure today; I think most humans simply have more pressure in their lives now than ever before. The pace at which we are all running isn’t natural.

      As a family, we deliberately under-scheduled our children (and continue to do so with our nine year old), and have made home time important, but the 14-year old has strong interests and has chosen everything he is doing. He recently gave up one activity to help lighten the load, and it’s a work in progress. I’m grateful that he still likes to hang out with us and that we can discuss these things (mostly!).

  3. I’m just getting a taste of the whole schedule over-load thing. I used to look at my friends with kids and think, “Why don’t you just schedule less.” I, too, am diligent about under-scheduling, but it still gets crazy. After a snack, homework, piano practice and chores, dinner and a bath, the day’s over–when do they get time to play?

    1. It’s true, just with the ‘basics’ today, kids have so much on. I’m generally in favour of busy teens, as interests and responsibilities do a lot to keep them out of trouble and less in the company of peers who might be doing less desirable things, but the balance thing is ever elusive.

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