My first response to Sunshine's post about Shockers, was to laugh. I knew what it was. I have survived "the teens" with my two children.
As I read the comments, I realized most that were shocked by the whole thing, (pun intended) were parents of young children. My lack of shock (hey, I'll take a cheap pun twice) as a parent with older children, was only because the teen years will bring you a whole new appreciation for 2AM feedings vs 2AM worries of where is my kid. Of "O'de Puke" vs "O'dat Smoke?" ... and creeping around in an ExerSaucer vs seeing them drive away in a car.
I took a mini poll at work because we all have grown kids, no little ones. The shocker, the bird, the devil horns ... ruining class photos, was pretty much a shoulder shrug. It isn't right by no means, but teens do dumb things. Actually two of the guys I work with thought any photographer that is hired by a school, high school especially, should be responsible for what he sees in his view finder.
As a parent of older kids, coming out of the teen years with enough stories to write for a month, my take is more like this:
Teens are going to make poor choices no matter how strong we build their foundations ... sadly that's just how it is. As a parent I learned to pick my battles. I am not going to win every one, so I better save the big guns for the ones that really matter in the scheme of things. If we fight every little blip on our kids screen of growing up, they will tune parents out completely, never to hear the words and lessons that are nonnegotiable.
Most kids are smart, they know the things we as parents expect and what has been instilled in them. It's natural for them to remove their water wings and dive into the abyss of rebellion. Didn't you do things your parents disapproved of? Sure, we all did, and when we did it, we knew it was wrong.
I can see my kids coming full circle. It's the foundation we built in the beginning that we can only hope they come back to once they grow up and become humans again. ( I am not sure what the are between the 13-18, high school years) I have overheard both my kids talking to friends on different controversial topics. I have to stop and smile when I hear them quote me or their father word for word to defend their point.
Jen at Get In The Car, had a great post yesterday about her and her husbands views on how they will raise their kids ... before they had any. It's worth the read, we all can relate.
Beth and Lori, you've raised teens, any pearls of wisdom?
I leave you with this photo most have probably seen and thought nothing of ... until now.