[FoRK] Re: yet another story about my kid

Kevin Elliott < K-Elliott at wiu.edu > on > Tue Mar 7 12:02:49 PST 2006

At 09:36 -0500  on  3/7/06, Regina Schuman wrote:
>at this juncture i'm gonna ask:  how many of you on this list were
>"difficult" teens?

My first thought when I read that was "being difficult is what being 
a teen is about...".

My teen years were pretty rough.  I was intensely isolated from my 
peers and because of various misbehavior spent most of 2 years 
grounded from essentially all forms of entertainment.  I also grew up 
on a quasi-farm so I spent a significant chunk of my time doing 
pretty heavy labor.  I spent a large portion of my free time digging 
ditches, laying concrete block, working on cars, cutting down trees, 
splitting wood, etc.  My Dad used to joke that one of his parental 
goals was to give his children first hand knowledge of all the 
horrible things we didn't want to end up doing for a living.

At the time, my parents tended to view child/parent relationships in 
terms of power struggles which was a very poor model of how I 
needed/wanted to interact with them.  They took me to a counselor for 
awhile and I have a very vivid memory of our last session where he 
essentially said "This is never going to get better until you go to 
college.  Tough it out and I guarantee things will improve".

Today, our relationship is loving but distant.  I live ~2000 miles 
away and visit at MOST once a year (I think the average is closer to 
once every 2 years).  The last time I visited my wife commented that 
I appeared to be allergic to my parents- I developed hay fever like 
symptoms whenever I spent more than a day with them and the symptoms 
disappeared if I was away from them more than a day or so.
Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud.
After a while, you realize the pig is enjoying it.
Kevin Elliott   <mailto:kelliott at mac.com>
AIM/iChatAV: kelliott at mac.com  (video chat available)

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