On June 1st 2013, I heard something that will live in my mind forever as a treasure. Our sixteen year old son actually said the words:
You are Right.
Yes, it’s true. You heard it here. I tried to get it him to repeat it so I could record it on my phone, but once he realized what he said, he wouldn’t repeat it.
But I remember it, I can replay it almost perfectly in my mind.
Of course, the sentiment didn’t last long. In fact for a good part of the rest of yesterday and this morning, beginning before my first cup of coffee, we were arguing about one thing or another. Unfortunately, the teen years have been as filled with defiance as the toddler years were.
I came across this article this morning: http://www.today.com/id/40074871/ns/today-parenting_and_family/t/raising-teens-through-their-defiant-years
Oppositional behavior is hard enough to cope with in toddlers, but when the defiant ones are 13 or 14, you can’t just put them down for a nap, give them a time-out or bribe them with stickers.
We mostly clash over his desire to be completely independent and not have any parental input on any topic whatsoever. This next quote from the article noted above explains a bit of what might be going on here:
The part of the brain that controls emotions, called the limbic system, which allows us to feel pleasure, anger and passion, works just fine in adolescents. But the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that helps us analyze information, make decisions and anticipate consequences, is not fully developed until the mid-20s.
Well, we have a little way to go until he’s in his mid-20s… but no matter how many battles we get in from now until then, I will remember June 1, 2013. When I heard in his newly deep and resonant voice “You are Right.”