What Teens Need
My Dad told my Mom once he liked it when she was home. "Why do you care if I am out tonight? You are reading a book!" His answer was classic, "I like the pitter patter of your feet!"
I would classify my Dad as having teen behavior here. He didn't want to talk to Mom all the time, but he sure wants her there. When teens come home from school, they eat, do homework and chat online with friends, game or watch movies.
We were no different; we just blocked the phone lines for hours on end, watched t.v. in some households and my brothers played boardgames.
Nevertheless, we wanted the pitter patter of Mom's feet and the teens today do too. They want and need you to be home for questions. They need you to talk to them at dinner and sometimes late and night and they need to be scolded on occasion.
Be happy when they argue because that means they care and have an opinion; Let them express it, tuck them in bed on occasion (they will love it secretly), and tell them you love them no matter what!
You might have thought having teens would mean you get to go out more... I thought going out with little ones was easier. They loved the babysitter and were sleeping while I was out.
My teens want me at home at night...not bugging them, not hanging out with them or hovering over them but just there. I don't always give them what they want and yes I go out but ... I consider every invitation and make sure they hear that pitter patter enough. Don't underestimate the power of the sound your feet make walking through the house.
–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife