As the mum of 3 boys, you might think I’d be an expert on parenting boys – not so!
As anyone with 3 the same will tell you, they can be wildly different. Same gene pool, very different children. In a way, my eldest (now 20) taught me very little as he’s always been easy, compliant and mature. Which is why number 2 is such a challenge!
Number 2 (17) is a classic teen and a classic middle child. He’s fiercely independent (but without the skills to be so), pushing all the boundaries, shows no appreciation or respect, completely directionless (has now dropped out of 2 colleges) and seems very angry with the world.
But if I was him, I’d probably be angry too. He’s got so many more challenges than his older brother for instance. Aside from being less academic and less confident, he has a learning difficulty and a medical issue which now requires major surgery. I’m sure this has massively affected his self-esteem in the tender teenage years, along with his focus and outlook on life. Throw in girlfriend issues, binge drinking and more, and you can imagine that life isn’t plain sailing.
Not forgetting my “baby” 13 year old. And I mean literally not forgetting … with so much time and energy taken up elsewhere, it would have been easy to overlook his needs as he turned teen during lockdown.
Sometimes it’s not easy or possible to talk to friends and family. Sometimes you don’t want to burden them with everything, or take up their time when they have their own problems. Sometimes, you just don’t want them to know everything. That’s where Whatever Together comes in.
It’s so reassuring to be able to seek support from other parents who are going through the same thing. When they share their wisdom, it’s like a hug … with benefits! Similarly, when a topic comes up that I have some experience off, nothing is more rewarding that sharing a tiny pearl of wisdom.
When we talk, the load is lightened, the mists clear a little and the future is brighter.
Written by Whatever Together member, Boys-boys-boys