Get Real: Honest to Goodness Parenting

Hello………Welcome to the blog that started from a tardy note!
The morning that I wrote this note, Cara (14) had overslept. Her brother, Alex (10), and sister, Sammi (4), were both ready to leave and Cara was talking back and arguing with me over how much time she had, what she was going to eat for breakfast, and pretty much anything else I said. It was one of those lovely mornings that every mom with a teenager
can relate to. No matter how awesome and well behaved your teen is, between the hormones and the natural separation between parents and kids that is supposed to happen during the teenage years, there are going to be moments that you butt heads.
When we finally got in the car and I looked at the clock and realized that we were running late, I started doing the “mom” thing. My lecture went something along the lines of, “you need to start thinking about other people, Cara. You are not the only person in this family, and you made your brother and sister late, too. You know Alex hates being late, and Sammi has her first school picture day today and….” around this time, I heard Cara’s favorite band (Panic at the Disco) start playing. I turned to look at her in the passenger seat. That is when I saw that she had put in her headphones and was staring out her window, completely ignoring me. I reached over and took her phone off her lap, unplugged her headphones and threw her phone out the car window.
Before I dropped Cara off, I took both of her siblings to school, making Cara late enough that her high school would require a note to the attendance office. When we pulled up at her school, I used her notebook to write the tardy note. When I handed it to Cara, she said, “I am not taking this in there.” I responded with, “Ok, then WE will take it in there.” I got my service dog out of the backseat and we walked into the attendance office together. The attendance clerk cracked a smile, but didn’t say anything, she just gave Cara her tardy slip.
Upon returning home, I retrieved Cara’s phone from the neighbor’s yard. It was unharmed, just a little wet from the grass. I dried it off and kept it for four days as Cara’s consequence for her actions that morning.
I don’t want anyone under the false impression that Cara is a bad kid. She is an honor roll student and an extremely talented piano player who can play anything after she hears it a few times. I am very proud of her and I love being her mom. She was just having a bad morning. Still, I feel it is important for all of my children to realize that no matter what kind of mood a person is in, they are still responsible for their own actions and they are expected to be aware of how those actions affect other people.