Coming up from behind


As a parent sometimes our kids pleasantly surprise us.  Sometimes as parents we are even reminded to give our kids more credit. Tonight was one of those nights for me. Actually tonight I was starkly reminded that my teens are not clueless, life sucking creatures that never listen & always have to learn everything the hard way.

Okay, okay I’ve never really thought they were life sucking creatures, but I needed a good description to go with the picture. However, as any parent of a teen knows the other adjectives are actually fairly normal thoughts associated with raising a young adult, but it’s the whole raging hormone thing that is usually the culprit.

Tonight hormones can not be blamed for anything negative. That’s because they may have contributed to something positive.  They may have helped create  a competitive edge.

Two of my teens are attending a debate class. I’ve actually been a little concerned about their attention to detail level. Partially because many of the other parents know exactly what is going on at all times.  Plus partially because I know my teens.  Of course the reason their parents know everything is because they attend every single meeting with their children.   I on the other hand sit in my vehicle and quietly wait.  There’s three reasons for my seemingly uninterested attitude.  Number 1, I have my own homework to complete within the scope of my graduate studies.  Number 2, I don’t want my teens to think they have to have a parent with them at all times.  One of these days they will no loner be teens and I don’t want to be viewed as a pacifier.  Number 3 is kind of related to number 2, I simply want my teens to learn how to take notes and relay information to me about their needs.  If they do not responsibly and accurately take notes then they must suffer the consequences.  One of those consequences is embarrassment, another consequence could be a poor grade.  Both lessons teach a form of self responsibility that only a life lesson can teach, and believe me when I say that all of my teens have had to learn these lessons.

Thankfully tonight my teens did not learn any hard lessons.  Instead they excelled.  They attended their first debate tournament undefeated.  Although they did not receive enough points to win, I am still very proud of this first effort.  I was also impressed with how quickly they improved with each debate.  Oh, did I forget to mention that I did attend the tournament? Yeah, I will not attend their lessons, but I will always try to make it to their performances.  And what a performance!  In one debate, of this very traditional European parliamentary procedure, they were the government proposing to increase the use of new technology.  You know I would have thought iPads and computers would come into play, but they did not.  Instead this debate was boxed within a time period of revolutionary France and centered around medical technology.  It was clever and cheap at the same time.  The other team was at a total  loss for how to oppose such a proposal.

I have a feeling my history buff of a son who independently studies all things ancient French was probably responsible for proposing this topic.  Wow!  My teens have learned something and it’s not just entirely education related either.  They’ve learned how to take control and make a situation their own.  I’m impressed.


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