Teen Turmoil

Tomorrow is kidlet’s 15th birthday.  We don’t know yet what we’re doing to celebrate. For partner’s birthday – last week – we ate out at restaurants four times.  Once after seeing Lord of the Dance, once on the actual birthday, once after visiting in the Galilee, and once for lunch with family.  Lots of fun, lots of giggles.

So I’m not sure if kidlet wants another restaurant night, although that’s usually what we do in addition to anything else going on.  At the moment she hates me, but she’ll get over it.  Why does she hate me?   *sigh* Piercing.

I don’t really have a problem with most piercings.  Some, like in the tongue, just make me shudder, but hey, to each her own.  I worked with teenagers for so many years,  and some of my favourite and adored kids had piercings in all sorts of places.  Didn’t bother me.  But….I wasn’t their mother.  Mommy-mode brings out a different me.

Kidlet wanted her ears pierced like her friends when she was little.  I told her that when she was Bat Mitzvah, she was old enough to decide about that.  And that’s what we did for her 12th birthday, we got her ears pierced.  (Same thing happened with me, although I had to wait until I was thirteen.  omg, have I turned into my own parents???)

Not much time passed, and kidlet wanted her nose pierced as well.  I said not until she was 16.  Partner was horrified that I would agree at all, and started siting health risks.  By the time kidlet hit 13, this became the subject of an argument at least monthly, if not weekly.   At one point I bought her those little jewel things that you stick on with glue, which she tried and rejected,  claiming “everyone knows it’s not real”.  Throughout the past year, kidlet has been telling us about friends of hers with multiple piercings – “and they’re 13 and 14!” – with no change in our attitude.  In the past few months, the tune changed….she started asking what would happen if she got a piercing anyway.  I told her that of course she would be punished, for every action there are consequences, and she shouldn’t even think about it, only one more year to wait. No place can pierce minors legally without parental permission,  and I told her if anyone breaks the law to do it I would go after them every way I can.

Well, a couple of weeks ago she went and did it – got a septum piercing.  She had saved her allowance, and managed to get someone to do it without permission.  She had a circular barbell put in, one that she could twist up inside the nose so it was hidden.   I noticed it anyway.  We had a preliminary discussion about consequences, in which I told her she was grounded except for school and family doings.  She refuses to tell me who did it (scared about what I’ll do), and refused to take it out, stating that it made her very sad to disappoint me but that it makes her feel very good and proud that she did it.

Then came an invitation to hang out at a friend’s house, and kidlet begged me to let her go.  Nope.  She got really upset, but the answer stayed no.  Then partner came up with a brilliant solution:  take out the septum ring, and she could go.  She protested that the piercing was nowhere near being healed, that she couldn’t.  We told her that was the price to go to out.  She removed it.  She was further outraged that I told her she still couldn’t leave unless the ring was with me.  She handed it over.  It turned out that the party was a surprise birthday party for her, with friends coming from all over, so it was a good thing she was there, and that she had agreed to pay the price.

That was Friday.  Today it’s Monday, and the ring is still with me.  Kidlet informed me last night that a friend gave her a new one, but she can’t get it in because the hole is closing up, and that she hates me.  I told her she can make a new hole when she’s 16, if she still wants to.  Only one year away.

I’m waiting until after her birthday to inform her of one more  consequence.   Her allowance is being cut in half, since I don’t like that she used my money to disobey me.  She’s going to need to gain my trust again before it goes back up.   I predict more outrage.

In the meantime, I have some small birthday gifts ready for her.  She also chose a pattern and colour and yarn, and I’m knitting her a hoodie.  She’ll take some birthday cake to school tomorrow to share with her friends.  Whether we all go out tomorrow night remains to be seen,  I’m leaving it up to her.

Drama, drama, drama.  I’m wondering if it will ever get peaceful again…..

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One Response to “Teen Turmoil”

  1. Ayelet Says:

    Ooh, I just had to comment. My sis-in-law got her nose pierced last night, but she’s 26 🙂
    With a pierced dad and tattooed mom, aunt and grandma, I suppose we’ll be facing the same problem with Toam at some point. I never thought what would happen if he got pierced behind my back. I guess teenagers are full of surprises.
    Also, being a teenager, she’s supposed to hate you, and being her mom you’re supposed to do the right thing even if she hates it.
    Don’t let her get her mouth pierced, it RUINS your mouth and teeth. Do you want me to have a hard talk with her about the risks of unauthorized piercings? She’s a smart kid, at least from your descriptions. She wouldn’t risk AIDS. Try that as a threat..

    I hope to be able to sit, knit, and bitch sometime this week..

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