Thursday, 16 February 2012

I Was Reasonable And Well Adjusted Once

First off I know most of you probably follow her anyway, but here is a guest post I did for Hazel. Do check it out. http://pablosangel.blogspot.com/2012/02/guest-post-mark.html

Given some of the reactions to last Sunday's post of the girl was just being a teenager and it's what they do, I thought I would share some of my life as a teenager. To be honest I really wasn't that bad. I didn't moan at my parents when I wanted something, I didn't kick off, I didn't stay out until the middle of the night drinking and having random sex with strangers, possibly for money. Though it would have been nice to have some money.

I suppose one of the reasons for my lack of rebellion could have been that I was depressed for a time then, but I think it was more to do with the fact that I had no social life anyway. Life raised me right, by robbing me of a life. Even if I did have a social life though, I believe that with my parents help, I wouldn't have turned out like a "typical teen" anyway.

My family were not horribly poor, but we weren't exactly well off either. Whenever I got a new game or anything, it was second hand and probably only on my birthday or if I asked nicely. I didn't mind this at all really. Frankly my gaming took a downturn when I had too many games. In the old days it was either play what I was half way through or play nothing. I think I was 15 or 16 when I got my first iPod. A teeny tiny 1gb iPod shuffle that has served me well since. When I got an xbawx 360 it was money I saved myself. Though my dad put a bit of money towards it too to reward me for saving.

I didn't have the internet until I was 17, though I discovered it thanks to my sister at 14 or 15. I was always a generation or two behind in consoles as well. When my original xbox broke I had to buy a preowned one because it was around the time 360's came out, and when that happened Microsoft just threw all the originals off the production line.

The main time I got anything really was Christmas and my birthday. It still is except now I occasionally have my own money to buy things with. Plus I should be buying things myself at my age anyway, unless it's something major like a car. Which Hayes' willing some day I will own.

The only real incidence of "rebellion" I can think of is when I wrote "piss off" in my homework diary because a teacher gave me an after school detention. Which was also the only detention I ever got. Despite never doing my homework, and frequently turning up without proper stationary (my science teacher gave me a fake award called the Golden Ruler award and presented me with a ruler, sadly not golden, because I never had one) I never got a detention.

Also when I was 17 I didn't agree with my parents opinions on my love life, but I know they were there for me when it was over, and they didn't rub it in my face that they were right. I love them for that.

I was a good little bastard, and so are most other teenagers. The excuse "oh they're just being a teen" does not, and probably never will, cut it with me. Would I actually put a bullet in my kids things though? Depends on what it is, and what they did.

66 comments:

  1. Sounds to me like your parents did a good job. Kids today have a sense of entitlement. It makes me ill. I had a job of some sort from the age of 11 when I had a paper route. My kids are a little younger than that, but they do their share. I think the dad in the video was at his wit's end. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It's hard to understand that unless you have been there. You will make a fine father.

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    1. I've been at my wits end several times, even with kids as I have nieces and nephews, but I always dispute the claim I would make a decent parent. I don't think I'd be able to discipline a kid properly, I wouldn't be able to tell myself that it's for the best or that they still love me when they inevitably say they hate me. Though seeing as I have never said that to my parents I don't know if mine actually will.

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    2. Well, when the kids actually belong to you, its a whole different thing. Just the fact that you question your ability means you would be a good parent. I question myself all the time. The people I know that don't are the ones who have their kids in to trouble. I mean there is always an exception - all the good parenting in the world can't fix the rebellion and defiance in some. When you are ready, I am sure you really will be an excellent dad, because you care enough to question yourself.

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    3. Thank you, I really had never thought of it like that.

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  2. I think you're a good man, Mark. and principled, too. Good job to your parents. :)

    I was a rebel once, too.. back in college. It was about school.. they didn't really force mo to study in this university or to pick this college course, but they don't need to say it. The pressure's there. So I picked a different college course and studied in a different university.. uhm, universities. 3, in fact.

    I was a bad bad girl, but I didn't hate my parents. I hated myself back then. What I did, it was my choice. I was suffering the consequences of my actions. When I forgave myself, things began to look up. I'm thankful my parents are there for me, eventhough I screwed up bigtime.

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    1. Thank you ^^ I mostly went to college the second time to try to satisfy my parents, I felt really awful about how quickly I dropped out the first time, but if they were kind enough to let me just sit at home for a year, I know they would have been kind enough to give me my time if I needed it. The second time round I had some problems, but I was doing decently until my love life got in the way. I don't think college is really for me, as much as I would love to learn more. I know my parents will always be there for me though, and stand by my choices. Sometimes I do find myself wishing they had pushed me a bit more though, I think they push my youngest sister and my niece more than they pushed me, so at the least I can be glad that even though I was their fourth child, I helped them rethink their parenting and try to do even better still. Though I agree they did a fine job with me. What's wrong with me was and still is out of their control.

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  3. You missed the quality of Irish parents especially the fathers who just beat the goodness into their sons....

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    1. I think I was only ever physically beaten once, and it did the damn job I'll tell you that. Though of course I was sensitive, and the emotional harm of my parents being disappointed in me hurt way more than my dad's hand ever could.

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  4. I am one of the people that defended the teen's actions, and I would like to briefly explain my reason behind it, if I may. You stated your lack of rebellious actions may have been due in part to depression. I am unsure of how old you are, but I am going to assume you can remember what it was like to be a teen since you just wrote about it, correct? Then you will remember that, in adolescence, it sometimes felt as if we were controlled, fully and completely, by our emotions. That led us to think, and say, things we later would come to regret. I think it's wise for those with children to remember what it was like to be a teen. It will help them not behave like one, and to give help their child deal with their emotions in a less destructive way.

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    1. My emotions can still run my life, and ruin it too, and end up being destructive. As long as the girl regretted it, and accepted that what she did was wrong, then it can be forgotten, that is true. It's almost an irony that the parents who are still kids themselves (IE teen mothers) who should have an understanding of what it's like to be a kid, would make the worst parents. I hope that if I ever do have kids, I remember what it was like to be that age. I think that some parents do, and this does lead them to be more controlling, which ultimately makes the situation worse. You have to let your kids make mistakes, and then be there for them when they do. They can't learn from yours.

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  5. The teen years are some of the worst years. So many hormones and so many emotional needs, most of which go unfulfilled, can lead to depression and behaving badly. When I hear people talking about how great their teen years were, I think they are looking at the past with rose colored glasses. Your recollections have validity because they are balanced. I think you've turned out pretty well Mark.

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    1. Thank you for thinking that :) I kn realow my teen years were a mess, and you can either end up emotionally depressed like I did, or take it out in other ways. I think people who say they had good teen years either are looking through rose coloured glasses or really haven't worked out what a mess they were.

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  6. Your teen years kind of reminds me of mine, the tough thing about being a teen is just that, being a teen. You don't always know what's right because you haven't experienced it yet. Can't say it's ever justified to use a gun to prove a point though.

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    1. I had experienced quite a bit in my teen years. The people who met me when I was younger said they were surprised by how much I had been through, and some were even amazed I hadn't killed myself.

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  7. I think I was a fairly responsible teenager, but now I really feel like being less responsible. Maybe I missed out though since you can get away with stupid stuff when your younger, oh well.

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    1. I think I missed out on a lot but I try not to think on it too much. I'm still young enough to do stupid stuff.

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  8. In case you didn't see my comment over at Hazels, those last four lines man. Those last four goddamn lines. :'C

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  9. i had the internet since like 95...

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    1. I know people who've had the internet back in the really old days and it was dark times indeed.

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  10. I'd like to think I was a good teenager. To me, I always found it amusing when my parents would get angry at me. I mean, really angry. And I'd tell them pretty much what you said - I'm not drinking, I'm not doing drugs, I'm not getting anyone pregnant... is this REALLY that bad? It'd quickly put things into perspective for them.

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    1. You were great as a teen, coming up with well reasoned arguments like that.

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  11. It's good to hear of how you care for your parents and did at the time. I was so blinded by the outside world that I took mine for granted. It's a mistake that wasn't very easily forgiven, by myself and others. Choices we make when going through those emotional times seem to stick with us for a long time.

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    1. Like I said I never really saw much of the outside world :)

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  12. Thinking back, I wasn't a bad kid either. I was depressed though. I hated going to school and being made fun of, but I didn't beat anybody else up or take it out on anybody. I mostly just kept my feelings inside and stayed the wallflower.

    My teen years: Awkward. That's about as well as I can describe it.

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    1. That's mostly what I did, but I occasionally snapped.

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  13. Speaking of your guest post, you should reply to the comments people left ya over at mine. I can hardly reply to them :P

    As for when I was a teen, I had a few tantrums but overall I was a good girl lol

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    1. lol I can believe that. I know several good teenagers. I'll get round to commenting, it took me long enough to reply here :P

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  14. Reading your post has made me realised what a terrible teen I actually was. I'm that dickhead that went to like 20 different schools, due to continuous expulsions.

    It seems as though your parents were just as lucky to have you as their teen son, as you were (and hopefully still are) to have them as your parents!

    GM x

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    1. I got in trouble at school because I kept pretending to be ill and getting sent home. They even decided that I could never be sent home again. That was more to do with being bullied than being a douche though.

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  15. "were not horribly poor, but we weren't exactly well off either" You know what that makes you? By definition: average. Nothing wrong there.

    As for the girl. I watched it again and I now think that the father (and mother) are the ones who have over-reacted here. Confiscate her laptop until she's ready to get it back. Shooting it and putting the video on YouTube crossed the line. The girl has no discipline, no gratitude. Both of these are common traits in kids who've grown up spoiled.

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    1. She did come across as spoiled yes, and that is usually the cause of such behaviour. Hopefully the three of them can work together to make a better future for all three of them.

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    2. I doubt that's a possibility anymore. If she makes it to financial independence and moves out I think she will leave and never speak to her family again.

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  16. I feel like not having internet until age 17 is pretty crazy these days

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    1. These days sure, but the internet now is pretty much classed as a necessity. You're classed as seriously poor if you don't have a computer connected to the internet.

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  17. i dont get a lot of stuff for christmas or my birthday
    somehting about earning my own pleasure. it did teach me to respect my own stuff i guess since i dont throw anything away

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    1. I don't throw anything away at all, especially presents. I hold onto them for dear life. It was one of the reasons I never threw Zevi away.

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  18. I too miss the days of being reasonable. Being old and cranky has its advantages too.

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    1. I can't wait to be old and cranky myself actually. You can be cranky up until 19-ish and then you have to mature up and can't be cranky again until 60-ish. I'm looking forward to those days.

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  19. I remember that times, 90'. Oh nostalgia :)

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    1. It hurts to think that the 90's were 20 years ago.

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  20. I was pretty boring as a kid and teenager. I had fun but I never did anything outrageous, neither did my friends really so the whole societal viewpoint of reckless teens doesn't seem overly correct anyway. I love posts like these! xxx

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    1. It is just yet another case of the majority ruining it for the minority. If you stand for that behaviour that's what you're going to get.

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  21. If it makes you feel better I was a fairly boring, rebellious kid too.

    Now as an adult, the only way you can be rebellious is if you have a ton of money and you use it to screw around with other people's lives. :\

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    1. You don't have to have a lot of money to screw with people's lives! Hayes bless the internet.

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  22. Hmmm. Put a bullet in MY kid?

    I'd have to agree with you on that, it's a completely situational thing. If my kid was an unrepentant murderer or a rapist, it'd be my responsibility to put 'em down like a rabid dog.

    Efficiently, quickly and (due to my bias and training) as painless as I can muster. It'd be the last mercy I could give them, really, one that they may not deserve but as a father I personally deserve at least that much.

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    1. You sir are a gentleman and a scholar.

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  23. Not having access to the internet until 17 should be a criminal offense to my way of thinking.

    I'm glad to see that you somehow managed to survive life without the internet for so long. I imagine you to be like a member of a native tribe living off nuts, berries and the occasional wild boar that you kill with a simple spear sharpened by your own hands in ignorance of the entire developed world and our system of high speed pizza delivery.

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    1. It wasn't that bad. Some aspects of my life were better without it, plus I had a phone, so I still had high speed pizza delivery.

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  24. I was smiling the whole time I'm reading your post Mark. ^_^ It was funny because I can totally relate at your experience.
    I wanna tell you my story also but it will take the whole page of it. hahaha! but we're kinda the same, you know.
    yours is a lot better though. ^_^ hehe

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    1. Well thank you :) You have an idea for a post now though :P

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  25. I also don't think teenagers stay up all night drinking. Disrespective sometimes, yes, I am too, but the drinking and, well, you know, are just extremities of projections.

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    1. Sadly I think it's the majority of teenagers that are like that. When I was in school me and Jessie were the only teens I didn't know with that lifestyle. She adopted it for a while when she really got out with her gf but she realized it wasn't for her eventually.

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  26. I wasn't especially bad either, but I think sometimes my mother would have preferred if I was more rebellious.

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    1. I think my parents would have preferred I wasn't depressed, but I don't know if they would have wanted me to be rebellious instead.

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  27. everyone is different and this is a great example of how people from different backgrounds can come together and co exist :)

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    1. It really is. We all have different backgrounds, and we've all come together.

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  28. I was basically a good kid when I was a teen. Bit boy obsessed but that was pretty normal.
    I am lucky my kids are pretty good too. Like you they either have to save for their games or wait until birthdays or Christmas.
    My oldest bought his own Xbox with money earned from his part time job

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    1. It pleases me that kids like that still exist today :) I was starting to think they didn't.

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  29. Well, on the issue about how responsible a teen is for their actions... you have to take into account how brainwashed they are by society, their peers, and authority figures. Lots of mistakes can be made just from lack of thinking on your own, and being swayed too much by bad influences. Though I suppose everyone has to take personal resonsibility at some point.

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    1. Peer pressure was never really an issue for me because I never really had peers. Like I said, life treated me right by robbing me of a life. I take full responsibility for pretty much every decision I've ever made.

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  30. Ha, funny how the media portrays teenagers in a terrible light. I was one of the non-troublesome ones back in the day as well.

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  31. I'm a teenager and I think the parents overreacted completely: how does shooting the girl's laptop help anybody? It only shows your immaturity, and you're wasting money. It's no good telling the girl to pay you back:odds are, she gets her pocket money from you, so you're just paying for property you destroyed.

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    1. It's getting her off Facebook for a start. It's also forcing her to deal with life rather than giving her an escape from it. I don't know if that's what he had in mind but there are positives even in an action like that. I barely got any pocket money when I was a kid, nowhere near enough to buy a laptop even after a few years saving, but even if that was the case, there's still the satisfaction that she saved up for it herself, even if they slowly gave her the money, she still chose not to spend it.

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    2. You may have a point with the pocket money, but I disagree. I still think that there are many more and much healthier ways to show his anger at his daughter:ground her? Take away her laptop? Not shoot the laptop. Her actions do not merit such a response. Public punsishment will probably make her even angrier and more resentful towards her parents-and as a teenager myself, I understand.

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