parenting the teen

The getting back into the school year schedule has been a bit of a challenge for us. Me working full time, and the kids both playing sports after school each day has not made it easier. But, such is life.

Here are our challenges. Aidan is a night owl and his parents are not.


We have a plan in place for taking away technology, but he is also a fan of late night snacks. He does not eat a lot during the day, and this morning I learned why. I found over 3000 calories of food in his room from LAST NIGHT. Ugh. Bad, bad habits. You eat a lot at night, don’t move, then you are not hungry in the morning, don’t eat a lot during the day. Repeat pattern. Oh, and he gravitates towards carbs, so all those calories are just converted to sugar overnight.

I admit, I lost it this morning. I just could not believe our relatively healthy family was in this place.

The plan. After researching locks for the pantry, I had to do a parenting reset. Locking the pantry door was not the solution. Aidan has to learn some self control. And, it is our job to be the teachers. So tonight we talked about how carbs turn to sugar, and what happens to those carbs when you eat a bunch of them at night and do not move until the next morning.

For Aidan, this will be what we call a hard reset. Every now and then we have to do this with him. It is not a parenting strategy that we like, but needed sometimes. We have identified nuts, apples and string cheese as the approved snacks for after dinner. These are good ones because the nuts are in a small package, the apple…is an apple, and the string cheese comes in its own wrapper. Get the trend? We are teaching portion controls. If other foods are eaten after dinner, the penalty is loss of technology for TWO days. Folks, this is an eternity for a 13 year old.

Fingers crossed our new plan helps us get back on track. I hugged Aidan and explained that if I did not love him I would just let him eat and do whatever, but because I do love him a lot, I can’t do that.

Sigh, parenting. Not for the weak or non reflective.


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