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Challenge: Summer Fun

Staying Happy While Parenting Teens during the Summer

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It's true...summer break usually means that parents, especially those who work, need to go into overtime.

Depending on the age of your child, your either feeling like Julie, the Cruise Director of the Love Boat (am I dating myself?) or the parents of Ferris Bueller. Either way, you might be that kind of parent, such as I, who looks to his or her vices to keep you smiling whether they be meditation, medication, working out, drugs and alcohol, or all of the above.

Having just returned from Nantucket, an island I have been visiting in the summers since I was little, the memories are fresh of a vacation filled with perfect beach days skewed with family dysfunction and I realize that despite the obstacles I was able to bring on the happy.

As a mother of three boys, two of whom are teens, I can say that my life improves immensely when they become responsibly independent or join in on all of the family reindeer games - choosing games that they like are the key so I find myself hooking worms for fishing in ponds where snapping turtles lurk and boogie boarding with sharks (I know they are out there but I have been guided in my meditation practice to face my fears).

Sadly my badass husband didn't come with me on this trip when I needed him most; for comic relief from the extended family drama, to play with in my intoxicating island fever state and to shut it all down when our eldest teenager went rogue after finally finding his island tribe and the flock of rated "10" girls slinking at their hips.

What dawned on me was that the problem does not only reside in our legalized marijuana resort town but follows us wherever we go and so when my son went off in some unknown Audi to go "swimming" without a bathing suit and came back 15 minutes later, my alarms started screaming.

The good thing is that with every negative action comes a consequence that he chooses and so off we went road biking together every morning giving us the ability to discover hidden treasures both on the island and from within my silent boy who was once my sweetest, funniest, chattiest, curly-mopped headed, long eye-lashed little boy.

It's all about balance really when in overtime mode and I made sure I reset my internal clock from Mountain to East Coast time to wake up every morning at 7am for my run, 20 minute meditation and skinny-dip into the ocean so that I could be ready to be completely on and mindful with my children and deal with any obstacle course ejected my way. Can you relate?

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