I understand the developmental necessity for teenagers to seek independence. I understand that some kids feel suffocated by their parents. I am involved yet not a helicopter parent. I know a great deal of what goes on, or I eventually find out, but I give my kids a longer leash than most parents of schooled kids do. I don't hover. I let them think for themselves. I don't think it is healthy for me to do their thinking for them. I let them make mistakes and the learn from their errors.
I am well aware that homeschooling increases face time with my kids. I know that homeschooled teens also need to learn independence and have an identity separate from their parents. I get it.
What is not acceptable to me or my husband is intentionally putting a wedge between teen and parent with the method of the teen being intentionally mean to the parents. Yelling, name calling, and various other verbal abuse methods may be the easiest way, but are not a healthy way to create an emotional divide that allows for independence. Seeking to be shunned out of hatred is not a healthy way to create personal space.
Sadly I feel this is at the heart of what started to happen in our family last year. I think we have put an end to that. Above all else I want my kids to know how to be in healthy emotional relationships. I do not want to raise future wife beaters or wife verbal abusers or sociopath emotional manipulators.
I wonder if this is what happens with some or many teenagers. They think the only way to create private space is to drive out those who care about them the most so they will be left alone and given some private space. It is a shame that some teens think the only way to access privacy and personal space is through meanness and using hateful or destructive techniques. I have not seen this discussed by popular psychologists or parenting experts who write articles and books. I think it should be explored.
Besides spending time at his varsity sport, at Boy Scout meetings and summer camps, and FIRST Robotics, and time with friends on weekends and doing community service projects, my son is now spending his full day at the library doing his homeschool lessons alone. I have been encouraging my son to get a job for the last two months, we'll see where that leads. So far he has not picked up the ball and run with it. I think at this point doing more real things in the real world is what my sixteen year old needs. Since most of his life is taken up with doing high school academics and dual credit classes at community college, he feels frustrated. He would rather, he said, be an apprentice already working in the real world such as Benjamin Franklin did as was the norm in American colonial times. But this is 2013, and our country has reengineered children's lives, and created this teenager thing, and mandated school until age 18. I am not convinced this is progress but its what is the norm right now.