Getting Real With Jennifer Poole

Years ago, when I worked with juvenile offenders, I attended a training that stated the most difficult time for most boys is the first year of junior high/middle school. Everything is changing – now they have lockers, many teachers, locker room showers, puberty and hormones all at the same time. I took this information to heart and worked diligently to try to make these transitions easier on my boys. Now I have been faced with a new challenge that has been more difficult than I had expected.

Two of my boys will be starting their senior year of high school in the next few weeks. My son will be 18 in a few months and my stepson just turned 17. Both boys have jobs, vehicles, and plans to attend college. As a mother I am “nagging” them about their responsibilities to go to work, take care of the cars, save and manage their paychecks, get good grades so they can get into school, and so many other things. At the same time I am doing this, I am trying to also let them make their own decisions.

A year from now, my boys will either be starting college – or one might go into the Navy first – but both will be making adult decisions. It scares me to think we only have a year left to teach them so many things about being an independent and responsible adult. Not to mention I have to learn to let them go out into the world and learn some things by falling down and getting back up on their own.

So not only is this rapid transition to adulthood a challenge for my boys, it is also a challenge for me who wants to send them out into the world as prepared as possible.