Parenting Teens: A Dad's Perspective!
As part of my series on parents of smalls hypothetically answering questions about how they imagine the teen years will be, I am delighted to feature Greg Stanton, aka the London Dad! This will also be the first dad's perspective so I'm thrilled that Greg agreed. Greg is husband to the goregous Alice, dad to Etta, Cat the Dog (!) and their baby boy due on xmas day! He gave up a 12 year career in the city when Etta was 3 months old after realising that there is way more to life than money. Outside of instagram he is an occasional blogger and digital advertising consultant. Oh and apparently he secretly listens to garage music whilst his daughter is at nursery #guiltypleasures!
So, how right will his thoughts on those teen years be? With no further ado, I present Greg's answers!
1. I know it's a long way off but what are you dreading about your child/children becoming teens?
Well I think the struggles that we face now with a toddler are the same as with a teenager. E is constantly trying to push the boundries, not listening to us and being a stubborn little thing but in reality like all dads we dread the dating.
2. What are you looking forward to?
I can't wait to do things that we can enjoy together...whatever that is, finding some middle ground and just truly spend tome together doing something fun. My dad was always my football coach and although it was a bit intense he was always there for whatever I needed and I want to do the same.
3. As a parent, what issues do you imagine are important when raising teens?
Learning right from wrong, the world is such a different place to when I was a teen. The online social stuff scares me with how people can be misrepresented but I am sure my parents didn't worry about that and there will be something new to worry about when our kids reach that age. What I want to instil in our kids is a confidence in being who they are and being happy in there own skins. It is still something most of us struggle with as parents.
4. What kind of parent do you think or hope (!) you'll be when your child/children are/is in their teen years?
I always imagined myself as the dad side of the cool parents at the house where everyone hangs out but the reality is going to be far from that. We are dead set on having 4 kids so we will always have a house full but even Alice can't keep me cool enough to match the image I have in my head.
5. Is there anything you'd like to say to your own parents before your child/children become teens or were you an angel?
God no, I was awful. After a week of E being with us I was so apologetic to them. I never understood how they worried when I was out and about but you cannot turn that off. E is at nursery whilst I am writing this and I cannot stop thinking about her as well as missing her. I am always finding an excuse to pick her up an hour early.
6. Is there any advice that you would give your child/children before they get to the teen stage?
Just to try and know who you are and be happy with it. Oh and to not do things to make others happy.
7. Do you envisage raising teens to be an easier stage than raising littles?
No way i know its going to be hell but Alice and I approach everything as a team and work through it all together so I know that I have an amazing person to share the hell with as well as a decent bottle of red.
Oh, Greg, thank you so much for such great answers. You're so right that parents will always find something to worry about and that for our generation of parents it is social media but our parents would definitely had their thing too. Love your answer about your children learning who they are and not to do things to make other people happy - this really resonated with me. Oh, and being able to share a bottle of red with someone - yes! Once again thank you so much for allowing me to interview you on this - here's hoping the teen years are a dream!
Greg can be followed on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/london_dad/