The Night Belongs to Us

The night belongs to us. Of course it does. We’re Vampires. But we’re also parents, and this is a first and foremost a parenting blog.

My main message is to talk with your kids, share with them, listen to them, teach them, respect them, treasure them. Don’t spoil them except with love and knowledge. Open the world to them and they will explore on their own. They will bring their discoveries and knowledge back to you. The circle is complete.

This morning my 16-year-old Clara showed me a new cover by the band Night Riots.  Let me back up a little bit since some of you may have never heard of Night Riots. I feel like they are one of the best bands out in the past thirty years. Seriously, I like this band that much. My daughter started listening to them. Then I did. I was hooked. We saw them at Warped Tour this summer in Mountain View, CA.

Night Riots Vans Warped Tour 2015 Mountain View, CA

Night Riots, Vans Warped Tour 2015
Mountain View, CA

 

So this morning I received a text from Clara (while I was out on business) saying they’d done a cover of “Because the Night.”

When I arrived home I Clara was excited to share it with me. I listened to the Night Riots version. It was great. Wow.

I asked Clara if she’d heard the Patti Smith version. She said, “I didn’t know it was written by a woman.”

Of course it was. By Patti Smith, who is still singing. Patti Smith is, well, Patti Smith. Need I say more?

She loved the Patti Smith version too.

Her first comment was, “I love her voice. It isn’t whiney.”

Clara doesn’t listen to female pop stars for the most part. Neither do I. So many are breathy or have fake auto tuned voices. They don’t sound real. They sound childish. They sound annoying.

Patti Smith is none of that. She sings. She really sings.

So the guys in Night Riots do justice to her music by putting out a fantastic cover.

I’m not sharing this so much as a music post, but as a parenting post. We share with each other. We learn from each other.

We discussed musical influences from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Not disco crap or silly really bad pop music, but real music that lasts.

Just like real parenting lasts. Real communication lasts. Deliberate parenting lasts a lifetime. If you’re going to have kids then put in the effort. Make them yours. Let them make you theirs.

Yes, let your kids make you theirs. They learn from you and you mould them. In turn, you can learn from them. Let them make you a better person. Let them open your eyes to new things.

 

 

This Thanksgiving be thankful for the young people in your lives. Don’t spend your time judging or criticizing them. Don’t get after them about their hair, their clothing, their music or whatever stupid superficial thing that you think is important. Listen to them and let them tell you about what they think is important. Find out what their dreams are. Tell them about your dreams. Share your music. Share some turkey. Share some love.

Teens are as precious and important as babies or toddlers. Parenting doesn’t stop at elementary school. Now more than ever they need you. And now more than ever you need them. You might not know it but you need them too. They’ll keep you young. They’ll introduce you to music. They’ll be in awe of your shared knowledge. They respect you for respecting them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Night Riots: Contagious

Things you need to do with your teen

Things you need to do with your teen.

You know right off the bat I’m going to talk about talking with your teen. TALK WITH YOUR TEEN. DO IT. NOW.

 

fruit bat cutie

Right off the bat…

 

Movies you need to see with your teen:

Lost Boys

Click on the movie titles above for information about the movie (and so you’ll see the right movie)

 

Must do things  to do with your teen:

  • Take your teen to a concert. Not something YOU want to see. Not something you THINK will be culturally enriching. Take them to see a band THEY listen to. Go to a smaller venue. Listen to the music before you go. You might like it. You might like it a lot. Click HERE for guidelines. Click HERE too and HERE.

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour - Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

Night Riots at 2015 Warped Tour – Mountain View, CA. Yes, I was there. It was awesome. I am the coolest mom ever.

  • Take your teen to Van’s Warped Tour. If you’re the parent who buys the ticket you get in free. What a deal. I saw seven bands that I liked. There were dozens more.
Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

Never Shout Never Posters. Go Chris Drew.

  • Take you teen to the an orchestra concert. Even if you don’t have a major Symphony or Philharmonic orchestra in your area, most communities have excellent community groups. Many high schools and colleges have orchestras. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and GO. Yes, this is the cultural education. You’ll have fun.
  • Go to the zoo. Zoos aren’t just for little kids.
  • Take your teen to a vintage clothing store and try stuff on – both of you. Boys and girls. Rock the vintage stuff.
  • Tell your teenager a bad joke every single day. Laugh out loud. Pretty soon they’ll be laughing along with you.
  • By the time our children get to high school and college the family pets are ancient senior citizens. Keep the love going but make sure you are there for your kids when the four-legged members of your family move on. It sucks but it seems like most teens live with ancient pets – well-loved ancient pets.
  • Cook with your teen, even if you’re a Vampire. When they get into college their roommates will love them if they can cook. Everyone loves a good cook.
  • Go for walks at least twice a week. It gives you a chance to talk and spend some quiet time together. No phones.
  • Go to a baseball game. Any team will do – professional, high school, college, T-ball. It is all fun.
  • Go roller skating.

 

Talk to your teen about:

  • Sex (if you aren’t responsible enough to use protection you are not responsible enough to have sex. Sex is normal but just because you are physically able to do it you might not be emotionally ready. High School is a fun time – don’t complicate it with sex. Yes, the conversation is easy. Don’t lecture, just discuss and let them know they can come to you and trust you for good fact based answers)
  • Birth Control (Don’t be silly, cover your Willy. AND ALWAYS use birth control. Even if your kid is not sexually active have this conversation because when they go off to college they WILL become sexually active and they need to know how to be smart about it.)
  • Diet: Eat right. Don’t pack on the pounds with the Starbucks Ultra Thick Carmel Chocolate Mocha Bomb every single day.
  • History: You don’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been. Talk about your history, your Uncle Duff’s history, George Washington, or anything that has happened before the year your child was born. Tell them about the old days before personal computers and copiers and cable TV. Tell them about MTV when they actually played music. Tell them about seeing The Rolling Stones in concert when Keith Richards was hot (they won’t believe you so you’ll have to show them photos.)
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Yes, this is Keith before he died and came back as himself.

 

Watch silly YouTube videos with your teenager.

I suggest:

  • SMOSH Teleporting Fat Guy
  • Anything with cute animals
  • Famous Rap Battles of History
  • Short horror films
  • Make-up tutorials
  • More cute animals
  • Music your teen likes
  • Music you like

 

Alright, that should have filled up your brain and your time. I’ll have more later.

What would you add to the list? What do you and the teens in your life do together? Let us know.

Have fun

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman