A love of sport has kept them focused
BrBothehersrs Brothers Jack, Jacack, k, Billill and andndand BrBrandndynandyn Brandndynyny ScSchuetetzSchuetz loveloloveve sport;port;t; and andnd and right,right, rigightht, with parentsp pararenents LaLa Laura aururura and and Serge. SeSergrge.g e Pictures:s: Justin JuJustsinin Lloyd aura and Serge Schuetz are used to the raised eyebrows they get when they tell people they have three teenage sons. Raising teenagers, especially boys, is viewed as an activity worthy of a bravery medal and often accompanied by sympathetic smiles and a reassuring pat on the back.
The northern beaches couple say parenting boys Jack, 19, Billy, 17, and Brandyn, almost 13, has presented challenges, but claim a careful balance of laughter, friendship and tough love, when it’s needed, has made the job more than rewarding.
“I always tell the boys I am not their best friend, I am their mother,” Laura says. “I love them and I love spending time with them, they really make me laugh and keep me young.
“They are pretty good kids, but there have been times when they have stuffed up and Serge and I are more than happy to jump in and play bad cop when we have to. There have always been consequences to their behaviour and they know it.”
Laura says the thing that has kept her sons focused through their teenage years is a love of sport. “The boys have all played footy pretty much since they were four,” Laura says. “When Billy got to 15 he decided he didn’t want to play footy any more, and that was fine, but I told him he had to do some kind of sport. So he took up martial arts.
“I think sport is so important for boys, particularly as they enter the teenage years. It’s given my boys self-esteem and it’s important for young boys to feel good about themselves. Sport also gives them good networking opportunities in that they get to make friends outside of school. Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of boys over the years drift away from sports and become derailed.”
Laura says she and Serge had tackled the teenage years in much the same way they had the other stages of growing up — with a good dose of laughter and a united parenting front.