Don't follow any advice, no matter how good, until you feel as deeply in your spirit as you think in your mind that the counsel is wise.

~ Joan Rivers ~

I Got Teens

March 27th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 3 secs

Are these girls really teens?

When you’ve got a case of the teens you’re bound to get sympathy. Anybody who has ever had adolescents will nod knowingly  before making the right low moaning sounds.

That makes it seem like I don’t like teens, but I do. I eat everything that’s on my plate. Which means I take the good teens with the bad and swallow it all – even if at times it’s a hard act to swallow.

Sociologists make it sound like the war was to blame because all of a sudden kids started asking questions. Pretty soon (well 20 years later soon) teens’ questions went from “Are we there yet?” and “Why do we have to go to bed?” to “Who gives you the right to dictate terms to us, just because you’re our parents?”

I thought, foolishly as it turns out, that I would do a better job at raising teens than what I had previously seen, Mind you, what I spied was mainly from when I was a teen myself and that was a very long time ago (back then, Queen Victoria was getting rave reviews simply for saying she wasn’t amused). Now, teens are the ones frequently not amused, proving how times have decidedly changed.

Nowadays teens go through an additional stage, known as Law 101. You can be forgiven for thinking  you as a parent knew the odd thing or two. But, unless you’re a lawyer, you don’t know anything. And, even if you are a lawyer, then you ought to know better and shame on you. I know because teens tell me so.

This mysterious period between the marvels of childhood and the mortgages of adulthood is filled with frustrated, disaffected, highly volatile and excitable people… all waiting to take your job.

Having had their childhood brain squished through a sieve, there’s precious little left that would connect with what you’ve already said. Only now, if you say anything to most teens they’ll think  you’re stupid, patronizing, and embarrassingly ignorant… which I guess I am.

The saddest part of course is that overriding feeling that you are becoming a cardboard cutout of your parents “You’ll understand that only too well when you get to my age”.  Or in my case, “Just wait until your father gets home! Hang on, I am your father” (sound effects of Darth Vader go well at this point as my teens are already  certain I’ve got a few screws loose).

The bottom line? Raising teens is a DIY thing. They want to watch you do all the work yourself and then offer advice.

Impressive experts on raising teenagers will tell you there’s the right and proper way. Then there’s the real way. If you want to raise your kids as well as you can and all come out sane, stay real. It’s better that way.

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