Dealing With Teenagers
What In The World Is Going On In There?
If you’re dealing with teenagers you have to understand that this is an extremely tough stage... in your life – the heck with theirs!
Poor teenagers, they have such emotional turmoil right now – a state between childhood and adulthood. Who's spreading this rumor - a 15 year old with a phony degree in psychiatry?
Do you remember being a teenager? I don’t know about you, but I was just goofing off and doing as I pleased. I thought my parents were idiots when they didn’t agree with me – which was at least 85% of the time.
I thought for sure that I could so totally take care of myself, and a part time job was all I needed to do it too!
Teenagers are pretty smart (as far as children go) but they would not make for the brightest of grownups – now would they?
Don’t tell them this, but they’re really just taller, more developed 12 year olds that have FINALLY learned how to properly wash behind their ears and between their toes.
If you think that I’m being kind of rough on these poor teenagers, did you ever stop to think about how they view you?
First of all, they think that you are verrrrry old. That right there puts them on my poop list!
They also think that you got it pretty easy. After all, they have homework to do!
Don’t you know that you are Mr. and Mrs. Kill-Joy because you won’t let them go to the movies Friday night with their new friends - Spike and Blade?
Yup. Dealing with teenagers is the tricky part. Being one really is just a matter of going to school, hanging out with friends, keeping your room messy, and arguing about everything your parents have to say. Who can’t do that?
What Makes Raising a Teenager So Hard?
- Their Height
It is next to impossible to spank anyone over 4ft.8.
- Their Intellect
The more they learn, the more they think they know… and the more they think that you know pretty much nothing.
- Their Confidence
If they can ride a bike, driving a car should be a piece of cake. Besides, think of all the practice they got at the fair driving those bumper cars.
- Their Desire to Stake a Claim
Never mind that they’ve never bought anything more than a pack of gum - it’s their room, their clothes, their stuff, and most definitely, their life.
- Their Debating Skills
How long they can talk on the phone, who’s doing the supper dishes, or whether they should do something now as opposed to later is always up for contest.
Although winning would be nice, it’s the debate itself that seems to give them the most enjoyment.
Actually, I could go on all day with what makes raising teenagers difficult, but I bet you already know more than I need to tell!
What we want to know about is DEALING with teenagers!
Well, every one of the points I mentioned above that makes raising teenagers so very interesting apply to us as parents as well (except... in our case they are not delusional).
Parenting Advice for Raising Teenagers?
Use what we have going for us!
For a lesson on what you should say (and what you should expect to hear) when raising a teenager, give a listen to The Coasters...
- Our Height
No matter how tall they get, they will ALWAYS be our little babies. And we will ALWAYS seem ten feet tall in their eyes. Remember this when dealing with teenagers and use their lack of perception to your advantage.
- Our Intellect
Unbeknownst to them, we know everything. And for what we don’t know? There are ways of finding out.
- Our Confidence
The keys are in our pocket. They are going NOWHERE without our say so – for a loooong time.
- Our Right to Stake a Claim
We’re the parents. It’s our house. We pay the bills. And we let them live... for now.
- Our Debating Skills
Our debating skills have been perfected over the course of our marriage - thanks to our spouse. We have no need to utilize this skill when dealing with teenagers. One comeback ends all discussion... "Don’t Talk Back!"
It’s a funny thing, dealing with teenagers... even though it may seem that they simply can’t stand us or our decisions, if you read between the lines you’ll find out that’s not the case at all.
They’ll say things like, "Can you believe, Betty Lou’s mom lets her blah, blah, blah?" or... "Did you hear they way that kid just talked to his parents?"
Every kid no matter how old wants discipline, correction, and guidance – yes, even a teenager!
If they don’t get it, they’ll up the ante until they get your attention.
If they still can't get your attention?
Many times I’ve heard full grown adults mutter things like, "I wish my parents stopped me from blah, blah," or "I wish they made me do this or that."
Believe me when I say teenagers want you to be their parent!
Don’t be afraid to make them do this and that.
Go ahead and stop them from blah, blah, blah.
As long as they’re teenagers you may have to get your glimpses of hope from reading between the lines. But when they’re all grown up and their pride is all shrunk down they’ll tell you just how right you were - way back when they were kids!
*For more on raising and dealing with teenagers, see this letter from a parent who asks, "Are teenagers the work of the devil?"
Think dealing with teenagers might be a little easier now? Go back for some more
Parenting Advice and Humor
Go HOME for more advice for relationships
Ask Dr. Julia Advice Column