Sunday, February 11, 2018

Survival Tips for Parents of Teens...

The world has skads of magazines and blogs and tips on how to manage toddlers and babies, but teenagers...all you get is to learn all you should have done and all you didn't.  I know why there isn't a book or magazine devoted to parenting teenagers.  Too much knowledge not born of personal experience might doom the human race as we know it.

However, for those intrepid souls who must either face this pending reality, or who already know the doom I speak of, read on and learn Seven Survival Tips for dealing with people aged 11-19.  You've been warned.   

7)  When you had babies and toddlers, you used a baby monitor.  You supervised your kiddo's every moment, waking and otherwise.  The kid didn't object.  The kid didn't know. Truthfully, it's not a bad plan now either.  Twitter stalking and lurking at istagram, and eliminating the internet when you want to sleep, seems to me a wise strategy.   The kid would object.  The kid doesn't know. 

6) When your kids became kids, your life revolved around meal time.  What you didn't know was, when your kids became teens, meal time became all of life.   Whatever you make, it's not enough, except when you cook everything.  Then the kids tell you, "I'm not hungry."  (Note: do not take this personally. The food will disappear in seventeen seconds instead of four, but they'll still tell you, you made too much and they weren't hungry the whole time).  When they finish, they'll say, "Is there anything left to eat?" 

5) As Mom of toddlers, you'd have paid good money to guarantee nap time.  As a Mom of teens, you'd pay good money to see your offspring awake during daylight hours. 

4) Toilet training is hard.  You cannot convince them, you can only wait them out. It's a dicy thing the first time you take them out in the world without a diaper bag. Driving lessons are hard.  Convincing yourself to steel up and let them take the wheel?  That's nerve wracking. 

3) When they were little, you planned play dates.  You knew their moms, their dads, their siblings, their dogs, everything.  Now...since a lot of teens play it close to the vest, get ready to be the go to chaperone.  You can look responsible, respectible and drive them crazy at the same time.  Bonus points if Mom and Dad go as a couple to the dance...double bonus if you dance.  Mortification city...

2) Nothing you experienced as a teenager or college student or as a young adult counts and teens don't actually want to know you were ever anything but Mom and Dad.   Your job is to listen, provide a shoulder and a milk shake when necessary.  Some day they'll want to know you had a past.  Just not now. 

1) They make your heart melt when they say, "I love you." when they're toddlers.  they make your heart swoon when you get it and they're older. 

Good luck. 

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