Sooner or later, we deal with the teen years. As a teen, as the parent of a teen, or as someone who is still waiting for a drink at the
freaking Sonic. In the scheme, we are just inside the door of these precious moments with twin fourteen year-old girls.
We are already the veterans of the learning curve. We’ve upgraded our b.s. detectors. As such, we have some pointers for those who think they know it all already, the teens.
GUIDE TO PARENTING THE TEEN YEARS FOR THE TEENS
1. Quit. You are not parenting me. I had a mom. She got to clock out when I took over for myself. Over 25 years ago. Stop weighing in on adult decisions about which you have not been consulted. Just stop it.
2. Trust. You don’t need to know why.
3. Stop talking. You literally have nothing to say. The things that come out of your mouth make me worry that you are, in fact, schizophrenic. No. Really. No apparent connection with reality. Your sister has noticed.
4. Wear clothes. You are doing pretty well. Just to be clear, current fashion is exactly ‘late 80s prostitute’. Forget about it. I don’t care if EVERY other girl is wearing it. That is EVERY other parents’ problem. You don’t have to have self-respect; you just have to go around looking like you do.
5. Not really. Respecting yourself is simple. You deserve the best. Keep your bathroom nice. Stop digging stuff out of the hamper and spraying it with odor eliminator. Change your
freaking sheets. If a friend is doing something stupid, invite her to do something else; if she refuses, walk away. Be yourself. You are cool. If someone doesn’t like that. That is fine. You will find someone you really connect with.
6. School. Just to have this out on the table, do NOT leave another thing until the last minute. The, “I need a map now, and I won’t help with dinner, that’s your job and I am going to style my hair for practice and I told you I needed it,” shtick is a one and done. There won’t be a next time.
7. Parenting. I am still parenting your siblings. Why don’t you step back? I mean it. I am right here. Why don’t you hold yourself to the same high standard you hold them? All you manage to do is let me know you know exactly where the standard is when you aren’t meeting it.
8. Roll your eyes. Just one more time. So help me.
9. You are just tall. Being tall doesn’t give you wisdom, anymore than being a good cook makes me run faster. You have parents because you are large and have a lot of information, but no common sense. We are here to protect you until you have figuratively slammed your hand in enough doors to figure out not to place your hand on figurative stoves or stick figurative bobby pins in proverbial electrical outlets. This is why I say, “Uuuuse Your Miiiiind-uh,” so much.
10a. I love you. Stop slamming through life. Two people may
or may not have sustained injuries this week, due to your charging around. Get your elbows off the table. Chew with your mouth closed. Take smaller bites. Don’t scream when you laugh or sneeze. SIT LIKE A LADY. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THAT.
10b. I see that you want a boy
or five to think you are cute. I appreciate your description of what is and is not dating(blog fodder to be sure) and your illumination of the difference between my archaic use of the term “like” and the modern use. BUT. You are NOT going to be dating( or “not dating” either) for awhile, so you have plenty of time to work on becoming who you are so you don’t need validation by a boy. Pretty is as pretty does (see 10a). Even the most gorgeous woman who is mean or stupid or acts like Mr. Ed at the table will be passed over for a less striking lady who is nice to herself and EVERYONE else. Boys like pleasant humans. (Ironically, I am encouraging you to have better manners to impress boys you can’t date. I am not ashamed. I am tired of looking at your food and if I can use a boy to get what I want, that’s fine. It’s a victimless crime. Don’t do what Mommy just did, Girls.)
Your dad is an architect. What he builds represents him. I am a mom of girls. What I build represents me. I know what is in you. You are beautiful, never sick, always enthusiastic and have never attempted anything without success. And you have great hair. The world is
freaking yours for the taking. I am here to give you direction, and apply the brakes when necessary. If you get yourself under control, I won’t need to apply the brakes so often.
I am sharing my awesome with Jennifer…