Saturday, 15 September 2012

First rule of parenting a teenager

First rule of parenting a teenager
15 September 2012

Parenting a teenager is quite intense and there are many pitfalls along the way.  I have learnt a few lessons so far.

The first rule of parenting a teenager is this:  THEY DON’T GET TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS.

Now there are a few reasons for this.  They have no concept of time.  They have no concept of distance.  They have no concept of direction.  They have no concept of travelling time.  They have no concept of cost and expenses.  They have no concept of inconvenience.  They have no concept of practicality or lack thereof.  Basically, they have no concept of anyone other than themselves.  And in fact they are supremely oblivious to the fact that anyone other than themselves are important.

So this is my rule.  I don’t deal with teenagers.  I deal with their parents.  Teenagers wouldn’t be able to arrange an Ice convention in Alaska.  Or a beach party at the beach.  Or a study group at school (ja right!).  Anyway, you get the picture.  Well, perhaps I sell them a bit short.  They are able to spread gossip like wild fire, as well as music and video clips, with the use of their cell phones alone – one hand tied behind their backs.  They are amazingly ambidextrous when it comes to texting.

But can they actually arrange anything meaningful?  Don’t be ridiculous!  A while ago, a whole bunch of kids planned on spending some time at the Ice Rink at Grand West.  They were all buddies from last year, when they were still in Primary School.  It was a mixed bag of boys and girls and some of them hadn’t seen each other since high school started, and lots of them scattered to different schools.  Luke mentioned the “plans” a few times, but he had no substantial info for me.  The rough draft was that they were all going to go to the Ice Rink and hang out together for a bit, ostensibly ice skating.  And unsurprisingly none of us moms were very keen on their plans.  It was about 27 kids in total.  Getting all of them there would be a mammoth task.  The day that they wanted to do their outing on, was an end of the month Saturday, that also happened to be a public holiday.  To be honest, I was very lukewarm to the idea.

Finally, on the day before the “outing” a friend of mine phoned the Ice Rink, just to confirm the price, etc.  And luckily she was informed that the Ice Rink was fully booked on the day.  Oh drat!  How “disappointing” – NOT!  Anyway, so when I broke the news to Luke and a buddy of his that was sleeping over, this was their response.  “Oh, that’s okay.  We don’t really feel like ice skating in any rate – it’s lame.  And we don’t actually really want to hang out with the girls that are going.  And not some of the other kids either.  We still want to go through to Grand West though.  We just want to walk around a bit and chill.  Perhaps go out for lunch.”.

??????????????????????  Hello!!!  Who are you?  And when did you change in to a bad version of the chicks in “Sex and the City” who hang out at Malls, go shopping and ‘do lunch’?  It just sounded so odd?  As if there was any chance whatsoever, that we would drop a bunch of 13 and 14 year old boys off, at a Shopping Mall, nearly an hour away, and just leave them there to wander around at random for a few hours.  I don’t think so.  Not bloody likely!  Clearly, they are not yet fully formed.  Certain cognitive links have not yet been made, but hopefully, given a bit more time, this will change.  Though to be honest, I’m not holding my breath.

Second rule of parenting a teenager is this:  THEY DON’T GIVE YOU CHANGE BACK – no matter how much money you give them.  They are also always dissatisfied with the amount of cash they get.  And the general feeling around any teenager is a pervasive aura of “hard-done-by-ness”.  They sure have it tough in their opinion.

Third rule of parenting a teenager is this:  IF YOU’RE QUIET FOR LONG ENOUGH, YOU CAN HEAR THEM GROW.  I’m assuming this is actually more applicable to boys.  Holy smokes, but they can eat!  My Luke is as skinny as a beanpole, despite the vast quantities of food that he consumes.  So, I’m assuming, that it’s all dropping down to his feet, which explains why his shoe size keeps on increasing.  Surely that is it, right?

Their complete self-absorption is “charming” and “endearing”.  Their lack of appreciation is mind boggling.  Their dedicated commitment to bringing financial strain to the family shows true “vision”. 

Yet, surely once upon a time, I was also like this?  Can it be true?  I remember thinking that my folks were so lame, because I was never allowed to see friends on a Sunday.  Sundays were reserved for family days – like I really wanted to hang out with them?  I had a curfew if I went out – practically an archaic form of torture – yet so effective.  They were picky about the clothes I wore when I went out – nothing too short or revealing – pathetic in my opinion – especially as I thought I was REALLY hot and I could pull it off.  I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend that was much older than me – meanies!  And I know for sure, that they never gave me enough money when I went out.

So, basically, I’ve evolved into my parents.  Which means that with any luck at all, my children won’t turn out too bad.  Just look how charming and delightful I am now…..

1 comment:

  1. so glad you have the teenage experience first! i learn from you my friendy!