Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another Parenting List Down the Drain

Do you remember that list you made in your twenties after an exhausting mall trip listening to someone's screaming child? You know the one entitled "When I Have Children They Will Never..."? The very same list that you completely broke after the first two months of your child's life? Well if after throwing out that you list, you were stupid enough (like me) to make another version entitled " My Teenager Will/Will Not...", I'm here to enlighten you.

Here is my list dissected and analyzed:

The myth: My teenager will not wear a sweat shirt as a coat in 30 degree weather.

The reality: After a 20 minute yelling match you realize that she'll deal with being cold and you are going to be late. You let her wear the damn sweatshirt and don't say a word when she tries to convince you her teeth are chattering because it's a fun thing to do and she is not cold. Same rules apply to hats, gloves, scarves, and socks.

The myth: We don't need unlimited texting. We have boundaries and limits.

The reality: Other kids don't have the same boundaries and limits. Your child dutifully doesn't text, but you end up paying for the texts her friends send. Just get unlimited texting and try not to choke the smug a holes who said "Oh Honey, texting is the only way these kids communicate. You won't last without it." Yeah, well it's their darn fault we're in this pickle.

The myth: My teenager will not wander through the store texting.

The reality: It is the only way to get a moments relief from the nonstop litany of smart ass remarks and bitching.

The myth: My teenager will openly communicate with me in a reasonable manner. I will not be one of those "hated" mothers.

The reality: Yes I am mean. I don't care if you hate me. Slam that damn door one more time and I am going to take it off the hinges. There is no reason.

The myth: My child is so sweet. I won't have any problems with hormones at all.

The reality: OMG, my child has turned into Sybil. I never know which mood I'm going to encounter. I just duck, try not to laugh and ground, hug, ground, hug, ground, hug.

The myth: I will engage my teenager in stimulating conversations. There will be no need for TV, pop radio, computers, cell phones etc.

The reality: If they don't have those things, how do you ground them? The entire point of technology is to use it as a bargaining chip. Google provides info for stimulating (and uncomfortable/shocking) conversations. If your child has no knowledge of pop culture then they are the "weird kid." It is hard enough to be a teenager, at least give them the proper tools to navigate the minefield of middle school.

The myth: My teenager will listen to interesting and eclectic music.

The reality: Yes, someday they will. First they need to go through their pop phase. Listen with them. Some of the songs are kind of good and you can answer many questions (it's a great way to teach innuendo).

One final reality: Yes this phase is more difficult than the terrible twos, but you will make it through (I hope). It is really very short and the rewards along the way are many. You are growing an adult. How awesome is that?

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