What I know about parenting a teenager because I remember what it felt like to be a teenager being parented

Now that I am the parent of a teenager, I find that I am spending a lot of time trying not to be an asshole in response to some of the asshole things he does. Just when I hit my stride and feel like I “get” my kids, they change and their needs change and I stumble. I’ve found that remembering how it felt to be a kid keeps that stumble from turning into a face plant.

My teenager is a good kid, totally NOT an asshole. I don’t say that because he’s my kid and I’m blind to the idea that he might be an asshole. I know he’s not. I’m told quite often that he’s not. I live with him too, so I think that even if it was hard to admit it to others, I’d know deep down if he was an asshole and I’d admit it to myself. I’m grateful that he’s not. I know it could change with the pouf of a toot, but for now, he’s just engaging in the occasional asshole behavior and that’s all I can really care about. Worrying about whether my kid will be an asshole in the future is about as productive as expecting him to stop doing asshole teenager things now.

He’s a teenager! That word is thick with meaning, you know? And the truth about teenagers is that they are weird and seem like assholes to grown ups because their brains work weird, making them seem like assholes. And by weird assholes, I mean OMG SO FUCKING ASSHOLE WEIRD. Seriously, did you READ the NYT interview with Willow and Jaden Smith?

Because teenagers.

Acting like assholes.

Anyhoooo…I’m trying very hard not to waste my time trying to convince MY teenager that I am not an asshole who thinks that anything I say, even if it is DRENCHED IN COMMON FUCKING SENSE, will make a ball sack wrinkle of a difference to him when he’s got his mind set to asshole behavior. For example…

Me – Where’s your CAP hoodie?

Z – N (Girlfriend) has it.

Me – Oh. Well, you better find something else to wear I guess.

Z – Truth.

Yeah, that’s how it went, but let me tell you what I wanted to say…

OMG DOESN’T SHE HAVE A HOODIE SHE CAN WEAR? GET IT BACK FOR FUCK’S SAKE! THAT IS A VERY EXPENSIVE HOODIE.

And then I would stop yelling and say…

Ok, sorry about the yelling, but seriously, I would like you to get it back. I am sure N has plenty of warm clothes that she can wear, but you don’t, so unless you want to spend the next however many months of the polar vortex on ice, I suggest you get it back. I like N and all, but I’d let her turn into a block of ice if it meant you could be warm and safe because you are my kid.

And then I would probably think about how stupid that last part sounds, because I would never let N turn into a block of ice. I’d give her MY hoodie, you know?

Fuck.

I just said the oh thing and to find something else, because I remember being a teenager like it was yesterday and I know that anything I say will sound a lot like this…

BLLLAAAAARRRFEEEENGAAAAAARD ASSHOLE ASSHOLE BLAAAAAAAAAPFFFFTH.

I remember thinking that my parents were nosey and unreasonable and overprotective and boring and that they didn’t understand me at all. I remember arguing with my mom and dad about dressing warm and OMG didn’t they understand that I could NOT wear a hat and mess up my HAIR OMG WHY DIDN’T THEY UNDERSTAND ME? Assholes.

I remember wearing my boyfriend’s shirt and thinking it was the most amazing and romantic thing EVER. And by the looks on their faces when I see them together, my son and his girlfriend have the most amazing and romantic thing EVER right now, so really, is my time really best spent worrying about whether my kid or his girl friend are warm enough? I mean, clearly, they have the hots for each other and I’ve got to spend my energy trying not to worry about that, you know, because teenagers do a lot more asshole things than not dressing warm enough.

Fuck.

Anyhoooo…read this really informative and easy to read stuff on the teenage brain and how it works (or doesn’t). It’s a good use of your time, much better than trying to get your teenager to listen to you. ASSHOLE.

TEENAGE BRAIN STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION – NIMH

Hot Damn Mess

Hot Damn Mess

And when you are done with that, you can always read MY book. You can buy it in my Amazon Store by clicking HERE or going to your local bookstore and demanding it like the asshole you are.

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