7 Unavoidable Teen Happenings
It’s true, everything they say about how scary the teen years are… well, it’s all true. Can someone please tell me how I can fast forward through these head spinning, nose clogging, round the clock grocery shopping, night mare inducing teen years?? The warnings are valid for both girls and boys, teens happen. Girls are extra dramatic, hyper sensitive, know-it-alls. Boys are stinky, reckless, binge eating, hairy buffoons. I am living this teen crazed life as we speak. I have three teens, one girl and two boys. And I have two more boys to go. What was I thinking?? Why didn’t anyone try to stop me? Well I’m in it now, so I want to share with you some
untold truths about teens. You may read things, or try things, and think its going to save you some hardships down the slippery slopes of teen mountain… Those things won’t help. You can try, but they really won’t shape the teen years ahead as you’d like it to.
Here are 7 unavoidable teen happening. Because the real truth is, Teens Happen.
1. They’re not the same kid anymore.
Let’s think of this like baking a loaf of bread. Your kid has all the ingredients you put into them from birth until that one morning they woke up a prepubescent tween. When you’re baking a loaf a bread, it has some major changes and transformations before you get to the end result. Just like your teen. Although those ingedients such as love and nurture are in this recipe of making a responsible contributing member of society, you are now in the transformation phase. What started out as a pleasing pile of ingredients has now turned into a rising blob of dough, completely unrecognizable from what you started with. Your teen isn’t your baby any longer. They may have their once in a while need for child like attention, which is both wonderful and confusing as all hell. They are becoming their own thinking machines. Which means you need to stay focused. They may crawl into your lap because they are honestly feeling like they need a hug, or it’s an absolute ruse because they’re up to no good. There really isn’t a happy medium. Be on guard. You can have a cry about this if you need to, but don’t stay down for too long because you are needed on the front lines of this teen-hood war. War?? Yea, we’ll get there.
2. Teen karma doesn’t exist
What I am trying to say here is, if you were a terrible teen, that doesn’t mean your teen will be terrible. And on the flip side, if you were a great teen, you may not get so lucky. Teenage years are hard. There’s moodiness, hormones, and social pressures at every corner. So whatever you think is coming, think again, and again, and again. Not only do I think the way you experienced your teen years does not effect how your teen will be, I also don’t think your awesome parenting can create a perfect teen. Yes, yes, it’s true what they say, no one is perfect. I know that, but don’t feel bad when you end up with a very challenging teen. It’s not always about parenting, or genetics. Teens are also a product of their environment and their newly found focus and will. (Where was that when they had projects, chores, and homework???) Think about that for a minute, with all the social avenues, television, other teens and influences, there is a lot out there that our teens are learning from. And sometimes, terrible teens just happen. No matter what we do to shield them and protect them, they are going to formulate their own ideas and opinions. And more often than not, teens want to break through the invisible chains that strap them to their childhood and their parents. Parents, still be awesome though, we are all in this together. Raise them right, no matter what they do or how they act. We are all depending on each other, for our future – THE FUTURE.
3. You’re going to be out-witted
No matter how hard you try to stay two steps ahead. You are bound to be out-witted. They say there is more than one way to skin a cat, and that couldn’t ring more true with teens. (Sorry for that analogy, couldn’t think of a more fitting one) Let’s take sneaking out for instance. If you snuck out as a teen, because God knows I did, you can walk into a house and probably think of at least three ways a teen could get out. I used to think that was a hidden talent I possessed. Well teens these days can easily think of bakers dozen… at minimum! So unless you are financially prepared to bar all your windows and have a dropping chain fence on your front door like they do at the mall, if your teen sets their mind to leaving, they are going to find a way. Being out witted is much more than your teen sneaking out. Teens are master manipulators, they plant tiny teen seeds in your mind that grow like desert weeds in a drought, strong and deep rooted. My son for instance can ask to have a friend over and the next thing I know, I’ve got five teen boys watching some scary movie on my couch and I’m cleaning up after a kitchen massacre that was once a $100 grocery bill just an hour before. Teens are a force to be reckoned with.
4. Their friends are in on it
In on what? IT. They are in on IT, whatever IT may be, they’re in on it.
Your teens friends are definitely in on it. I feel like most teens pick their friends for this very thing. Teens have so much to go through mentally and physically, they need to feel like the people around them really have their back. Its a sense of acceptance and belonging. Even though you might tell your kids on repeat “I’m always here for you” or “I’ll always love you”, they are looking for a new tribe. Its hard to relate to teens, because we’ve been there and done that. We survived and learned. We know the things they don’t. The more we try and share our own teen history, them more they’re likely to turn to their friends. They will confide in their friends, and their friends will cover for them at some point. It’s very important to know who these kids are. That ought to help you know what kind of “it” they could be in on.
I let my kids choose their friends. The sad truth to this is they may be relying on the wrong people. Although I may not like their friends all the same, I think its important they have their tribe. I will say I have been in a situation where I asked my teen to stop being friends with someone based on that persons choices and actions. I am a still the parent after all, and so are you. Most likely, they won’t even remember half of these relationships by the time they’re our age. Trust no one.
5. High stake games
Teens are crazy. By crazy I mean risky and at times reckless. For the most part I expected this of just my teenage son. Girls can be equally and even exceedingly risky and reckless. Teens seem to have something to prove, like, all the time. To their friends, their siblings, and even to themselves. This is something that can be really unpredictable. Challenging authority, driving fast, or skipping school, these are all risky or reckless behaviors. Teens are trying to find their identity, that’s a normal part of growing up. We all went through it one way or another. All we can do hope they don’t get out of hand or be totally rebellious. But do yourself a favor and never say “my kid would never do that”. I’m not saying your kid is a wild child, but in today’s world, kids know more and are introduced to more than we were at their age. Just like the generation before us. Expect some poor choices here and there, and if/when they do happen, remind them they are human.
Plan on your teen not talking to you. This could last a day or two, or a week. All those articles you’ve read about creating strong communication lines with your child and tween before this point don’t mean a thing. Teens want a lot of privacy, and there’s definitely times you should give it to them. But do your damnedest not to let them cut you out. No matter how bad it hurts, stay the course.
When my daughter was younger, we talked about this point. The point where she may not want to talk to me, and if I’m being honest here, the point where she may feel like she hates me. I knew we wouldn’t always agree on things, and I remembered what it was like to be a teenage girl. Raging with hormones and it was like my brain was swollen with all the secret knowledge of the world. I knew everything. No one could tell me any different. I didn’t tell her that part, but I tried to prepare her for our differences to come. It didn’t make a difference. Really what I should have been doing was preparing myself for this phase. She doesn’t hate me, but she certainly doesn’t love all my decisions or rules. But I don’t expect her to. I’m not here to be bff’s, I’m here to be her mother. The same goes for my sons. They are newly blossoming into opinionated teens. They seems to have three rebuttals lined up for every “no” they get. So if they want to excommunicate me for awhile because I’m just trying to be a good parent, so be it. I won’t let it last too long.
7. They’re going to let you down
That’s a tough one to hear. No one wants to expect to be let down by their kid. You can say it will never happen, and that you will love them unconditionally through thick and thin. But who are you trying to fool? They will lie, and they’ll try to cover it up. You will still love them, you are still their parent. I’m not talking about murder here, I’m talking about trust. Teens will break your trust at some point. Because they too have a swollen brain full of all the worlds knowledge, they just won’t be fast enough to realize the truth is always better than the lie. They will spit out some dumb clump of ridiculousness as if you were born yesterday and give you those glassy eyes that once worked on you when they were a precious two year old. Strong willed teens will lie to either get their way or avoid a punishment. We are the adults here, and as my sister in law would say, “life’s not all rainbow’s and Instagram filters”. We have to accept that they aren’t perfect people.
I want to leave you with the fact that these years, just like their adorable baby years, are fleeting. Being a good parent means toughing it out through the hard stuff. Remembering that you can never go wrong doing your best. Keep your kids safe by keeping them close and smothering them with love. Just kidding, don’t smother them. Keep them close by knowing who they hang around, and knowing that you won’t always agree. And for your sanity, keep the liquor cabinet stocked and only you hold the key.