Lately I have gained a lot of new followers of which some are trapped in the midst of the stress and anxiety associated with parenting. I’m kidding! Being a parent is the most ungrateful, toughest job in the world. I’m kidding! The money is not good either.
But it’s rewarding. In a don’t-make-me-come-over-there-and slap-the-stupid-out-of-you kind of way.
Then there’s teenagers.
Therefore, a drafted this simply guide for raising teens based on three years of governing my beautiful, darling, little angels through the monster-phase maze into adulthood.
You need teenagers. Don’t worry if you don’t have any, toddlers are basically the same. Or if you don’t have those either, then have you ever cleaned up after a dog or fed a cat? Yes? Well then you’re qualified too. No pets yet? Well then, do you drink wine? No? trust me, you will. (Cats are better for the preparation of teenagers, for this will prepare you for the condescending attitude that’s common among teens.)
Get unlimited WiFi. It’s THE most important single item you will ever need when raising them. Not only will you be able to Google everything about the weird shit you will be asked about, but you will also find solitude and something to read in those times when you lock yourself in the bathroom to avoid them. They will spend endless hours on YouTube watching random people doing even more random things without bothering, or more likely, acknowledging you. (On second thought, you might not even need Google because teenagers know everything already. Just ask them.)
Stock up on cereal or any other non-perishable foods, like cardboard or rubber soles. Puberty implies the standard three daily meals becomes totally insufficient in sustaining the human body. It basically turns into one loooooong continuous meal that never ends. Or begins. If teenagers are awake, they eat. All. The. Time. Especially boys. They will raid your fridge, pantry, car, cupboards and sock drawer. It will feel like you’ve missed an announcement of an impending Apocalypse. You will panic. They also develop an acute, super-human sense of smell, so don’t think you can hide food from them. This ability improves exponentially when they arrive in a pack. A grunt of teens. Like locusts ascending on crops. And don’t even mention the possibility of a sleep over because then you might as well get that second bond now.
Buy block-out curtains/blinds. There’s nothing worse than waking a teenager on a weekend. Just like vampires, teenagers prefer to stay up all night and sleep long enough for normal people to get bedsores. But there’s nothing normal about them. My advise is to leave them, as their grumpiness have been known to tear down the strongest, most patient parent into a screaming, raving lunatic. Not waking them also have two distinct advantages: 1. You don’t have to feed them and 2. You don’t have to feed them.
Say goodbye to your playlist. And television remote. And computer. And choice of movie. And anything else that might make you feel like an adult or the kind of parent who used to have a choice in the kind of entertainment the family will enjoy. Your reward for not killing your toddlers or tweens, is having no say whatsoever in the choice of any movie, song or television program you are allowed to watch and/or listen to. Unless off course you secretly binge watch your favourite series when they go to bed. But who watches Stranger Things between 3 and 5 am in the morning?… (I see your hand mister!)
Get used to the sound of your own voice because you will have to repeat whatever you have to say often. And not just twice or thrice but more like a bazillion-ice. The more you repeat your sentence the louder the volume will become. It’s a well documented basic human law. What’s not well documented is the accompanied increase in your blood pressure. And when you descend with the rage of Hulk and the sound of your heartbeat ringing loudly in your nostrils, you realise it’s not that they’re hard of hearing, or spiteful or purposefully ignoring you, it’s just those damn headphones that’s constantly glued to their ears. (At least I think it’s the headphones…)
Accept the fact that your clothes are not your clothes anymore. This is a tough one because one would think that teenagers wouldn’t want to be caught dead in their parents attire. This might be true under normal circumstances but having teens inevitability means you’ve reached an age where some of your clothes have returned to fashion and are now considered “retro” or “vintage”. And it’s not a compliment. Don’t be fooled. It simply means you are really, really, really old. And if the scavengers find ANYTHING vintage in your cupboard, even if it’s your favorite shirt, you can kiss that shirt goodbye, just like last year’s election. It is what it is and no amount of protest will change the reality. Yes, you can try and take it from them but it will always find a way back on their bodies.
Bride them for hugs. And this is the only way you’re getting any. Like being married for a long, long time. Hugs is not compulsory for showing love to parents. A different standard exist between friends, they hug all the frigging time and you stand there like a lost puppy, reminiscing about the time you got them hugs too. *Cue When she loved me* So we normally use food as our go-to-item for getting hugs from them. Other things that’s also proven successful are money, the WiFi password and a request for a sleep-over. Offering clothes doesn’t help if the clothes are not retro. Dressing up as one of their friends also didn’t work.
Lots and lots of alcohol and not because I’m using this blog to lobby for underage drinking. This last item is especially for you, the suffering parent. It doesn’t matter how well you think you might be coping, there will come a day when you need an escape and if alcohol is not your
passion poison, then you need to find something that is. Some people run, others become president of their PTA, others ride bikes and some even climb mountains. But most of us just end up on a coach with a glass of wine. Don’t judge yourself for having these moments of serenity because if not for them, you run the risk of kicking dustbins, empty cans, puppies or maybe even your own children. And that’s kind of illegal.
Stay strong. And remember, they’re going to give you grandchildren and that’s the sweetest revenge in the world!
Love ya! Love them! Love yourself!