Raising teenagers ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Actually, come to think of it, it’s exactly what it’s cracked up to be. Everything that I’ve been told about raising teenagers is coming true. It’s hell. It’s frustrating. It’s agonizing. And my parents are getting their wish: I’m raising a teenage version of myself.
Okay, so it’s not all bad. We have some really good kids. It just seems that as we get into the teenage years, kids make some really boneheaded decisions. I knew it was coming, not only by the warnings that I mentioned before, but because of my own teenage years. My God, it’s a wonder I ever made it out alive. I’d like to say I wised up in my 20s. But, what can I say? I’m a slow learner.
But we’re not talking about me here. We’re talking about the miniature version(s) of myself. If you have kids, you know that long breaks from school and/or activities is a bad thing.
My kids have been out of school for Christmas break for what feels like an eternity. The younger ones are bouncing off the walls. The teenager, well, he’s bored so he made a terrible decision over the break. We won’t get into what he did. I’ll just say it was major. I’ll also say that it’s something that I did at his age. In fact, every other adult I complained to about it laughed and said that they had done it at his age, too. I respond with, “Well, yeah, but didn’t you get punished severely for it?” Most of the people said, “I didn’t get caught.” It would seem that I’m the only kid that got busted every time I did anything stupid. And I mean every time.
When I got in trouble, my dad would always say that he knew exactly what I was thinking before I even thought it. I swear I thought the guy was a mind reader because he really did seem to know and I seriously got caught every damn time.
When it comes to my kids, I know what they’re thinking too. Well, except for No. 3. If I ever knew what girls were thinking, it would have drastically changed some of the poor decisions in my life. Now, she’s a year away from her teens. That scares me.
No. 2 is a different story. He’s basically me at 15, except way cooler. I know what’s driving his thought process, because it drove mine. Pretty much every stupid thing I did had to do with a girl. Come to think of it, every stupid thing I do as an adult has to do with girls.
But now I’m the parent that has to somehow keep a straight face when I kinda want to laugh. On top of that, I have to punish and lecture and do parent-type stuff. These are the moments that I think my kids can see right through me: “This dude has absolutely no idea what he’s doing!”
It’s a constant struggle. I often look at other parents who seem to have a pretty good grasp on this whole parenting thing with awe. But then I’m always surprised to hear that they have their own struggles. So I guess when it comes to parenting, we’re all just winging it. It would seem that I’m not the only one who has no idea what he’s doing.
I guess it all boils down to who can pretend the best. I knew all those drama classes would pay off someday.