I’m less than a year into my tenure as the father of a teenager and I think I’m losing. I’m not sure if I’m losing a game, a battle or a war… maybe all three.
When I tell people who have been through their own dreaded parent-of-a-teenager years of my struggles with my teen, they usually laugh. So I have hope that there will be happiness on the other side. Or, maybe it’s maniacal, loony bin type laughing.
I will be the parent of a teenager until 2028. That’s 13 years from now, not that I’m keeping count or anything, so I’m thinking that it’s the latter type of laughing. It’s only the first year of our first teenager and I’m already losing it.
I’ve discovered recently that No. 2 knows everything. I’m quite lucky to have such a knowledgeable kid in the house. I’ve also discovered that it’s useless to give him any rules or house guidelines. In a week he’ll just do exactly what he was punished for the previous week and proceed to tell me that I’m being ridiculous for putting these asinine rules in place to begin with. I start to get mad at him when he makes these comments but then I remember that the kid knows everything. So who am I to question his vast knowledge?
Having kids is always an adventure and a learning experience. You tend to develop certain tactics to help along the way. My latest is a pretty valuable tool to have. I’ve noticed that No. 2 will actually listen to his uncle. So, as they are in town visiting from Ohio this week, I use my brother-in-law to relay the lessons that go ignored when delivered by me. That actually took some getting used to. It used to kind of bother me but I guess sometimes kids need to hear things from a different angle.
Now, as No. 3 is nearing her teenage years, the dark reality of having a teenage girl in the house is looming. It’s like she’s preparing for battle or something. She’s been practicing her sarcastic comebacks and eye rolls. She’s even broken out the war paint: eye shadow and lip gloss. This kid is preparing for battle and it’s scary. I feel like Stannis Baratheon as he watched Ramsay Bolton’s much larger army engulf his own. My doom is inevitable, but I must fight. Luckily, I still have a couple of years before she gets there.
Then there’s lucky No. 4. I call him lucky because by the time he’s a teenager, we’ll be likely defeated and tired. He’ll most likely get the “ah, just whatever” treatment. We won’t want to. But if I’m already feeling like I’m losing it and it’s only the first year, I can only imagine my despair at year six.
Alas, I do have this long road ahead of me. I’m willing to take it on because, as I said, life is an adventure and I’m always up for an adventure. But we can always use a little help along the way. Isn’t there a “Raising Teenagers For Dummies” book?