Seven Humorous Parent Habits That Teens Will Never Understand

They drive us crazy.

We shake our heads in wonder almost daily over the strange things they do.

We try to understand exactly why they’re doing it “that way.”

And frequently, we just have to agree to disagree and let it go. When you’re the parent of a teen or young adult, you get in the habit of simply saying, “Whatever.” And walking away. There are a lot of hills that you know you don’t want to die on.

Recently I shared with my son the Grown and Flown piece, “Seven Teen Habits I Don’t Understand.”

We laughed together over how many of these things he does or did when he was a bit younger. “Truth,” he kept saying.

Then of course he had to add, “Well there are a lot of things you guys do that we just don’t get either!”

Humorous parent habits that teens don't understand.
Apparently, there are things parents do that teens will never understand. (ShotPrime Studio/Shutterstock)

Pray tell, whatever do you mean?

He began to spill the tea…because apparently there’s a lot of stuff that we do that’s just “sus.” (Suspect – for other ancient parents, like me.)

Here are some of the ways we drive our kids a little insane.

Parent Habits that Drive Our Teens Insane

Voice texting

We think it’s so much faster, because we text like T-rexes. Sorry, my thumb-skills are as slow and awkward as you attempting to call someplace and ask a question!  Teens think we just look and sound stupid.

And when I point out that it’s faster than me actual texting, my son reminds me that I then waste another minute going back and correcting the autocorrect “mistakes”. Hey, spelling and grammar are important! Laughter ensues.

Getting the mail everyday

Over winter break, my husband and I quickly discovered that our daughter finds our quaint habit of checking the mailbox almost daily to be quite annoying and useless. (It’s down the block from our house, so it does require a short walk, or a stop on the way home and “Why are we wasting our time doing this!?”)

Granted, I do agree that the majority of its contents are usually just fodder for the recycle bin, but sometimes that box holds gems like cards! And good coupons! And paychecks! And apparently it would be JUST FINE to wait a few days to see those things.

Watching the news

My kids find it hysterical that I watch a news show in the morning. I try to explain that it’s part of my morning wake-up ritual. I do not apologize that I absolutely need a little time to sit on my couch with my coffee and just regain consciousness.

Yes, I readily admit that the “news” I’m hearing is usually 12 hours old and much of it is “infotainment” but I need my squad of smiling faces to remind me that humans can be chipper at 7am. Goals.

Having a landline

Yep, we rarely pick it up. Yep, it’s usually spam or a scam – damn, fam – don’t stop eating your green eggs and ham! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

But despite my husband wanting to nix it, I still just can’t give it up yet, and if I’m in the room when it rings, I do go and check the number, just in case. In case of what, I’m not really sure of anymore, but old habits die hard.

Using a physical address book

This relic of an object really does need to go. I can barely decipher half of the entries because they’ve been erased and re-written so many times. I literally cannot even remember who some of the people in it are, which I blame on being a military family for years and moving so many times, but that’s a little scary.

I just don’t have the energy to transfer all that info to my phone, so the little, ratty blue book with scraps of envelopes always falling out if it, lives on.

Using a letter opener

Piggy-backing on the lameness of an address book, we dare to own a letter opener! And we are prehistoric because we use it. Umm, have none of you kids ever yelped in pain from a paper cut received while opening an envelope with your finger? That ish hurts!

Oh, right… you don’t open too many envelopes, do you? Well, we can also jab you with the letter opener when you roll your eyes and chuckle at our foolishness.

Asking people questions instead of Googling it

I also discovered that nothing quite bothers my son as much as watching me ask someone a question or read instructions in an attempt to learn something when Siri is a thing! We were recently in a store together looking at an electronic product in a box.

I opened the box to get out the small booklet of operating instructions so see how quickly this product would heat up. He gazed at me with a look of sheer horror, took out his phone, and found the answer before I could even find the correct page in that miniscule book full of instructions in four different languages and Geez, why is that print so dang tiny? OK, you win!

So, we can all admit that the frustrations go both ways.

You kids can look away as I print out something that is not necessary but makes me feel better because my phone might die, or the grid could go down, or you know, zombies.

And we’ll look away as you text, lightening fast, to someone in the next room, because why get up and use actual spoken words?

It’s a good thing we love each other!


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About Marybeth Bock

Marybeth Bock, MPH, is Mom to two young adults and one delightful hound dog. She has logged time as a military spouse, childbirth educator, college instructor and freelance writer. She lives in Arizona and thoroughly enjoys research and writing - as long as iced coffee is involved. You can find her work on numerous websites and in two books. Find her on Facebook and Instagram

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