I love my teens. You probably love yours, too. But let’s be honest, they don’t make it easy. Among the challenges they throw in the way of our affection are these:
15 Things I Love About My Teens (Although They Drive Me Crazy!)
1. They will respond to the GroupMe/SnapChat/Instagram of a kid they met once in middle school, and haven’t seen since, faster than they will answer our texts, even if we add exclamation points. How easy is it to forget who pays for food, gas, tuition, housing, insurance…
2. They lie about their alcohol use, right to our faces. Yes, they do. All of them. Well, almost all. And after they get caught…they lie again.
[More on Teenage Drinking here.]
3. They think that 11:45 pm on December 31st is an acceptable time to submit a college application… that they have been working on since AUGUST. They have had four months to polish that application and yet they take it down to the wire, as if nothing could go wrong.
4. They will leave every article of clothing they own on their bedroom floor and then, because they can find nothing, beg us to help them locate the shirt they want to wear. When we suggest that hanging up their clothes might make this whole process easier, they look at us like we have lost our minds and that they have a perfectly good system in place.
5. They can work any form of technology, except the one we need help with. “Mom, I can’t always do this for you,” they remind us. “I won’t always be here.” First, my sweet teen, (we want to say) thanks for the excruciating reminder. Second, given what I have done for you, we are deep into “you owe me” territory.
6. They put empty containers back in the cupboard, refrigerator, or freezer and THEN ask why we didn’t buy more at the store???
7. They come home from college for three days and sleep through two of them.
[More on Parenting College Kids here.]
8. They seem to be able to operate a car yet have no acquaintance with the significance of a gas gauge.
9. They are capable of bringing (some) dishes to the sink, well, near the sink, but unable to get them all the way into the dishwasher, which is admittedly another 18 inches away. Late night dishes, it goes without saying, are shoved under the bed.
10. They pack their belongings in plastic shopping bags even though we have bought them duffel bags and luggage.
11. They tell us their plans, change them ten times, and then apprise us again. On their way to meet their friends they change their plans for the eleventh and final time, because they can.
12. They want to be treated like adults (see: alcohol use, late night curfew and driving privileges) unless it involves some form or adult responsibility (see: filling out paperwork, laundry and chores).
13. They are loving and wonderful one minute, showing us flashes of the adult they will soon be, and then in a flash their inner 2-year-old emerges reminding us why we haven’t yet let them loose on the world.
14. They seem to think we have forgotten how it feels to be young but can remember how to do Trigonometry or Chemistry. We disappoint them when we tell them the reverse is true.
15. They are going to leave us. This was always the plan. Yet, despite this impending heartbreak, every day we offer them our love, our support and because they need it, our patience.
A Note to My Teens: It’s Not That I Don’t Trust You
The Teenage Brain: What Parents Need to Know