One day I woke up and I found myself on Teenage Planet. Wow! Who knew that sweet smelling, cuddly, loving babies could grow up to be moody, glaring, hateful toned teenagers? As any parent of a teen will tell you, we know why some species eat their young!
Teens require an entirely different type of discipline and diet than any other creature on earth. There are days when I wonder if any of us will make it through!
From what I can tell about teenage boys, they hate water as much as they love food. They'll avoid bathing with as much gusto as they will raid the refrigerator. No food is safe from their all consuming appetite, but soap and shampoo last forever. I've learned boys can get their feelings hurt at the bat of an eyelash (especially if that eyelash belongs to a beautiful teenage girl), yet turn around and speak so hatefully that one would think they didn't have any feelings. I've learned how different they can be. One son will cry if we look at him sideways, the other is so aggressive that he can't even walk through a door without slamming it behind him. I've learned to knock before I walk into their rooms - more for my sake than theirs!
It amazes me how much they can sleep! They seem to hibernate year round. And the teasing we could do when they were younger is now forbidden.
So far, my daughter has been easier to raise, but probably only because I can understand her since I was once a teenage girl myself! Is she any less moody than her brothers? Probably not, but I know how to negoiate these waters. And whereas her brothers are afraid of water, she embraces long, hot showers. Her brothers eat with gusto, she's much more picky. And the time her brothers spend sleeping, she spends primping. The boys will wear dirty clothes and not think a thing about it. She washes her own clothes because I don't do them to her liking. And I can tease her, just as I always could. But her daddy can't.
With all three teens, I've learned that what is acceptable behavior in public today, may not be tomorrow. The mood they are in now is likely to change within the next five minutes. And that I never get tired of hearing my kids tell me they love me, even if they are ducking down in the backseat because I'm not wearing any makeup and they'll just die if their friends see them with me!
The only real advice I can give for raising teens is to hold on. I understand that there comes a day when they really are loveable again and they no longer think their parents are complete idiots. As for me? I'm just waiting for the grandchildren. It's the reason I had children!