Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Why aren't we talking about this?

Recently it has been brought to my attention that people are not blogging/talking about teenagers anymore. How there's so much information when you have a little person and then once they get a little older, oh say 12, 13, 14... we are all left in the dark.

Now I am not sure what the ratio of parenting books for little vs teens happens to be but I know the exact answer as to why there isn't much chatter about this species.

They are all assholes.

I am not even kidding.

I have one of the sweetest kids on the planet. Even at 13 he is really one of the best. He doesn't cuss, he still wants to play board games, he is really comfortable with himself so he doesn't constantly get into trouble pretending to be someone else (which isn't the case for most teens). So I really think of myself and ourselves as lucky to have him. He is our first teen. My husband and I are learning so much about what is to come. We have 3 kids! We need all the lessons we can get.
But still. He is an asshole.

There's a certain time in a kids life when they go from being really awesome 80-90% of the time and then they have their bratty 10-20% of the time to a swift shut down. (Averages may vary:). Around 12 you see the change, however subtle it seems as first, it will soon kick your ass. There is a little more crying (for no reason) there are new battles (forgetting everything) and the laziness kicks in. Like real, honest to goodness laziness.

By their 13th birthday you have 100%, pure grade A assholes.

I get it though. It wasn't THAT long ago. I do remember thinking I knew everything and feeling like the adults in my life didn't know what the hell they were talking about (which, hey, maybe they didn't). I do get it. But THIS is why no one talks about it. You aren't "allowed" to call your kid an asshole.
But... I'll be honest. I do. I am a straight shooter. I tell him to shut up when he is poppin' off and I call him an asshole (no, not an "A hole") when he is being a teenager... oh wait.
Not all the time (all the time), not every single day (every single day).

I love my kid(s). Don't get me started but I would like to just put it out there that this is why we don't read endless blogs about the amazing life of a Mother of a teen. There are no articles that post "Top ten Christmas gifts for your teenager.". It ain't happenin, I dont have a single book about this glorious phase (please tell me its just a phase). Maybe I should write one?

Chapter 3, "It's a phase, stand your ground and love them."
Translation, "He's a dick,  you're the boss, try not to slap him."



  1. I'm totally with you on this; the conversations need to happen with more visibility in our culture. We need blogs, we need books, we need people talking to one another on the street, in a coffee shop about their kids. And we need to not be afraid to say that our kids are acting like assholes when they are because it surely doesn’t do them any favors.

    I don't have a teenager myself, but, my fiancé does, and we have her every other month – which is relatively new. I've lived with people who had teenagers before, but, this is my first experience with helping to raise a teenager and being responsible for one when we have her. She kind of came roaring out of the asshole gate when she turned 12. She's 14 now and it has mellowed out a bit - just a bit - but she is still in that ever so charming phase of the teenage years. There's only one place I've ever read about all of this and it was in the developmental psychology classes I took in undergrad, where we had access to textbooks and other scholarly articles about the subject. So I got a brief insight into it well before she was a teenager, but then later I got a nice, in depth look at this when she was about to become a teenager when I took a class focused on childhood and adolescent development. There are books for parents, but, they don't seem to be as ubiquitous as the books aimed at parents with younger children. They exist, but, they’re not marketed as much you could say. For instance, in my childhood and adolescent class, we had a book about parenting babies, but, my professor gave us all excerpts from books when it came to adolescence. Sure, this was largely because our class focused the most on infancy and early childhood (and my professor didn’t want to force us to buy 15 books for the class), but, it’s an interesting representation of the way our society talks about parenting.

    I won't bore you to tears with all the in-depth psych mumbo jumbo but, I find it absolutely interesting to see my fiancé’s daughter embody the things I've read about in my textbooks; the uniqueness and omnipotence aspects of the personal fable and the egocentrism, mainly, because I can remember having similar feelings when I was her age - that everyone was always staring at me and that I was so different from everyone else and nobody could possibly understand what I was going through because I was such a precious little snowflake. And I know that, like all teenagers, I thought I knew more and was smarter than everyone else around me - especially the adults. When she and I talk, she’s rapt with the conversation, to hear that it’s totally normal to feel singled out and to feel like the odd duck, but, at the same time, you can tell she’s thinking the typical refrain of “pfft, what do YOU know, you’re just a stupid adult, you don’t really understand.” But, it is absolutely just a phase and it will pass. It’s only the rare case where these beliefs carry over into adulthood, after all.

  2. I have a boat load of teenagers. At one point, 5 under one roof...everyday. The extreme asshole-ness seems to mellow out a bit junior year. 16ish. And as far as boys go... Many people make comments like, "I am glad I only have boys. Girls are so moody!" Boys are far more emotional and moody than girls at this age. They have a lot going on in those little bodies and brains right now. It'll pass. 8th 9th and 10th grade just seemed really difficult.
    Good luck with it. Try to enjoy the kid in him now because quicker than you can imagine, he will be a man.