As of a few weeks ago, I now have a teenager in my house. Although he only recently attained that magical number, he started morphing into a teenager about a year ago. The rules changed and honestly, I had a hard time keeping up. I’ve raised a girl and, quite frankly, it wasn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Perhaps because I am a girl, so I get it. A boy is a different animal altogether. Recently, I read a blog that was very enlightening. I wanted to share some of what I read, combined with some of what I’ve learned firsthand, in the hopes that it might help you and your child make the transition between man/woman child to young adult.
1. Respect me. I’m my own person, not just your kid. Sometimes, I might have opinions that differ from yours.
2. I still want to have fun with you, and feel like home is safe and happy. Smile at me.
3. I need to make some of my own choices, and maybe some of my own mistakes. Don’t do my work for me or get me out of every jam.
4. Believe in me. Trust that I’ll do my work. If I don’t, you can help me manage my time, but wait until I’m not taking care of responsibilities to think I can’t.
5. It feels really good when you ask me to teach you about what I’m learning or what I’m good at.
6. I don’t like the drama either, and it surprises me as much as it does you. You think it’s rough having this alien lunatic in your house? Try having it in your body, and you can’t even get away.
7. Give me some space. I need to have private jokes with my friends and not explain them to you. It’s how we bond.
8. I like it when you think I’m funny. Or interesting. Or awesome. I actually do care what you think about me. Please find something specific you actually like about me because sometimes I can’t find anything in myself to like at all.
9. I appreciate that you are interested in how my day was, but please think of different words to use other than “How was your day?” and it doesn’t have to be the first thing you ask when I get out of school.
10. Ask more, tell less. While I value your opinion, sometimes I don’t want your advice, I just want to communicate with you what is going on in my life. I’m not asking you to fix it, I’m just asking you to listen.
Oh, and you should also know, these rules are subject to change on a daily basis. Just be willing to roll with it.