I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride. Teen years…wow. Why are parents not talking more about them? Warnings? PSA’s? We hear ALL about the terrible twos…. I call BS! Terrible teens is THE REAL DEAL. And I’m here to educate young mothers everywhere. Take your two year old drama and multiply that by 200%..and that’s a conservative number! A two year old naps, a two year old can be soothed with a lollipop, a two year old still has morning cuddles, a two year old is in bed by 7pm!!! That’s just quickly off the top of my head what you get with a two year old. Yes they whine, yes they cry…guess what? Take the xbox controller away from a teen boy mid Fortnite battle and you get the same thing. Except they are taller than you while they are looking down at you whining that “…no one else’s mom is this mean. You’re the worst. Why do you even care? It’s just a game. I’m just having fun. You’re such a fun sponge. You suck all the fun out of everything. Why can’t I have this up in my room? You are so strict. 90% of the kids I know get to do whatever they want.” Aah, good times. Have kids they say…it’ll be fun they say. Where’s my wine?
Ok, I’m back. Let’s go over more. A two year old takes your ipad or your iphone to watch videos in the grocery cart while you shop. A teen wants their own phone and has their own ipad from school (that we pay for too), so they can do their work that they apparently finished at school, so…they use it to watch hours of YouTube videos while they are snapping their friends with who knows what? I don’t know bc it’s “disappears to the Cloud”. Great. And what are they watching on YouTube? Not Disney. Not sweet little cartoons with crazy songs that you can never get out of your head (I STILL sing the doodlebops song- don’t pull the rope!!!)… Nope, they are watching videos of OTHER people playing fortnite, or other families who document their lives doing challenges that eventually we will have to recreate. Currently my kids are watching some show with a guy named Matt Stoney, who eats a ton of food. All different food and it’s timed how fast he eats it all. First off, my kids will take an hour to eat ONE measly asparagus. “Ew, this will make my pee stink”. Why yes, yes it will, but what do you care? I’m the one cleaning it up off the floor when you miss the bowl. Puh-lease. But back to food…the teens, at least in my house, have become picky. Mine ate better at 2. They tried everything. Nowadays I run Mels Diner up in here. While they are watching this food show, they are simultaneously complaining about having chicken quesadillas for dinner. “I hate cheese”…. “I hate melted cheese”, “they are too plain” (after she states she will not add anything to it). These are all actual lines I got today from 3/4 of my kids. My 14 year old actually likes them. So I consider this dinner a win. Baked ziti in my house got 4 no’s…including one child actually vomiting because he gagged himself while trying to swallow “all that cheese”. (Yes he eats pizza) Sigh.
A two year old goes to school and works hard learning his letters and numbers. Sure, you might get a note home that Johnny hit Casey, but they are little and learning. But they make you thumbprint artwork and all is right in the world. My teens come home and tell me about the fights at school. Kids PUNCHING other kids…pulling hair out…and that’s the girls. It’s insanity. Kids vaping in the bathrooms and stuff happening under the bleachers at the football games. Oy. They are working hard though… mine are on the honor roll for snap chat streaks. They are killing it with not missing a day. And socializing? A++++.
Everyday I have to talk to my kids about the dangers out there. Drinking, smoking, vaping. Sex. The girls tell me about kids cutting themselves, the boys come home and tell me pretty much nothing. Our town has recently lost 4 children to suicide. In 11 months. I worry what toll that takes on the kids left behind. And how they might become desensitized to it. And that they might think that’s even an option. Mental Health awareness is a big discussion. Then I get to talk to them about their schoolwork and how it really matters now. What they do now will be where they are placed in the high school and those grades and activities dictate whether they will get accepted into the college they want to attend (currently 3 for Penn State and 1 for U Penn.) Then I start to worry about college. They basically are so lazy right now, they don’t even clean up after themselves…how will they function living alone!? Am I doing a good job as a parent? Are they going to be ok? What if they aren’t prepared?! This is a worry I have often. When my kids were two, I was worried whether they would learn to poop on the potty in the next 6 months or if I’d be changing more diapers for another year. Trivial.
But don’t get me wrong…these years aren’t all bad. Scary and new, but not bad. I just need to learn how to maneuver them There are glimmering moments of joy when my son will come sit next to me on the couch and watch a movie. One on one time is key. That’s when the phones go away, we talk and catch up. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth but sometimes, those rare days when the 14 year old talks, it’s fabulous. Unfortunately for me, they don’t happen as often as I’d like with sports and activities and “hang outs” (teen word for playdates) . BUT, here’s a secret….Get a fun game and play it with them. Oh. My. Gosh. They drop the phones, they have fun, they laugh…with YOU! The parent. And the siblings. It’s ah-mazing. I recently posted about our upcoming unplugged weekend. Well, I bought a bunch of games to play (off of amazon), but wanted to test them out beforehand so I’m not lugging a dud out there to this farmhouse where we will just be looking at each other and they’ll be actually hating it like they already think they will be. But these games were winners! We had so much fun and cannot wait to break them out again.
Here are our favorites that we recommend. For car rides or dinner conversation:
Telestrations!!! So much fun!
I ordered two more that we haven’t played yet, so will review after then. These were definitely a hit in my house, so spread the word. Teens like games!!! It’s an in as a parent.
Do you have any tips or hints?! I’d love to have you share. Anything to make these terrible teen years a bit easier to navigate!!!