Phew, I’ve been stepping in it lately with my teenagers.
Sure, it’s the beginning of the school year. Sure, everyone is tired.
But man have I been stepping in it. Like I literally cannot do one thing right.
Because of this, I’ve been calling my mom regularly to apologize for my behavior when I was a teenager. Sometimes multiple times a day.
Sometimes it feels like we can never do anything right.
Lately, it feels like my mere existence annoys my three teenagers. And as much as I KNOW not to take it personally, it’s hard. So hard.
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I laugh too loud. I ask too many questions. I used the wrong emoji.
And sometimes I understand. I didn’t grow up during a pandemic. I didn’t have to worry as much about getting into college. I didn’t have active shooter drills and masks and online bullying.
To be honest, I remember what it was like to be a teenager. I remember what it was like to want to break free so badly from my parents. I remember what it was like to think my parents knew absolutely nothing, and of course I knew it all.
But it doesn’t mean it’s not hard to take.
And it doesn’t mean that sometimes they push the gamut just a little bit too far in how they act.
How am I doing it? How am I ruining my teenager’s lives?
Here’s my top 10 ways I’m annoying my teens without even trying.
10. Ask to take a photo of them before they head out the door. Maybe you wanted to catch them in their new soccer jersey or because they dressed up for a presentation. Just nope.
9 Ask, “Is that what you’re wearing?” My daughter and I were going to run out for lunch and she kinda sorta looked like she just rolled out of bed. I wasn’t sure if she knew I was ready to leave so I casually asked if that was what she was going to wear. Big mistake.
8. Tell them you don’t know where their phone charger or headphones are. Bonus points if you say, “Do you remember where you had them last?”
7. Say “Good morning.” “Good night” is usually acceptable but don’t expect a response.
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6. Use words that they believe they have sole generational vocabulary ownership, like “lit,” “bussin’,” “bruh,” or “sheeeeeeeeeeesh.” Definitely don’t use them wrong. My daughter’s eye roll measured a 7.2 on the Richter scale when my husband said his sushi dinner was “busting.” Also accept that they are able to use those words whenever and however they like and you’ll never fully understand what they mean. Yeet has at least 42 appropriate definitions.
5. Take longer than two seconds to try and complete a task on your phone, such as airdropping a photo or finding a google doc, while the teenager is forced to watch. It is important to recognize that it is a painful experience for an adolescent to watch a parent use technology. We really should be more understanding.
4. Suggest that they think about what or when they eat, particularly breakfast. Also don’t suggest they may be hangry when they are in a bad mood. It’s definitely your fault because there definitely is never anything to eat in your house.
3. Ask a question more than once, such as “What time is practice over again” or “Do you have a game this weekend.” That is super annoying. Also, definitely don’t ask if they put their clothes away. Better yet, keep the questions to a minimum. Avoid “How was school” at all costs and I would not mention that you saw they have a big project coming up when you checked their grades. Sometimes you can get away with, “Do you want some cookies” but a safer bet is to just leave them outside their door.
2. Sing or dance in the car, especially to their music. You know nothing and you certainly don’t have good taste in music because your favorite artists were born in the Paleolithic Era. Bono and Julius Caesar are pretty much the same age.
1. Tell them how to do something, even though they do not know how to do it, and may have even asked you how to do it. They definitely do not want you to tell them, help them, offer suggestions, watch, sigh or breathe.
So, that’s it. That’s how I’m ruining my kids’ lives. I hear that eventually, much later in life, the reward for letting them survive this stage is grandchildren.
Godspeed to us all.
To be honest, raising teens can be hard. Here are a few books that we have read that have helped us on this amazing, challenging and fun journey. (Affiliate Disclaimer, we may receive a small commission from the purchase of these products, but we only recommend stuff we use and love!)
Parenting Teens with Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible AdulthoodHe’s Not Lazy: Empowering Your Son to Believe In HimselfParenting a Teen Girl: A Crash Course on Conflict, Communication & Connection with Your Teenage DaughterThe Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young AdultsHow to Talk So Teens Will Listen and Listen So Teens Will TalkThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective TeensBrave: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Beating Worry and AnxietyGratitude Journal for Teen Girls and Moms: Shared Prompts for Connection and JoyThe Mindfulness Journal for Teens: Prompts and Practices to Help You Stay Cool, Calm, and Present