Happy New Year!
2019 has already begun and whilst I am not a fan of making resolutions, I think that the beginning of a new year is a time to reflect on the best way to move forward. As a parent of two fully-fledged teenage boys, my thoughts are on how to have a positive year of parenting them. I am thinking a twelve whole months of no conflict and harmony in the house. I’m dreaming, right? But in the spirit of hope and peace in the year to come, here are my resolutions for a stress-free year with all those teenage hormones raging around me.
I will not show them any signs of affection (particularly in public)
Yes, I gave birth to them. Yes, I nurtured them to this point in their lives but that gives me no rights to show them any affection or for them to show me any. Affection has to be on their (very limited) terms and I must be happy with the occasional hug or pat on the head (which they now do regularly as they are taller than me).
I will not give them any advice (unless they ask for it first)
What do I know anyway? How could I possibly give them any advice on any topic as I clearly know nothing? Enough said.
I will put a big sign up in every room with the WiFi password written on
These days whenever a new teen arrives in the house before they even say hello, they want the WiFi password to preserve their precious data, so I am thinking of printing a large poster for every room in the house with the password on so that the teens can slink in and log in unnoticed.
There will be a charger in every plug socket
Along with the Wifi, chargers are the other thing that all teens covet the most in the world. They even carry them around in their pockets just in case they find a handy plug socket somewhere. If they lose them, it is tantamount to the end of the world, so always keep a few spare just in case.
I will not comment on any of their social media posts
Although SnapChat is the social media that matters with teenagers, I am allowed to follow the teens on Instagram (they don’t do Facebook or Twitter, they are for old people apparently). I can follow them and see their selfies and stories but I am not allowed to comment. It doesn’t even matter if it is a harmless comment, I have even tried just commenting with an emoji like their friends, it doesn’t work. Within seconds, it has been deleted and I will get a ‘look’ or a ‘muuuum’ of disapproval. Look, don’t comment woman, look don’t comment.
I will try not to always be suspicious
With so many minefields during the teenage years, it can be tricky knowing where to tread. No parent wants to think of their children doing things they shouldn’t or getting into any sort of trouble. My biggest problem is that I am always suspicious. Sometimes, my suspicions are founded. But not always. I must learn to relax and not always assume the worst.
There will always be food in the fridge (that they like)
I think teenage boys must have hollow legs. I am quite lucky that both of mine do quite a bit of exercise and are fit but boy, can they eat. And they are always hungry. That end of the week fridge doesn’t cut it with them either. If they are hungry they are hungry and with a McDonalds and a supermarket within walking distance, they will find food somewhere else if the food in the fridge isn’t right.
I will be more patient
I know that hormones and growing up, coupled with the demands of social media, can make teenage years pretty tough going. I like to think that I am patient and understanding but there are times when I hear myself and I feel like a carbon copy of my own mother and even grandmother. Teens don’t want to hear about what you went through or that you were once a teenager as that doesn’t really help them. I will try to listen more and think before I react.
I will try really hard not to nag.
Yes I know that is really not going to happen ever but if I manage all of the others, that gives me a little leeway to nag doesn’t it?