What To Do With A Teenager
When you first cuddle your newborn the last thoughts on your mind are that they will one day turn into a teenager. Nobody wants to deal with the teenage years least of all when you are a single parent. One dad tells us how to deal with some of the trickier moments in life.
If you go back a few years, I was probably one of the last people you expected to be an owner of a teenage boy (and I use the term owner in its lowest possible guise, I actually mean being owned by). I actually remember what I was like and my own mum gleefully reminds me on the odd occasion too, especially in terms of what I have to look forward to.
Over the last year, I have noticed the change. He has learned to swear for one. Not just swear, I mean properly swear. He really means it when he f@&king hates me now, (or does he)? He is also washing regularly, doing his hair and even changing his pants unprompted and daily.
So I have a pre-teen, what to do next? Well, in conclusion, nothing different.
I get told all of the time that ‘I’m doing something right’ or he is a ‘smashing lad’. But what is the benchmark for something right? Detention, rudeness, not doing homework? Or is it just being there and remembering to say thank you every now and again?
Yeah, times have changed in our household and yes we all have to adapt, as my little lady found out yesterday evening when in her ultimate wisdom she decided to run into his room videoing on her shiny new iDevice whilst he was getting changed. Or, as I found out whilst checking his Instagram account and accidentally stumbling upon his poor attempts to flirt with a certain young lady.
But, no actually BUT, the basics are still the basics…… Encourage, talk and enjoy.
Boys, don’t communicate, they don’t talk. I know this because I’m a boy and I don’t communicate and I don’t talk. So one thing I will do is teach my kids, it’s ok to be sad sometimes, it’s even ok to cry. You don’t have to ‘Man-up’, we can cuddle this one through together. Even a very uncomfortable and awkward pre-teen cuddle.
Oh, he doesn’t really hate me (I hope). If the kids don’t express their hatred toward me at least once a week I’m doing something wrong and when no one is looking I still get the odd ‘love ya dad’ and that’s enough for me.
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