People always joke about how difficult raising teenagers is, and when you had toddlers, you thought it couldn't get any worse or be that much harder, but you've now realized you were mistaken.
Every stage of raising children is different and presents different challenges, but why did no one tell you how difficult it would be to convince a 15-year-old boy to spend five minutes emptying the dishwasher?
Information Is Power, And You Have None
There are so many ways for parents to communicate with their teenagers nowadays thanks to cell phones, yet they're still unable to tell you the correct time they're supposed to be at hockey practice or the address of the house they "need" you to drive them to on Saturday night.
Don't You Dare Come Inside
"Parent" is just another word for personal chauffeur to your teenagers. As much as them learning to drive might scare you, would you rather spend the rest of your life sitting outside of basketball practice?
You Can Smell Them Coming
How do you nicely but effectively tell your son that using half a bottle of body spray every morning is unnecessary and is also giving you traumatic flashbacks to your own time as a teenager?
It Could've Been Done By Now
Your husband keeps reminding you that you need to let the kids help out with chores more or they're never going to learn, but when they're doing it wrong and it took them 45 minutes to even start the task, it's hard to not do it yourself.
He's Adjusting Well To His New Role
You didn't think that 12 was going to be that different from 13 or that it could get any worse from 16 to 17, but you thought wrong. Something has shifted, and you don't know how to handle it.
Physical Contact In Public Must Be Pre-Approved
Any physical contact in public should be pre-approved by your teenager, and chances are it's not going to be approved at all. Don't expect to show affection in public again until they're going off to college.
Hope They Brought Cash
Cell phones are so great because your teenagers are able to text you whenever they forget their lunches and need you to bring them to school, or when they forget their equipment and need you to bring it for practice, or when they take the wrong backpack to the wrong school... Are you sensing a pattern?
Who's Really In Control Here?
Sometimes, all you can do is admit defeat and ask for help, especially when it comes to technology. You told your kids they couldn't get Instagram until they were 13, but now you want to join so it's time to cave and ask them to show you how to use it...because you know they already have it anyway.
Phone Privacy Doesn't Work Both Ways
If you thought that there was going to be complete balance and reciprocity in your relationship with your teen, then unfortunately, you thought wrong. But the fact that you were even allowed to see her lock screen picture is a win.
Give Them Time To Process
You might not get an answer to your question right away, and sometimes you might not get an answer at all, but you should always give them a little time to process the question. They'll hear you eventually.
What Did You Do?
If it seems like it's too good to be true, it's probably because it is. Question everything, while still being happy about the fact that they did something without being asked 20 times.
Didn't We Have This Argument Already When You Were A Child?
Oh, you thought that you'd done enough arguing over clothing when your kids were babies and toddlers? It never ends. You will always fight with your child about their clothing, or with your teenagers about wearing their winter coat when it's freezing out.
Take The Little Wins
You have to take the little victories as a parent, otherwise, you'll never have any wins. She'll get over whatever it was that she was upset about, and you get to laugh in the meantime.
You Don't Need A Cheat Sheet To Figure This Out
Every parent of a teenager will quickly learn the difference between a sick kid and a kid who is sick of going to school. What you choose to do with that information is up to you, but you'll know what's happening.
The Rules Of Engagement
The older they get, the more your list of "don'ts" is going to grow and the things you're allowed to do is going to shrink. Just know that they still love you anyway.
This Can't Turn Out Well
You're going into it a little blind, you're not sure how it's going to end, and it might be a little messy in the meantime, but you'll have clarity in the end.
Can We Exchange For Another Product?
You were never a big drinker, but then your daughter turned into a teenager and suddenly wine is more of a necessity in your household than any other food on the grocery list.
Did Our Music Sound This Bad?
Try to remember that your parents probably didn't love the music you used to listen to at full volume from that giant speaker in your room when you were a kid. Be thankful that better headphones exist now and you don't have to always listen to whoever Megan Thee Stallion is.
Don't Hate The Player
Times are changing, and parents have to be able to adapt to those changes. Learn their weaknesses and then use them for the maximum number of successful interactions with your teen.
It's All About Balance
All those hours and days of your life that you spent constantly monitoring them are going to be balanced out when they start spending every waking hour hiding in their room, plus 12 hours a day sleeping.
Are You Passing The Test?
The countdown to college begins the first time they roll their eyes at you for asking what you thought was a perfectly reasonable question, and that won't even be close to the worst thing that's going to be thrown at you.
Why Do Promposals Exist?
It's so hard to keep up with all the new trends and elaborate schemes that your teenagers want to participate in, but you'll be a bad parent if you don't help them, which is how you ended up spelling out a teenage girl's name in balloons to help your son prompose.
Are We Really The Superior Species?
You know that humans are technically the superior species, but then you learn that your son doesn't know how to load the dishwasher properly and your daughter is incapable of pouring anything without spilling it, so you can't help but question it.
The Best Part Of Waking Up
Who needs an alarm clock when you can listen to your son and daughter fight over who gets to use the shower first every morning at 6:45 before they leave for school?
You Don't Know The Story
Everyone is fighting their own private battle, so you should be polite to whoever you come across, but if that person is the parent of a teenager? Well, they're fighting an ongoing 5-year war, so give them a hug.
The Harsh Realizations
You want to let them be independent, but sometimes you're going to be stuck watching them struggle through a task that you could've finished already, and you can't help but wonder where you went wrong.
Just Smile And Nod
You may not understand what TikTok is or why that meme was funny, but if you don't laugh when they show it to you, then they'll never show anything to you ever again. Fake it 'til you make it.
How Dare You Do What They Asked Of You!
Being a parent to a teenager means that no matter what you do, even if it's exactly what they asked you to do, you're going to do it wrong. You're the bad guy even when you're not trying to be.
Your Window For Quality Time Is Slim
You have to act quickly when it comes to quality time because you never know what might set them off. Suddenly, you took too long to come upstairs and they no longer want to see you even though you dropped what you were doing as quickly as you could.
Set Yourself Up For Success
The only way you're going to guarantee that someone is always happy to see you when you come home is if you're bringing pizza for dinner, or if you have a dog.