I was just reading a parenting article. I saw the title Surviving the Teenaged Years. and thought I need to read this. It was the normal blah blah, mild punishments of short duration.
Actually I thought the short duration of punishments was for training dogs, you know if you don’t punish the dog immediately it won’t associate the punishment with what it is not meant to do. Following that logic you don’t punish the dog completely at random just to see the confused look on its face, even though it is really funny. I thought teenagers had longer attention spans than dogs.
Well actually I didn’t; I have teenagers and dogs and I knew that the dogs have much better attention spans, memories and ability to follow logical and rational thoughts, but I was under the impression that people who wrote parenting advice tend to believe that teens are brighter than dogs. Again another warning, you know how I mentioned how funny it is to see the confused expression on a dog’s face when it is chastised randomly, don’t bother trying that on a teenager, they react the exact same way regardless of when you punish them.
And it also said you have to praise them any time they were not actually in the midst of being obnoxious. Presumably waking them up.
And if they actually voluntarily conversed with you, they must be lavished with enthusiasm. I am assuming that this is done despite the contents of the conversation.
“Oh wow, I am just so, like, fascinated to hear every little detail of the not insane intricacies of the love lives of children whose names I can’t keep track of.”
Actually I do this one, so I know some hints:
- Don’t point out they are children. The modern teen who attends school with their loved one is approximately the same as the de facto couple of our day, with all the accompanying stresses. But worse.
- Don’t ask if these people are online or at school. From just this innocent question your teenaged girl will realise that you don’t actually remember the names of her friends and or strangers she has never met but has a deep spiritual/computeral bond with. Your punishment will be to relearn all about the people she believes are in her life.
- Ditto don’t ever ask if they are real. If part way through the conversation you notice clues that you are in fact talking about a movie or game characters, do not let it slip. I know the feeling of triumph you get, realising you have actually worked out what the hell she is going on about. I know it feels like she would be pleased to know you understand something. But no, all she will realise is that you were not fully understanding her up to that point. She will have to explain it all again, in more detail. Mercy, please mercy, I need to have a life. By the way do not utter these words out loud. For some unfathomable reason teens find them insulting.
- You can defend the boys, but only in a patronising ‘Aww, but he couldn’t help it’ kind of way. Teenage girls are mean and you have to live with her. No matter how much hell she is putting the poor sap through it is not worth it to make any gesture stronger than what can be put down to you being soft.
You don’t need to do this with dogs, which is a pity really as their conversations are shorter and make far more sense.
Then I saw the heading Compromise and I stopped reading. I hate that word. I know damn well that I should comprise with other people but although it will make them like me more it makes me hate them and myself more so it doesn’t even out. I find I am better as the uncompromising harridan I am than trying to change.
But this brings me back to my real point:
I know the real secret to getting on with your teenage child.
I know its amazing. I could make a fortune. But actually it is a secret our parents already know.
They just don’t tell us, because they are jerks and they think its funny. You know the kind of thing they say:
“This is payback time for what you put me through!”
Which is totally unfair. My mother has actually admitted I was a more obedient teen than any of my kids. And why? Because she was terrifying. Oh my God I am still frightened of that tyrannical woman. She has forgotten where my blog is so I am safe.
So I know for a fact I am a nicer mum and a nicer daughter than I have been cursed with, so she can stop laughing hysterically at what my spawn put me through, because she knows it is not payback, it is just the continuation of her diabolical treatment of her poor innocent child. I am going to stop now, breathe and cuddle my spaniel.
Damn it! Charlie is at Mum’s house, getting treats! I really can’t win.
Okay! Have you noticed that despite the fact you are nicer than your parents ever were, your teenagers prefer them? How is this possible?
Easy the jerks have worked out it is funnier to side with your kids against you. Ha ha!They don’t have to worry about raising your kids in a responsible way. Actually there are less laws on that than you might think so ….
Awww I couldn’t concentrate on blogging. My new kitten Newbie came to give his Mummy a cuddle. He is sooooooo sweet. he taps me on the knee until I lean back and then he climbs up and sits on my chest and nuzzles under my chin. I have to pat him with two hands, even though he is so tiny, teensy small that two hands can’t fit on him at once. And he purrs and rubs against me and it is the bestest thing in the whole wide world. Nothing gets in the way of kitten cuddling time.
The disloyal spaniel came back in the middle and the sweet ickle kitten kissed him. Admittedly he did bite my neck rather badly. But he wants to play with my necklace and I may not want it wrecked but I do understand. Anyway he was still purring and being small so who can be angry.
I have only restarted typing because after 10 minutes he decided to play with the dog. He is patiently waiting for the dog to stop hiding behind my back to play with him. He is so patient and sweet and little.
Back to far less important things:
The Secret to Getting on with Your Teen.
So there are less laws than you might think about raising kids so it is actually a personal choice in the juggling act between their future happiness and the easiness of your life. Think about it. It is a matter of your own conscience. I being a nicer person than my own family as I have already proved have sacrificed a lot to yell, annoy and otherwise mould my children into better people. And one day when they are no longer adolescents they will benefit. I’ll keep you informed if any of them ever get there.
So grandparents, being evil and not caring, play the trump card. They side with the kids against their own offspring and thus get mistaken for a nice person.
Oh and they add lots and lots of sugary treats. This is my mother’s main trick to all relationships. As a matter of fact if she wants me to do something, like apologise for nothing at all, she offers me brownies.
Do you realise that if my lazy husband made me brownies I could finally send Mum off on her dream cruise, one way on an ice floe, Eskimo style.
Anyhow back to my point.
My youngest teenager can actually tolerate me. Occasionally she will actually ask to spend time with me. We do high fives. I’ll admit I often don’t know why but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
And I have realised how I achieved this.
That’s right! The evil tyrannical monster in my youngest’s life is actually her eldest sister. I look positively human by comparison. I stumbled on this accidently. Mutual terror led us to hiding in the same places and my natural compassion led me to sympathize.
The Common Enemy.
Fear makes strong allies.
The secret to having a good relationship with one of your teenaged children is to have so many that you have at least one that is so mean to the others that responsible parenting doesn’t seem so bad. Usually this is the eldest.
Thank you Cat! Thank you for giving me your sisters.
Yes of course they are idiots, and you don’t want them. I commend that sincere dedication to duty that compels you to dictate every aspect of their lives and to criticise them constantly.
Besides, it reduces the amount of time available to you to sort out my life!
I love you Cat!
Please don’t hurt me!