FOURTEEN!! A mystical number! It’s the number of birthdays it’s taken our daughter (in her mind) to become smarter, trendier, cooler and overall more HIP than her 40-something-year-old parents.
Check it — missy teenager went from car-seat to booster-seat to front seat… now suddenly she thinks I’m “back-seat” when it comes to knowing all about what’s “coolio,” “crunk,” “dope,” “ratchet,” “turnt up” or “the illest!”
Everybody told me it would happen, but I laughed it off. I guess I thought somehow I’d be spared this hilarious phase. I was wrong! So, in the spirit of my fun-loving and not-so-hip mom self, I’ve decided to help my fellow parents of teens with a few (tongue-in-cheek) tips for navigating the world according to those who suffer from Teen-I-Know-It-All-Syndrome!
So… if you don’t already… Please be aware of these things:
1. Texting Rule #1. No secret.. its their preferred means of communication. Just try to remember– Unless you want to risk RUINING their lives…never, ever end a text with the words, Love, Mommy.
2. Fashion Backward! As a parent, this is no longer your forte. You could walk the runway for Donna Karan during fashion week in Paris, but to your teenager… in their mind… what you’re wearing will still be UN-COOL.
3. Language Barrier! The phrase “get rid of the clutter” is no longer self-explanatory. If you are not SPECIFIC when making this request, your teen will likely think you want them to free up some space on the DVR.
4. Your Music Taste is Off! If it’s music to your ears, rest assured your teen will hate it. Teenagers believe they are the best music connoisseurs on earth. And remember this– If you want meaningful conversation with your teen while in the car, prepare to issue the order for a mandatory ear buds hiatus.
5. Snarky Is In the Building! And he will tempt your teen’s mouth. If you haven’t met this companion yet, trust, I’m happy for you! But I’ll warn you anyway… Brother Snark is your teen’s friend who gives them a lot of confidence. He shows up disguised as sarcastic comebacks, bad attitudes, eye rolling… you know… that “know-it-all” body language. Just brace yourself. Expect it. And by all means..PLAN to deal with it ahead of time. I deal with these moments with some positive but FIRM feedback. Because sometimes no matter how good your kid is… he/she will need to be reminded that you are their parent above everything else.
My sincere hope is that your teens… and mine…will understand that showing RESPECT at all times is the only way to truly be cool.
After all… “I” AM the one in the driver’s seat! LOL!