sophieduffy

writing, reading, family, life, politics

8 Things Teenagers Have Taught Me

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1.Do not comment on their Facebook posts or they will de-friend you and how will you then spy on them? (That is if you are lucky enough to have been accepted as a friend in the first place. It is a privilege. Do not abuse it.)

2. Do not buy clothes from Topshop. Their clothes are designed for sprites, not women who have given birth several times. Don’t compete with your teenage daughter. Just accept you have to move on to M&S.

3. Do not buy underwear for your teenage sons. There comes a point when they should make their own choice in this department. Apart from paying for them and washing them, do not get involved.

4. Do not say anything about your own experiences as a teenager. It is embarrassing and futile. They will still know more than you.

5. Do not ask them about their friendship troubles. You won’t understand or be able to help and even if you do have some words of wisdom these will be met with a sigh and a huff.

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6. Do try and aim for at least one meal together as a family per week. It is extremely hard to round up all members and contain in one room for any length of time but give it your best shot. Failing that, offer to take them to Pizza Express or Yo! Sushi. That usually has the desired effect but obviously means you will be even more skint and your arguments can be heard by the general public.

7. Do agree to being taxi driver as often as you can. This is the best time for talking with your teen, when there is no eye contact and Radio 1 is pulsing in your ears.

8. Do believe that this time will pass and you will one day not lie in bed worrying about sex, drugs, booze, cars, exams, university applications, gap years, stripped out bank accounts and fridges. There will be plenty of other worries to be had in the future.

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8 thoughts on “8 Things Teenagers Have Taught Me

  1. For my daughter my rule was that until she turned 18 the only way she was allowed to use the computer for anything other than homework was that I had to have her passwords, mobile phones were left downstairs to charge overnight and in return I promised not to embarrass her by posting the photo of her sat naked on her potty, it worked quite well lol

  2. That’s interesting. There are different parenting approaches to this. Do you control your 15, 16, 17 year olds in this way? Or do you step back a bit and let them navigate their own path through the whole social media forest. I met one parent in a restaurant back along and we were discussing this very matter. (This was a weekly family meal where it was easier to go out…) She took the same stance as you, probably went a bit further and didn’t allow her daughter to have FB. When she left, my oldest son said, ‘I didn’t like to tell her I’ve been friends with her daughter for two years on FB.’ Where there’s a will there’s a way… And there’s always another password, FB account, etc etc. I guess our hope as parents is that we will keep them safe but also allow them enough independence to journey through these turbulent teenage years…. So hard!

  3. Well done Sophie!

    Worries grow exponentially to the year of your child’s birth. Little people usually little worries, bigger people bigger worries, puberty to your demise —-well you get the idea. However, the rewards & blessings grow as well —–great joys to replace those years and times of stress and concern.

  4. I agree with that, Pat. Looking forward to greater joys!

  5. Wise words that ring very true to my own experience.

  6. Thank you for this, Sophie. I feel so much better knowing I’m not the only mother learning the mysteries of unwritten teen lore. My son turned 18 just before Xmas. Most of the time he’s lovely and a joy to have around … and then he transforms … (usually when he hasn’t eaten!)
    Agree about having at least one family meal together – this gets harder and harder when they have their own transport and you never know their itinerary but the temptation of pizza/curry/pub usually does the trick!

  7. My older son is 19 in March and the younger one is 18 in August. Yes, food is transformational… !

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