Nov 19, 2006

On Surly Teenagers

Surly, rude teenager (Toledo, OH) In our home my wife and I currently have three teenagers in the 16- to 17-year range, hereafter referred to as the Cranky Years.

Oh, the unmitigated joy that accompanies these precious moments! Perhaps a recent example might best illustrate the phenomena:

Parent: Good morning, Child X!

Child X: (unresponsive)

Parent (repeating): Good morning, Child X!

I try to maintain good humor and a longer-range perspective through this phase, which I see as "hormones meeting drive for independence." This is the age in which teenagers subconsciously begin to define themselves through distance, or as the antithesis of some aspect of their parents.

We have already survived two of these phases with our oldest children, and the fact that this period seems to last about a year lessens the severity of having loving children turn into churlsh, self-absorbed cretins.

Still, I suspect my own father would have whooped the tar out of me had I said some of the things that have come out of my children's mouths.

Then again - maybe I am minimizing and glossing over my own Cranky Years.


liberal_dem said...

To help you through these years, just hope that none of them gets stuck in permanent adolescence like GW Bush did.

Hooda Thunkit said...

"Then again - maybe I am minimizing and glossing over my own Cranky Years."

You can't realistically evaluate your own Cranky Years..., until you emerge from them ;-)

Calico Jack said...

Do kids still say:
I never get to do anything!
Everyone else is (insert forbidden behavior of choice)
So what!
I hate you!
Why don't you care about me!
Everybody's picking on me!

and on, and on...

Which reminds me of the time when I was 16 and faced with the end of the world (again, third time that morning). I stormed out of the house and went to visit my best buddy, who wasn't home. His father was home, though, and I spent an hour or so talking things over with him. I found out best friend's dad was a good listener, very reasonable, not a know-it-all, did not condemn my stupid behavior, and offer several reasonable suggestions for which I thanked him.

Fast forward several years. I'm an adult, chronologically speaking. I ran across old best buddy and his dad and took the opportunity to thank the father for all the time and effort he spent giving me sound advice, how everything worked out well, and since I never really thanked him properly I'd like to do so now. I then told best buddy how lucky he was to have an even-tempered, wise father like that.

Best buddy was speechless. Dad laughed. I've never asked, but I kind of think I may have stepped in it somehow.

d said...

Crap. My daughter is only 7 months old, but I'm not looking forward to this...