7 signs you have a teenager in your house.

I’d gotten a bit cocky, I suppose, thinking I had this whole parenting thing nailed.

It all seemed to be going quite smoothly. I had three children that although a challenge at times, were seemingly treading the path they were supposed to follow. Then one of them turned into a teenager.

There are changes that happen when your child becomes a teenager, ones that no one warns you about when you have that seemingly compliant tween in your midst.

That’s why I’m here, to warn you.

Here are some signs that you now have a teenager living under your roof. Feel free to add your own. 

1. You run out of hot water.

There was a time when I couldn’t get my daughter into the shower. Now, now I almost have to physically extract her morning and night. Commonly referred to as the ‘Hour of Shower’, my husband has simply taken to turning off the water when the pounding on the door doesn’t work.

When she finally does emerge, she pouts and tells me: “I was washing my HAIR!’

How much can one hair follicle take?

The only silver lining I can take from this is that she is clean. Because her room certainly isn’t.


2. You require a tetanus shot to enter their bedroom.

No, seriously. That place is a freaking minefield and, if you put one foot wrong, you’d better have some heavy-duty penicillin on hand. Most teenagers are quite simply, filthy animals.  For some unknown reason, it is physically impossible for them to return dishes to the sink or remove last Wednesday’s underpants from the bedroom floor.

I suggest you invest in a hazmat suit and, at least once a week, go through their room as you would if you were a forensic detective. Sometimes the source of the putrid smell cannot be found or identified.

Sometimes it will be tempting to set the whole thing on fire.


3. Jekyll and Hyde reside in your home.

Only a 14 year old can make you feel like you’ve committed a crime because you asked them how their day was. Get prepared for a whole lot of eye rolling, “FINE!”, and “GOD, stop asking so many questions!”

These irrational responses will blindside you as you are genuinely thinking you were being completely reasonable with your line of conversation.


4. You are asphyxiated by celebrity perfume.

I can now recognise a One Direction fragrance at 50 paces. That’s if I can still physically function.

Does she roll around it? Bathe in it? And it’s not just the girls, one friend tells me that her son was so proud of his Lynx deodorant that he kept the empty containers on his mantel like a trophy collection.

One Direction.

5. Your only currency is bribery. 

You will learn that general requests start to lose their appeal and eventually, their cooperation. As nearly all torture methods are illegal, you will resort to the only currency that you as a parent possess, bribery. If they don’t clean their room for example, there will be no wi-fi access. Works a treat.


6. Breakfast becomes lunch

I know, kids are lazy by their very nature. Give me the chance and I’d not wake up until midday either, but I can’t because I’m an adult with responsibilities and, in technical terms, shit to do.

These kids are really now just young adults, on the precipice of having to be responsible. Yet I’ve read enough to understand that there is some kind of wiring in the brain that doesn’t kick in until they hit around 21, so it’s not actually their fault, it’s SCIENCE.

And you thought you were done with irregular sleeping patterns when you had a baby? Rookie mistake. Day becomes night all over again.

7. You have most of your conversations via text message.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B:

It’s not all bad. The ability to start to connect on an adult level is both comforting and sometimes, beautiful.

She stays up late but so do I and this is often when we have our best conversations. When she tells me what’s on her mind without censure. Sure, her room often looks like someone removed the roof and vomited directly inside of it, and her moods are irrational, but I live in hope that the motivation she requires is just around the corner. I know, I’m a dreamer.

How about you? Have you noticed a change in your child since they’ve become a teenager? Can you relate?

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