Everyone tells you living with teens will be hard. Older parents make jokes about it for YEARS when you’re standing around trying not to get food poisoning at Uncle Russell’s 80th and Lily’s christening that goes on way too long in the backyard sun.
I’ve found teens not nearly as dreadful as I’ve been warned. They are bright and passionate. Smart and giving. Fun and eye-opening. Brave and beautiful. Lots of other adjectives you can separate with an and.
But they also can be domestic terrorists wearing too tiny denim shorts (and your t-shirts, oh and that’s your gold bangle on a right wrist). There can be moments when they challenge the bejeezuuz out of you. When it does get hard. When all the experts in the world tell you to hold your tongue, or let it go, or walk away and you do something stupid.
Out comes the eye roll, or the messy kitchen – after being home all day on holidays, or the unchanged toilet roll, or the ASKING FOR THEM TO DO A SIMPLE TASK 1000 TIMES AND IT NEVER GETS DONE and you lose it.
And you know you shouldn’t have lost it. Maybe it wasn’t even you, because you don’t remember thinking OK now I’m going to throw the contents of the bin they haven’t emptied onto their bedroom floor.
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I have three teens and one tween in my house. There is never a dull moment, lots of packets of empty rice crackers lying near the couch on the floor, lots of being corrected because despite being in my 40s I’m apparently quite clueless as to how the real world works. I’VE BEEN LIVING IN A DREAM WORLD FOR DECADES PEOPLE.
I love my teens but sometimes I don’t know who I am when I am around them. The other day after someone in my house lost their keys again I walked outside, shut the door behind me and actually roared. Like a lion roar. I think cats came.
Parents are told constantly how hard it is for teenagers to navigate the modern world, and it is, and we know this, and we love them, but sometimes it can be hard on us too.
In the interests of comforting other parents out there I have collected stories of mums and dads who lost it with their teens and the kids didn’t grow up to be serial killers or even politicians (yet). They grew up to be very nice people with stable jobs and a few have tattoos they regret.
Here are the stories of brain snap parents:
Dad made my brother eat in the dining room with the lights off one night at dinner because he was laughing too much. – Clare, 30.
My dad once found a bottle of gin my brother and I had hidden (we were teens). So instead of confronting us, he just casually cracked it open and started sharing it with mum over dinner one night in front of us. We were mortified. – Sarah, 26.