I want to start a club and I am looking for new recruits. No, its not the “He-Man Woman-Hater’s Club” (that is an Our Gang reference for those of you old of enough to remember!). The only requirement is that you must be the parent of a teenager (either a newly turned teenager or a veteran teenager). I am not opposed to inviting parents of children who are not quite bonafide teenagers, but who are looking for insight and want to join as a result.
Membership is free. The only thing I ask is that at each meeting, you bring your stories and for the record, I am quite partial towards red wine but I will drink white wine, beer or anything alcoholic for that matter.
Being the parent of a teenager is not an easy thing. Anyone who has children at other stages of development (“terrible” twos..or babies who have colic or aren’t sleeping through the night), your situation is a virtual cakewalk by comparison.
I don’t mean to minimize or downplay any stresses you might have with your own children, but being a mother or father to a teenaged daughter or son is not like any other experience you will go through. Those midnight feedings will feel like a walk in the park by comparison!
The only thing I can compare it to is working at a job that you don’t like. However, unlike a job you dislike where you can quit at any time and just suffer from the lack of income, you really can’t quit being a mom or dad to a teenager. The only thing you can do is to wait out the storm.
I remember when my teenaged daughter first became a teenager and starting displaying behaviors that might be typically identified as “teenager-ish”. I asked my wife how long this period of erratic and obnoxious behavior would last? When would it come to an end?
She told me about 5 years.
My daughter is relatively new to being 14…her second year into her teens. That means I have to wait until she is about 18 or 19 before this behavior will fully be out of her system. I will be into my fifties!
I remember recently attending an event of an old friend of my wife’s. While at the party, we started a conversation with another couple who coincidentally had two daughters the exact same ages as ours. Unfortunately for them (fortunately for us!), their 14 year old daughter sounded just as morose as our 14 year old daughter. They recounted stories of how their daughter behaves; how she sometimes disengages from her family, her attitude, her random behavior….
I don’t know if its a girl thing but teenage girls clearly can be royal pains in the ass…maybe even more so than boys. Challenge me on this!
It felt so good talking to these two poor souls. They clearly were tired and worn down from their daughter’s antics in the same way that my wife and I are. They were at a loss at trying to figure out what would trigger their daughter’s behaviors…just like us.
I am thinking they could be perfect club members.
We could share war stories of our battles with our teenage daughters. We could reminisce about the old days, when our daughters were pre-teen, sweet, respectful and still wanted to hang out with their mom and dad.
I could share stories with fellow dad’s about how our role of father has been replaced with chauffeur as we are beckoned to drive our primadonna’s here there and everywhere and are expected to be awake and alert enough to pick them up at some ungodly hour on a Friday or Saturday night.
I have a sneaky suspicion that if I was really serious about forming this club, that there would be many parents willing to join; willing to spew the venomous thoughts swirling through their brains as they throw their hands up in exasperation dealing with their teenaged children.
We could meet once a month. I could even supply “beverages”.
I’m serious…kind of.