Smart teenagers know that the way to a parent’s heart is through obedience, love and respect for the people who raised them (plus offering to do a few loads of laundry will go a long way). But smarter teens know when to keep their mouths shut, even though chances are they disagree with most of what their parents tell them. They have their own agendas, but the clever ones know how to distract their parents long enough to cloud their judgment. They’ll push the limits to borrow the family car or extend a curfew, all the while swearing that they’ll be careful.
As parents, we want to trust our little beastlings, so we give them the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes it backfires…..
1. I’ll co-sign on their student loans because I know they’ll never be late on a payment.
Yes they will. And when it happens, you’ll be inundated with robocalls from collection agencies because your college-age teen chose to buy the latest iPhone, stereo system, or big screen TV rather than make a monthly loan payment.
2. Sure, my kids will help me mow the lawn this weekend, fold the laundry and dust all 90 squirrel figurines in my curio cabinet.
For real? What planet are you from? First off, no teen wakes before noon. After that, you’ll be lucky if they brush their teeth and put on deodorant. In other words, you’ll be cleaning out the A/C grate and weeding the garden by yourself.
3. My kids won’t remember family night at the sports bar/restaurant when I had one too many beers.
Yes. Yes, they will. And they will remind you until your 80th birthday about the time you entered a punching bag contest after nine beers and the punching bag won. Nor will they let you forget what you looked like after you swung, missed the bag, and ended up on the floor curled up like a cocktail shrimp.
4. My teen just got his driver’s license. He’ll do fine since I taught him how to be a conscientious driver and to always obey the speed limit.
What you don’t know won’t hurt you….until your child hands you a $150 speeding ticket from going 65 in a 25 mile-per-hour school zone. This same teen still believes that his 1991 Dodge Caravan can outrun a 2015 Mustang GT.
5. Of course, my kids know better than to break their curfew.
Uh-huh. That’s why they leave their bedroom window unlocked and oil the hinges on the front door with W-40 while you’re sound asleep in Never Never Land.
6. I know my kids enjoy spending time with the family, especially when it’s Monopoly night.
Wrong. They would rather scrub grout from their shower tile or babysit the neighbor’s toddler who has a bad case of diarrhea than spend an evening with dear old BORING mom and dad.
7. Their first love will be the school valedictorian who has a full scholarship to an ivy league school where they’ll earn their doctorate in neurosurgery.
Dream on. Every teen goes through their “I-wanna-bad boy/bad girl-phase.” Grit your teeth and gnaw on a leather strap until they outgrow this nail-biting phase of life.
8. I don’t need to spend more than $200 a week on groceries for a family of four.
There’s a little known fact that teens, especially boys, consume a gallon of milk a day washed down with an entire package of cookies and chips. You might as well buy a few chickens while you’re shopping because you can never have enough eggs in the house when there are one or more teenagers living under the same roof.
9. My teen hates the smell of cigarette smoke and the taste of alcohol, plus she hates taking any form of medication. Chances are she’ll never drink, smoke, or try drugs.
Sadly, this is wrong. Chances are your teen WILL try one or all of these things at some point because peer pressure is mightier than you can imagine. Brace yourself for a bumpy ride…”Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
10. My kids will never get a tattoo or body piercing.
You wanna make a bet? The good news is that some of those things will be in areas on their body that you will never see, so don’t worry about it. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right?
The only lie you’re allowed to believe is the one that really isn’t a lie, even though at the time (while raising teens) it might feel like one. They love you. They really do. And one day when they’re old enough to understand all that you’ve done for them, they’ll appreciate you.
But don’t forget to hide the WD-40, just in case….
(This post originally ran on Menopausal Mother)
About the author: Marcia Kester Doyle is a native Floridian and a married mother of four children and has one grandchild. She is the author of the humorous blog,Menopausal Mother, where she muses on the good, the bad and the ugly side of menopausal mayhem. Give her a glass of wine and a jar of Nutella and she’ll be your best friend. Marcia is a contributing writer for Huffington Post, In The Powder Room, What The Flicka and HumorOutcasts. Her work has also appeared on Scary Mommy, BlogHer, Lost In Suburbia, The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Midlife Boulevard, Mamapedia, BA50 and The Woven Tale Press among others. She is the author of the humorous book, “Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings From A Middle-Aged MILF” and is an author contributor to four other books. Marcia is a BlogHer Voice Of The Year 2014 recipient and her blog Menopausal Mother won VoiceBoks Top Hilarious Parent Blogger 2014. She was also voted top 25 in the Circle Of Moms Contest 2013. You can also find Marcia’s blog on Facebook and Twitter.