My blogger friend Lily recently wrote a post concerning her 'lil man' and his impending puberty. In response to her and a few of the comments (and also because the Hasidic Plumber has started writing guides and I want in on the book) I have decided to produce a guide to living with teenage boys. Son is 25 now, so I have lived through this traumatic experience and am
I don't know whether any of this is relevant to teenage girls, I never had one of them. Of course I was one myself
So anyway. . .
You remember that lovely, well mannered, polite little boy who used to listen to you and who loved to go places with you. The one who came home from school and told you all about his day, the one who if he went somewhere without you would tell you that he missed you when he got back. The cute kid who kissed you goodbye and cuddled up on the sofa, who liked to get in your bed and snuggle up to read a book or watch a film ?
Hormones have got him.
But don't worry, he'll be back in about six years, and there's a very good chance he won't leave until he's at least 30.
Personal Hygiene :
In the early stages of puberty there is no such thing, around the same time that your teenager begins to
Later on it becomes an obsession. To begin with you will have the usual struggle to get him in the bathroom although once there he will not want to leave. Eventually he will shower at least twice a day and demand to be bought men's shower gel, deodorant and possibly various hair products. (Which will all be left without the lids on). This stage will roughly coincide with a growing interest in girls, and is likely to be your only clue that he no longer hates the opposite sex.
Teenage boys are pack animals. This enables them to 'take over' skate parks, shopping centres and other places they 'hang out', and later helps with hunting the female of their species. In order for them to spot their own tribe and the correct females they need a means of identification.
This is called fashion.
You, the parent, are old. You are not expected to like or understand your sons choice of attire (although you will be expected to fund it), and you should never mock his uniform or his hair.
No matter how tempting.
All areas of your sons life. . . school, friends, girls, where he goes, what he does, what he spends
A growing boy needs to eat a lot. It is important that you keep the cupboards well stocked with your son's favourite foods. You must never mention the cost, he is not interested in how or where it comes from he just needs it be there when he is hungry and that is all the time. His dinner should be ready whatever time he comes home - as a parent you do not need to ask him when this may be, and ON NO ACCOUNT are you to phone him when he is with his friends to ask.
He will probably see your name on his phone and ignore it anyway.
It is perfectly acceptable for teenage boys to revert to using mostly grunts and mumbles. Unless talking about computer games (in which case you must appear to be suitably interested), informing parents of how embarrassing they are or talking to friends.
Some other sentences may be audible to the parent but these will be limited to :
"I hate you / that's not fair"
"What's for dinner"
"Can I have some money"
"I need some new trainers and/or game/ games console"
"Where are my trainers"
Do not be concerned if your teenager suddenly appears to be deaf. There is no need to take him to the doctor (as if he'd go without a fight anyway). To test his hearing try asking him if he would like some new trainers or telling him he is grounded.
Normal 'at home' behaviour for your boy will be to be horizontal unless eating, using the bathroom or playing computer games, and even then he will find a way to do these that involve as little movement as possible. He will only become animated if agitated and will then slam doors and stamp about the house loudly.
Teenage boys will have mood swings, but unlike girls for whom this will likely settle into a monthly rhythm, your son will have them at any time. Without any obvious (to you) provocation.
Even though it is caused by hormones on no account should you attempt to discuss this with him, he will think you are going to talk about sex.
You have two choices, ignore him or give him money and he will go away - to his friends or his room. Either way you should not expect to see him for at least four hours. When he reappears you should not mention his previous tantrum.
He will probably have another one soon anyway.
This is allowed since he is the centre of the universe and the world revolves around him.
Sex and Girls :
You are NOT ALLOWED to ask your teenager about girls. If before puberty your relationship with your son meant he could talk to you about anything he may occasionally want to discuss this delicate subject. If this happens you should only answer the questions asked and remember the conversation is over when he
On no account should you attempt to discuss sex with the teenager. He gets his sex education from his mates, lads mags and Internet porn - he has no use for your old fashioned ideas about it.
He is a teenager and they invented sex.
You may, if you feel it is likely to be necessary, buy your teenager condoms. But - you must leave them in a discreet place in his room (if you can get in) and never talk about it.
See. . . there is no need to worry.
His conception must remain a mystery.
The only thing a parent needs to know about a teenage boys bedroom is that it is OUT OF BOUNDS.
He does things in his room that are no concern of yours.
In order to keep you out your teenager needs to
You may need to enter in order to collect things that need to be washed, but you must remember that the teenage boy thinks clothes are washed 'by magic', so you should leave no other evidence that you have entered his territory.
When the clothes are clean you may return them to the room ready for him to replace on the floor.
You really think you can discipline a teenage boy ?
If you really want your teenager to do something, such as tidy his room, you are much better off bribing him to do it rather then trying to punish him when he doesn't.
However when asking him to do any task you need to be VERY specific.
For instance it is no good telling him he needs to tidy his room, you need to break it down. ie Pick up your clothes, fold them, put them on hangers, hang them up, put the games in their cases (good luck with that one), wipe the shelf, put them on the shelf.
Just telling him to tidy his room will only confuse his hormone addled brain and in an effort to make himself feel better he is likely to make it worse.
Or have a tantrum.
Cool Parents :
You may think you are one.
Your teenager doesn't. He possibly thinks you, your fashionable clothes, tattoos and attempts to talk to his friends are even more embarrassing then his mates 'normal' parents.
Gay Teenagers :
I don't have anything to offer on this one, I figure I better include it because they are out there, but my Son turned out straight. I've told him many times that this is a source of disappointment to me, I want to go to Gay Pride and wear a t-shirt that says "I love my gay son" but he refuses to comply.
I think I'll get the t-shirt, take a picture of me in it and have it as my facebook picture. That'll teach him.
Which brings me nicely to. . .
Parents Revenge :
You remember all those things your kid did when he was little that embarrassed you ?
Wait until he has all his friends round then tell them all about it.
A favourite of mine happened when Son was about nine and knew a little about sex.
He was outside playing with some friends then came in and said,
"Mum, do you know what a blow job is?"
Ok, so I always tried to be honest with him, but there are some things even a 'cool' Mother doesn't want to discuss with her nine year old, and sometimes there's no need so I say,
"Why are you asking me that?"
"Because Nathan (horrible older kid who liked to get the younger ones in trouble) was talking about it and told me and Tom we're stupid because we didn't know what it was"
"Well did Nathan tell you what he thought it was?"
"Yeah, he said it's when you put your willy in a girls mouth"
(Hmmm . . . not gonna set him up for more mocking from Nathan am I?)
"Ok, yes, it is, it's something that some grown ups do. . . "
"URGHHHHHHH YUUUUUUKKKK I'm NEVER doing that!"
I'm pretty sure he's changed his mind about that now.
And if it all get too much. . .
Valium and Tequila.
(For you, not the teenager).
This is an OLDER POST I wrote about living with the opposite sex, there's some stuff there that might also help explain a few things about teenage sons.