8.21.2008

Rebels without a pause

Adolescence is a difficult time of adjustment and growth, rebellion and responsibility. A time of establishing one's own identity and learning to cope in the world.

And that's just for the parents. I'm sure it's hard on the kids, too.

Parents of teen-agers find that only other parents of teen-agers can truly understand the little Hell-on-Earth they occupy when their children are between the ages of 12 and, oh, 30.

A friend who joined our ranks when her son turned 13 told my wife: "I'm so sorry. I had no idea what you were going through. I would've been more sympathetic."

From the time our two sons were toddlers, my wife and I often were warned by more experienced parents that the teen years are the worst. Sometimes, they'd even resort to a form of prayer: "Eeee, God," they'd say, "just you wait."

We've been saying prayers of our own since our older son turned 13. He's now 19 and and his brother is 16 and it's amazing that I haven't killed either of them yet.

I'm not saying all parents of teens feel that way. Some have it much worse. But we all face certain aggravations as we try to survive the adolescent years. Frustrations vary from family to family, but here are some of mine:

--The minute my sons reached puberty, I lost 40 points of IQ. I used to be able to tell them things, and they'd listen. As soon as they became teen-agers, I became a drooling moron who shouldn't be heeded.

--All chores, curfews, concerns, rules, regulations, responsibilities -- all parental input of any kind -- cramp their style.

--Their friends know much, much more than I do. All cues about how to behave comes from them. The fact that these friends understand nothing of the world is immaterial.

--No matter how cool I once might've been (or thought I was), those days are over. When it comes to music, movies, books, world events, computers, hobbies, fun, etc., I am a dinosaur.

--The fact that I was once a teen myself, succumbing to peer pressure and being led around by my hormones, does not make me experienced and wise. It makes me an embarrassment.

I know they'll eventually outgrow adolescence, but it remains to be seen whether they'll make it to adulthood. I'm still feeling murderous.

Pray that it's just a phase.

1 comment:

Susanne said...

Yep, your two must've been plucked out of the same end of the cabbage patch as mine, because-- UUUGGGGHHH, Ohmigawd, *huge rolling of the eyes*, your description is a spot-on assessment of life with my two sweet darlings!