Things You Should Never Have to Ask Your Teen
I have recently begun to compile a List of Things You Should Never Have to Ask Your Teen. I would dearly love to never have to ask these questions, but after comparing notes with other parents, I find that most of us have asked these questions at least once:
1. Did you remember to use deoderant? Let's face it: Teens can end up smelling like Sasquatch on a hot summer day. They've just come out of a childhood when they never considered smearing deoderant in their armpits, and this is now a new and necessary part of their routine. It's easy to forget... until it's around 3 PM in the summer heat.
2. Have you done your chores? Now by the time they're teens, you would think that they would have made their chores a habit... but no. There are times that they do exactly what they should for weeks on end, and then one day you glance at the ferret cage and realize that at some point they've forgotten to put water in there, as you watch the ferret frantically scrabbling at the water bottle. Then it's up to you to make sure the ferret doesn't suffer until you can get ahold of your teen (and make him suffer a little, instead!)
3. What did you do today? Why is it that teens become so reticent at this age? I'm lucky. My own son is a wonderful communicator. However, one of my friends has a son that has spoken mainly in grunts for the last year. Discovering what he did during the day takes a Herculean effort.
4. Why in the heck do you guys choose to [insert fashion choice here]. Duh! It's, like, totally what everyone else is doing, right? Like, Brittany Spears totally wears stuff like this! And lots of girls are dying their hair blue this semester! Gawd, mom, yer such a geek!
5. What is in your pocket? Are you concealing something? I have a friend who recently saw her son furtively try to hide something he'd mistakenly taken out of his pocket. "Mike, what is that?" she demanded. He quickly told her that it was nothing. "I know better than that, Mike!" she said. But his continued denial began to cause her to panic. Finally, in agony, she said "Please tell me it's only a condom! I hope to God it's not drugs!" He sheepishly opened his hand to reveal... a condom. Although it was startling to discover that her son was sexually active, she was relieved that he was protecting himself. She was even happier to know that it wasn't drugs. Not great choices, but the condom was the lesser of two evils.
6. Are you out of your mind? ...and other unanswerable questions. The truth of the matter is that all teens are out of their minds at some point or other. It is pointless to ask them questions that they cannot, in all honesty, answer. Other such questions include "What were you thinking?!", "Do you know what you're doing?", "Do you have any idea that you're driving me crazy?!" These are all Damned if You Do/Damned if You Don't type of questions and at this point, the wise teen takes the 5th.
The teen years are a time of wonder, when boys and girls become men and women. This is the time that you can see the Magic of Hormones as a formerly happy child becomes a surly individual, muttering darkly about piercings and tatoos. That is, unless, you're an incredibly lucky parent. So far, I am counting my blessings. But in the Land of the Hormone, it is sometimes simply a matter of time.