Thursday, 9 June 2016

Teenager Taming

I've often pondered the question "when will my teenagers learn?", but yesterday it dawned on me that we've suddenly hit smoother waters with at least one of them.  A bit more helpfulness and a lot less arguing.  Which is good isn't it?  We must be doing something right.  The reason I know?  Because the teen girl brought me a cup of tea without me having to prompt her. It was bliss.  It almost makes up for all the grey hairs I've acquired since she was born in fact.

And so I wonder if there might be a way to speed up the process of teen learning, or to even make it begin as far as the teen boy is concerned.  And you know how I'm always writing helpful tips on family life so I thought I'd give you all some ideas...

Be interested in the things they like:

YouTube, Instagram and now Snapchat.  There's plenty of ways to show an interest in teenage subculture these days.  In fact, it makes perfect sense to make sure you register on all available social media platforms and then befriend your teen on them.  They will be overjoyed with your Snapchat pictures particularly, and in no way become annoyed when you continuously send them all evening (with added silly filters that make you look like an animal of some kind).  They will be so impressed at your grasp on social media that they will never block or unfriend you, ever.

Why don't you want to be my friend?... :(

Talk to them in a language they understand:

We all know that teenagers have their own language, and this forms a large part of understanding them.  To make yourself understood fully by your teenager though it's a really nice touch to not only learn their patois but to speak to them in it too.  If anything it helps you to grow a strong bond with your teen and makes you look swag and sick homeslice.  They love that.  Honest.

Make their home environment a friendly one:

Teenagers love the internet. In fact it can seriously damage their health* if they are removed from it for more time than it takes to eat a meal/go to the loo/blow their nose etc. and so you need to make sure that not only is there plenty of internet to go around (especially if you have more than one teenager) but that it never gets accidentally turned off or changed without first giving them the new password. Or, you could just change the password and not tell them until they do their homework. Either works.

Give them subtle hints instead of nagging:

Instead of constantly nagging your teen, a far more effective and gentle approach to getting them to do things is to leave subtle hints.  For example, when you've waited for them to come home before you go out (because they've forgotten their key) and they don't, just go out anyway.  This teaches them that not only is it a good idea to text to let you know they'll be late, but that mobile phones have clocks on them so that they can tell if they are going to be late in the first place.

Ohh look, it's got a clock!

Help them with their education:

Owing to the way that literacy is taught in school these days (I'm talking phonics here), any written work your teenager produces may sometimes get a bit lost in translation.  This of course isn't a reflection on them at all because there is always a valid reason.  You might like to try and help your teenager refine their spelling technique to avoid any further mix ups... via text message, naturally.  You can also use this time to practice your subtlety** as in the point above.

(The excuses for this appalling use of the English language included, is there more than one way to spell there?, I was distracted while typing, and it's quicker to type carnt than can't.  Reader, I despair...)

And so, from this you can probably tell that the cup of tea teen girl made me was probably a complete fluke, and as the majority of the above seems to have backfired on me spectacularly, it'll be a long time before my teenagers truly "get it".  Also I should probably start dying my hair, I've got three more children to go.

Teenagers.  Turns out you can't tame them after all.  What a shame.

*  It doesn't.  They just shout lots which makes their throats hurt a bit.  Awww.
** OK so I wasn't subtle.


  1. Another funny (but true) post. I was told to stop putting x at the end of texts!

    1. Hahaha, that's so funny. One of mine has blocked me from texts too - nice! And thanks, glad you enjoyed :)

  2. Ha ha ha ha - funny and highly useful! I do that spell checking text thing back to my sister all the time and she's in her mid it seems, some things you never learn! But it gives me a giggle!
    I've got so much to look forward to in a few years it seems 😫

    1. See, if I could send the text corrections in red pen that would make me very happy indeed! You certainly have all this to come ;)


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