Coping with a teen

How do you cope with a teen? The best way is to have put a lot of work into your parenting BEFORE the teen years and hope you all survive that period of time…Since we are all relatively normal people reading this – we may not have put in all that prior work or we may have done things we now think are not so good – hey I’m a Psychologist who “ought to know better” and I was not the best parent in the pre-teen years… In case you haven’t had a kid yet let me tell you a secret:

PARENTING IS HARD!!!

So now you have a teen. Be prepared for anything.. Especially a lot of noise..especially from the males of the teen species. I can hear some of you saying there are no sex differences – well that’s what I used to say until I had a kid and compared notes with parents of boys v. parents of girls… one good friend of mine who had two daughters used to argue with me that her girls were pretty noisy..then she had a son! Only one of him was noisier than the two of them!

Ah – not just noisy but noisy and smelly – something about teens makes them smell – even if they bathe – and there are times when bathing with regularity is not a priority – they are too busy. There was a song by Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that was popular when mine was a teen and I annoyed him and his friends by calling it “smells like teenager.” [I said I was not the best of parents 🙂 I have a warped sense of humor and could not help myself on that one – it was too too good!!!]

Anyway the smelly part of teenagedness goes away and is replaced by what I call the “many showers” stage. That’s when 2 or 3 showers daily become routine – leading to the use of 3 towels a day and 3 changes of underwear! And that’s when I decided that teens need to do their own laundry : ).

And what I wrote above is among the easier parts of being the parent of a teen.

next – some of the hard parts

About the author

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.


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