We’ve all heard the suggestions on how to get through your child’s teenage years:
Set boundaries. Pick your battles. Know when to get close, and when to back off. It will all be over someday, just hope they make it through alive…
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But nobody ever gives you any REAL help, like any ACTUAL hands-on, idiot-proof advice. Well, not until today anyway…
May I present to you twelve concrete, “these really work, try them” tricks/methods that are guaranteed to help you make it through this game. And believe me, raising teenagers can feel a lot like playing strip poker. It’s only fun if you’ve been drinking… 😉
1. Keep some extra cash in the bank for those times when you need to get away, read: when you think you just MIGHT kill someone. Go far, and go for as long as possible. Go by plane, that way it’s harder for them to track you down. It’s also nice to have a little money saved up for when you just want to reward yourself for getting through a particularly hard day by buying a new pair of shoes or some very expensive jewelry. Diamonds make me breathe better, I don’t know why.
2. Get a gym membership, or have some other physical way of relieving stress. This also comes in handy for combating those very blunt and unintentionally (but sometimes intentionally) hurtful comments like, “Wow, do you ever look old. You are turning into grandma,” Or, “Since when do you have a tire?”
3. Have a sock full of batteries on hand for the times you really need to come out swinging. Just kidding, it’s only supposed to be used as a threat.
4. Invest in a stand alone freezer. This is particularly important if you have boys, or if you have children who play sports or are part of any sort of large social group like Girl Guides or Cadets. When they bring their friends over, you’ll be glad you’ve stocked up on Pizza Pockets, otherwise say goodbye to your steaks.
5. Buy Advil because you WILL get headaches.
6. Have some kind of disinfectant to be used on stinky shoes and/or socks. I find throwing things into the wash with a bit of ammonia or colour-safe bleach seems to help. For unwashable items, baking soda usually does the trick. It’s better than nothing. Your entryway or mudroom will thank you, and so will your guests.
7. Get Gravol because someone WILL throw up at some point, most likely from drinking WAY too much alcohol. Probably underage. And probably against your best advice.
8. Have an old blanket in your car for the reason stated above, and for when you are transporting those people home from parties.
9. Put away the good china until your kids move out. and purchase some plastic dish ware. Teenagers are inexplicably rough on everything – at least mine are – and this will keep you from replacing your dishes every few months. We go through glasses in our house like John Mayer goes through women.
And finally, three things you absolutely MUST have…
10. Condoms. You may not need to use them anymore, but there will probably come a time when you want to hand a few of these out, or slip a few into someone’s purse.
11. A hammer. Yes, teenagers are THAT hard to wake up in the morning, especially after they’ve gone to bed at 3 a.m., which they will routinely start doing around the age of fifteen or so. Don’t you know, Facebook can cause a person to burn through the hours like nobody’s business?
12. Patience, but more importantly, luck. You will need as much as you can get. Seriously – no SERIOUSLY seriously – good luck. You’re gonna need it.