Parenting Teenagers – A Cheat Sheet

1. Teenagers travel in packs.  When your dear sweet child becomes a teenager, they almost instantaneously multiply.  Like gremlins, one becomes three, becomes nine.  Never again will there be quiet in your home.  Never again will you go five minutes without hearing the ping of a snap chat notification or the flash of a selfie!

2. Always have food.  Hanger is a real thing.  Bizarrely, the teenager’s main source of nourishment seems to be cereal but they’ll be happy with anything that is ready to eat or requires absolutely minimal effort to prepare.  Food will mostly be eaten in their bedroom, whether that’s allowed or not.

3. Become an eye brow connoisseur.
It’s not enough to say ‘yes dear your eyebrows look smashing’ every time they ask and believe me, teenagers ask about their eyebrows ALOT.
You have to really look, really think and really give them feedback.
If you get stuck then say something like ‘remember, they’re meant to be sisters, not twins’.  That tends to be met with a nod.

4. Try to learn their freakishly nonsensical language.
Ship.
Salty.
Chatting.
Effort.
Cheddars.
Streak.
Think you know what these things mean?  Ask a 16 year old and prepare to be utterly confused.  Google is your friend!3

5. Recognise that any clothes you buy for them, you also buy for their mates.
Teenagers loan, share and exchange their clothes so much that at any one time you can open their wardrobes and approximately 50% of the contents will belong to someone else.
They also ruin each others clothes ALOT.  This may result in door slamming and  your teenager becoming grumpy at YOU.
Offer to loan them some of your clothes – that usually gets a chuckle.

6. Know that hair cannot possibly be ‘hair coloured’.
I mean who even has brown hair any more?  Over the past two years I’ve spent more time trying to scrub hair dye out of bathroom tile grout, than I have actually seeing to my own barnet, meaning a have more than a few stress highlights.  Ironically, the couleur du jour seems to be grey.

8. Don’t forget that yes and no, don’t actually mean yes and no.
I you ask a teen if there are any cups in their bedroom, they’ll usually say no but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any cups up there, it just means that they weren’t in their line of sight at that moment.
And if you ask if they’ve brought down their dirty laundry and they say yes, it doesn’t mean yes.  In fact it could mean a number of things – here are just a few examples.
a) I have brought down the laundry that I would like you to wash immediately.  I anticipate these items being ready to wear again later today.  I have no idea how I expect you to achieve this.
b) I have brought down the laundry that belongs to me.  My friend’s dirty clothes are still on my floor.
c) I have brought down today’s clothes.  I am now in my pyjamas.  It’s 4pm
d) I have brought down any items of clothing that I passed on my way out of my bedroom   e) I have brought down the clean clothes that I brought upstairs last week, but still haven’t put away.                                                                          f) None of the clothes upstairs are mine.          g) Define dirty

8.  Take out shares in dry shampoo.  Just do it.  Now.

9. Be aware that £4.50 is considered a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on a milk shake.  If you question this you’ll be looked at like an uncultured peasant who doesn’t understand the value of flavour.

10.  Teenagers spend a lot of time on their phones.  But most of their conversations amount to little more than a series of weird noises, funny faces and emojis.  Oh and memes!  Memes are everything!  They actually converse in memes!

11. Maintain a healthy stock of pens.
I have NO IDEA what teenagers do with pens but they never have them.  And pencil cases, pah!? Nobody uses pencil cases anymore 🙄

12. Things change fast!  The situation that was all consuming yesterday, may be no big deal by the following morning.  So try not to go in too hard with your opinions!

13. We are ancient.  No really.  We grew up in the olden days.  Young people walk around with tiny computers in their pockets and yet when I was a child we didn’t have a home telephone and our television was wrapped in wood veneer.

14. You are no longer allowed to photograph them.  Well, maybe you’ll be allowed.the occasional family snap, but it’ll be under duress.   The only people allowed to take photos of teenagers are other teenagers.  This is possibly because we as parents think this is cute…

While teenagers think this is cute.

I mean it goes without saying that her eyebrows look amazing!

15.  Be nice.  I can’t be easy being a teenager these days.  As if exams, hormones and ‘the news’ wasn’t enough, just imagine if there was video footage of every stupid thing you did as a young adult.  Actually don’t imagine that.  It’s too terrifying.  Let’s be the ones who are nice to them – after all, one day they’ll Choose.our retirement homes 😲

Love Rachel ❤️

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