Takes 8, 9 and 10

Yesterday, after posting 7 things I've learned since welcoming my first teenager, I thought of three more!  So, here they are.


I have learned that when lecturing your teenager on the importance of self-control, it's a good idea to maintain a little yourself.  A tirade about self-control that includes none whatsoever is not effective and worse, makes you look ridiculous.  And a teenager needs no help seeing his parents as ridiculous, so it's best not to give him any fact-based evidence to support that view.

My kids love the story their dad tells them about his Pop Warner football coach, who would come unglued at some player's mis-step, and then scream like a wild animal, with eyes bulging and arms flailing: "COMPOSURE!  COMPOSURE!  KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE!"

I'm learning just how much I do not want to be that coach.  Oh, and also how hard that is.


I have learned to love the electronics that my kids obsess over so much.  Oh, I still hate the 24-7 access they potentially have to pop culture, YouTube, Snoop Dog, questionable Facebook friends, stupid video games, shopping, and mind-numbing Disney sitcoms.

But I love, cherish, adore the well-placed threat of taking away the almighty iPod Touch if I don't get the behavior I want.  It's magical, what a teenager will do when faced with the prospect of not being able to play his FIFA Soccer 2012 game, or not being able to take a silly picture of his dog, Obama-ize it, and make it his FB profile picture.

Oh, iPod Touch, I am learning to see you as a partner in this adventure called Parenting a Teenager!


I have learned what a hormone tidal wave-induced melt down looks like from the outside.  Very informative!

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