Family Magazine

Teenagers and Denial: Making The Best Case

By Joanigeltman @joanigeltman

"What, it wasn't me!" "It isn't mine!" "I don't know how it could have gotten there!" I didn't know what time it was, my phone died! I didn't know the parents weren't going to be home! You never said I had to be home at 11!!! "Famous last words of teens. A great way for teens to avoid taking responsibility, and a sure fire way to frustrate parents to the point of apoplexy!
The truth is your teen is not at all motivated to take responsibility, cause if they did they either wouldn't have done it in the first place, or they would have owned up and paid the price. Also, they absolutely do not care that their shoes are strewn all around the house...except when they can't find them, then of course it becomes your fault: "Where are my shoes? What did you do with them," they scream at their loudest decibel. Because of course, it is one minute before their ride is coming to get them, and they did not think about these shoes, jacket, etc until just that minute, and now that they are missing they obviously can't blame themselves, so you're up!
My best advice, don't bite!!! There is nothing you need to say, nothing you need to do, it is not your job to keep track of their things. Sometime, they will figure it out, but your lecture of "if you only put your things in their rightful place this would not happen every single god damn day!!"will definitely not change their behavior. Either they'll figure it out themselves or they won't. And eventually they will move out, and you will never have to deal with it again. Make yourself unavailable for the search and rescue. And when their crap is in your way, have a basket for each of your teens in which any stray item that is making you crazy gets thrown. Think of it as your family's lost and found. If they can't find something, they can always take a gander at the lost and found and see what's there. It will be like Christmas every day!
And for those moments when you know that the excuses are free wheeling and obviously have no bearing on the truth, no need to lecture and yell, a shoulder shrug, a consequence, and I hope things work out for you the next time!

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