Family Magazine

The Things Teens Do

By Joanigeltman @joanigeltman
  • Love their friends more than they love you, at least temporarily
  • Love their friends more than they like school, at least temporarily
  • Talk back
  • Not talk at all
  • Think they know everything
  • Think you know nothing
  • Think they are always right
  • Think you are never right
  • Have a messy room
  • "Forget" to do their chores
  • Go places and not tell you with whom, where or when they will be home
  • Get in car accidents
  • Run out of gas
  • Have friends drive with them even though they're not allowed to
  • Maybe drink
  • Maybe smoke some weed
  • Maybe have sex of some kind
  • Want to go to parties, especially at houses where the parents aren't home or are clueless
  • Sneak out at night
  • Lie
  • Appear lazy and unmotivated
  • Never want to spend time with the family
  • Is mean to their younger brothers and sisters
  • Argues and picks fights
  • Is sarcastic and can be mean
  • Are funny
  • Are sweet
  • Are loving 
  • Are kind
  • Are passionate
Sound familiar? These are all normal testing behaviors of teenagers. Having any or all of these behaviors does not make your teen a sociopath or a bad kid, just a kid who's learning about the world, what it has to offer, and what kinds of consequences there are when you act that way. 
Don't be too accepting and don't be too critical.  There is some nice space in the middle, understanding what's within the "normal" but still making kids accountable.
I was playing solitaire on my smartphone last night. Yes, I do have one! I thought the game was over. I couldn't find any more moves and was about to close it out. My eye caught that one move that changed the whole game, and I won!! Life with a teen is kinda like that. It might seem that you can't take anymore, and then something shifts, and you can finish and move on. You gotta have patience. I'm still learning that!

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