Universal Constants of Teenagers

Kudos to tdn for the springboard


You will clean the kitchen. In walks your teenaged son, who will leave open bags of chips and pieces of plastic ripped from the package of salami he had to open all over the freshly cleaned counters. The thought of tossing trash in the actual garbage can never occurs to him.

To your 14 year old daughter, everything is a crisis. Everything. This means a phone call to you at work because she and her best friend have stopped speaking, usually for the sixth time that week.

They have tunnel vision. There can be unfolded laundry on the couch, dirty dishes in the sink, empty dog food bowls, but unless you point it out to them they won’t see it. They do know, however, where their Gameboy/CD player/TV remote is.

Fighting over who sits where in the car can reach epic proportions.

Don’t get me wrong. I would throw myself on a live grenade to protect my children. Some sage once said grandchildren are your reward for not killing your teenagers. There are days I know what he means.

The teenager didn’t really exist as a seperate marketable demographic until they were moreorless invented in the 1950’s.

Prior to that they were not special in any way, and the idea of a teenager having the gall to disobey a parent was pretty rare, so things like not cleaning up rooms etc were nothing like the issue.

Its all the product marketing either at them, or some perceived idea of teenage beauty etc that makes them feel the world revolves around them, we really need to go back a few years, maybe stop buying all those 3rd world manufactured trainers, and completely ignoring their demands to be cool by getting mummuy and daddy to purchase the lastest must have, once we do those sorts of things, the idel teenager will dissapear back into a short diversion of history.

In short, if they won’t do what you want, don’t feed them, and only buy food that takes time to prepare instead of instant stuff.

It works, I’ve seen it done a few times, instead of parents getting mad, frustrated, just make them do every chore themselves, from laundry, ironing, cooking and shopping, and if they will not do it, they go hungry and dirty, plus, you can always change the locks.

  • Your teenage child will always like another teen who will ignore him/her. Conversely, another teenager will like your child and will be ignored by him/her.
  • Teenagers know everything…well, at least far more than you ever did. (Just like you knew more than your parents when you were a teen, and just like your parents knew more than your grandparents when they were a teen, etc.)
  • No matter how many different diversions are at hand, your teen will whine daily, “I am bored.”
  • Never put off to tomorrow what you can put off until the morning it is due. This includes science projects that you knew about month’s ago. Guilt your parents into completing the project for you.

Teenage girls communicate with their parents mainly by loud sighs and eyerolls.
Just like when they were babies, and you learned to tell which was the “feed me!” cry and which was the “I’m poopy” cry, with a little practice, you can tell what’s wrong by how they roll their eyes and by subtle nuances in each loud sigh.

My God. Reading through this thread, I learned how lucky my parents were. My sister and I were NOT troublesome teenagers. We had a little problem cleaning our rooms occasionally, but other than that we were good kids.

Other than the usual dabbling in alcohol and pot that you get with kids, we actually were really good kids. I only hope that if I spawn someday my kids’ll be as good as we were.


Sheets only need changing when they become too crusty to wrap around you., or when mum storms in and rips them off’ve yer’ bed in disgust. Mostly the latter :stuck_out_tongue:

Every ‘best friend’ is the most totally cool dude, until such a time as your teenager realises they are a ‘complete waste of oxygen, mum’.

Kids will toss stuff in the garbage, even though it is well-and-truly overflowing. Actually taking it out to the big bin does not compute, and intrudes into Simpsons time.
Note to Casdave: got kids? :stuck_out_tongue:

[li]Teenagers need cell phones. Or they will surely die.[/li][li]Tenagers will spel l things uniquley and use, weiurd: punctuation; and theyll be pro ud ofit and there runon sentences and words missing and hwy change it evrybody knows what i mean?[/li][li]I’m sure Opal remembers his teenage years fondly.[/li][li]“If it won’t dispose the garbage, why’s it called a garbage disposal?”[/li][li]Teenagers will complain about lunch in the cafeteria, but secretly look forward to popcorn chicken Fridays.[/li][li]Teenagers will watch “I Love the 80s” and then act like they fondly recall the decade, as opposed to admitting that they were born in 1991.[/li][li]At age 16, teenagers deserve a car. I mean, the girl on “My Super Sweet 16” got one. Don’t you love me, Daddy? :dough eyes:[/li][li]Teenagers will play Guitar Hero for hours on end. This behavior should be strongly encouraged.[/li][/ul]

Mayo Speaks!, 19 going on 60. Get off of my lawn!

I was lucky enough to be one of a group hearing from the woman who had graduated through thirty years of driver training to become the chief associate of the high school system over driver training in the State.

She said, “Teenagers’ eyes are linked to their hands when their hands are on the wheel. Turn the eyes, turn the head, the car turns. If you ask them what a passing sign says, they will never have read it; if they turn to read it, they will turn the car in that direction. My technique for teaching them how to recover when you have run off the road is to ask them to adjust the radio to the right.”

casdave, this is very tongue in cheek. I’m not talking about the atypical teenager who skips school, does drugs, and doesn’t come home until 3am. I’m talking about the typical teenager.

In addition to tunnel vision, they also have selective hearing. You can announce loudly “Please take the garbage can down to the side of the road,” but, distracted by an ooh, shiny! object, it won’t get done.

However, whisper “I bought a cake for dessert tonight” and the kids are there, forks in hand, looking around for the cake.

Teenage girls think an actor on TV is cute, even if the actor is playing a villian. Character doesn’t matter (yet). Cuteness does.

Your idea of a clean room and their idea of a clean room are miles apart.

Whenever Dad’s mom got really, absolutely, frighteningly mad at her 5 children, she’d look up to Heaven and say “my grandchildren shall avenge me!”

Dad said he finally understood, once he became a Dad.

I’m not a Mom, but I kind’a did a lot of the raising work with the bros and yeah, The Nephew is sweet, sweet revenge… and he isn’t even one year old yet. He’s already avenging me for all those sleepless nights I had with his da.

Every teenager is the same. Except when not, which is the whole time.

I can’t (take out the trash, get the paper, etc.) dressed like this. Someone might see me. I need to change.

Hmmm. I’m still a little this way. and I left my teen years behind me nearly 30 years ago.

I love teenagers, though, despite all their many flaws. And I know the parents bitching here on this thread do also. My own kids are almost cooked (my son will be 20 in July; my daughter will be 19 in 10 days), but I remember their teen years (yes he was a dreadful, loud slob, and yes she was an eye-rolling Drama Queen – search my name, there’ve been many posts here where I’ve bitched about the two of them!) with a blend of exasperation and affection. And I find that, as they leave my nest (he has been in the Navy for 18 months now, and she will be leaving for college in September), the affection is quickly overtaking the exasperation.

Jess, tell your son thanks for me.

I know what you mean about the exasperation. My MIL is taking my son to England for a month next week, and I’m fretting. Will he remember to brush his teeth? Will he remember to put his retainer in his mouth or will he lose it? What if he gets lost? What if he loses his money? He’s almost 17…it seems like I was just changing his diaper last week!

My daughter is a bit of a clothes hound, but I can’t get her to do anything with her hair…yet.

If you think there cannot possibly be anything for a 15 year old and a 7 year old to fight about - think again.

When a teenager is cooking, and is told, “Clean up your mess”, he will consider this chore complete if he piles all the crusty dishes into the sink and sweeps the crumbs off the counter and onto the floor.

It takes the entire contents of a 40 gallon water heater to wash off a 110 lb. body.

Teenage boys are dedicated to giving their mothers gray hair and/or heart attacks. (My son is a skateboarder who spends his afternoons flinging himself off of stationary objects, coming home every day with fresh scrapes and bruises, but thankfully no broken bones [yet].)

“Someday I hope you have a kind who puts you through what I’ve been through with you.”
“Yeah, Grandma says she used to tell you the same thing.”

  • Calvin’s mom and Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

Psst…Mayo, Opal is a woman. Opalcat.

Well, just don’t let him out the door with inline skates and a football says the woman who’s son broke his collarbone playing “touch football” on wheels. :rolleyes:

Another constant or two:

Do not think you can give them coins when they ask to borrow gas money. Paying a minimum wage counter clerk (who probably scrounges under the sofa cushions for rent money) with anything but paper just would blow their cool.

Do not expect to take them garment shopping without visiting every possible retail establishment within a fifty mile radius as they might “miss” something.

I knew that. I don’t know why I said “his.” Sorry, Opal.

Every teenager thinks they should have been born to different parents. We all think that someone else’s parents are so way much cooler than ours and wish we could trade. But the kids of the parents we wish we had wish they had different parents too.
Teenagers do not trust their parents’ advice. If mom says, "don’t wear black shoes with a brown belt, the teenager’s automatic internal reaction is “whatever, mom.” whereas if a friend’s mom, a friend, or even sometimes a teacher says the same thing, it’s a lot more likely to go through.
Roughly half of all teenagers will, at least when their friends are around, speak to their parents in a horribly disrespectful way. Swear at them, demand things from them, verbally abuse them, etc. The other half will hear this and think, “I would never DREAM of speaking to my mother that way” but secretly wishes they could.

Most teenagers totally agree with old people that boys who wear their pants around their knees are hilariously stupid-looking.

Best news I’ve heard all day. :slight_smile: