Ten Rules for Living with Teens

You know me, I like to help where I can, so I’ve made a list of tips and tricks for living with almost-adults:

  • Never go into their bedroom. Teenagers are like young screen heroes and parents are vampires. You must never cross the threshold of their bedrooms unless invited.
  • You must go into their bedroom. It’s your job to collect the laundry from their floor. How can you possibly expect them to remember to put the wet towel back on the radiator? Their brains are developing at an unmanageable rate. They can’t be expected to remember EVERYTHING!
  • Buy healthy food. It is not unreasonable for your teen to expect you to buy the ingredients for the smoothie they intend to make for breakfast and salad for lunch. If they request an expensive gym membership, you should pay for it. Isn’t their health important to you?
  • Fill every cupboard with sugar and salt. They didn’t have time to make the smoothie or the salad. Do you know what it’s like trying to get ready in the morning? Why is there never anything tasty to eat in the house? And, no, they don’t want to go for a nice long walk.
  • Language evolves, get over it. You must learn that ‘slay’ means good and that ‘low key’ must be incorporated into every sentence, or it is no longer grammatically correct. If you ask them to speak in plain English, you must expect eye-rolling or a patronising pat on the head.
  • Never use their evolved language. It has not evolved for you. You must speak the Shakespearean language of your youth.
  • You must never offer to pick the teenager up when it’s dark. They are streetwise and independent. You should stop treating them like a child.
  • You must always offer a lift when it’s broad daylight. The bus never turns up when it’s meant to. And, anyway, it’s cold in that teeny-weeny top.
  • You must learn to communicate appropriately. If you wish to receive a reply to a message, you must remember to use whichever media is currently in favour: WhatsApp/Messenger/Snap Chat/Instagram DM/Text. You can’t expect them to check every platform just in case you want to get in touch. Do you know how many group chats they’re on?
  • If they message you, you must reply immediately. Their message will arrive in several bursts of four words, each one in abbreviated, evolved language, which you must decode in seconds. If you don’t reply immediately, you must expect to receive the same messages again, BUT IN CAPITALS.

(PS. Never, ever, phone them. That is an actual crime)

I hope this list helps you to live more harmoniously with your teen. But I doubt it.

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