Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"The Teen Commandments"

Remember 16? I barely do, that's been 41 years ago. Our GRANDSON is turning 16 this summer, how can that be? A blink ago he was running his Hot Wheels along the coffee table and helping me make chocolate chip pancakes on weekends! When you live a distance from grandkids, you are shocked when you see them over holidays or summertime. They grow by leaps and bounds, but when their voice changes and you don't recognize that person on the other end of the phone line...that's a wake-up call!

Stephanie mentioned recently she "earned" her Mother's Day card this year. Many times I felt that way when the girls were growing up. Not easy being Mom when they are teens. The only way you survive those years is to take a day at a time, not fly off the handle and picture their cute little faces at two when you look at their far out style now!

O Magazine had a great article last month on the "Teen Commandments" written by Lian Dolan. These are great tips to navigating the teen years! Just a few observations of my own in italics...

1. You shall not attempt to engage in meaningful conversation in the morning.
I always considered time in the car as time to have one on one, intense "Mommy Time." They were trapped and HAD to listen!

2. You shall not approve the use of more than two electronic devices simultaneously.
Our girls didn't have Ipods, mp3 players, Facebook or MySpace. They begged for years before we added cable TV. But teens have an innate ability to tune out parents, I remember having to repeat myself a lot!

3. You shall not offer commentary about haircuts, hairstyles or haircolors.
I was a much stricter Mom with our oldest daughter, sorry Stephanie! By the time we became parents to our second 8 years later, I picked my "battles!"

4. You shall not offer helpful suggestions on homework management.
Homework was done as soon as they came home and both were focused on doing their best, we were lucky there. It's a real worry when your kids struggle with a subject.

5. You shall not extend curfew beyond midnight.
I'm glad our daughters are grown!

6. You shall not expect a fully functioning frontal cortex.
They look grown up, but they're not! Continuing to parent when they are teens is crucial!

7. You shall not believe in the chaperoning abilities of the "older sibling."
Stephanie left a BIG impression on her little sister when she threatened to flush her down the toilet! Amy still talks about it...

8. You shall eat dinner together as often as you can.
We always ate dinner together but that was 1970's/1980's. With all of the outlets kids and parents have now, it's much harder. There's something about a meal that says home and family.

9. You shall not hesitate if they call and say they need a ride home from a party.
Having that conversation with your teen is probably one of the most important. Knowing they can depend on you always is a very good feeling.

10. You shall remember that you were 16 once.
I asked my husband if he remembered 16. He said, "Kinda, I remember how much I wanted a car!" Even though there's 42 years separating them, I bet Jackson would answer the same!


  1. Great post! I love your comments alongside the teen list. Things are certainly different these days...the electronic age. Even we grandparents are getting used to it! :)

  2. I fully agree with all of them except the homework part. I do still ask questions about homework and prompt them to get it done. They do say I'm a NAG though.

  3. remembering when we were 16 is what scares us! LOL.. I love the one don't trust the chaperoning abilities of the older sibling--so true--turns out they were partners in crime. Gosh I love the music on this blog!

  4. Great post! My oldest grandchild just turned 16 this month. He does not live very close since he moved to Branson. We went down for the 16th celebration and he was so glad to see us. There is "something" about the first one. I don't love him any more or less than the other's just a bit different. N

  5. Your comment about having them trapped in the car reminded me that my husband and I gave our college bound daughter a safe-sex talk in a canoe while paddling in the middle of a lake. She has mentioned on more than one occasion feeling a bit trapped that day too.

  6. Oh thank you so much for the lesson! I've learned alot today. I still remember my very sweet 16. It was the greatest year ever!
    Regards, Kristy


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