By Stan Ashbee
Teenagers are a unique beast — they’re cunning, sometimes territorial, and can be unbearable, at times. But, we learn to cope with, tolerate behaviours, and love those teenagers we are responsible for — don’t we? It’s a full-time job, raising teens in 2020, prior to that, and even more so now. Teens though, should not be generalized and teenagers are not just a stereotype. Are they?
It’s inevitable your little angel, or perfect little child isn’t going to grow up and take on and/or change forms — like a shapeshifter from some sci-fi/horror movie. It’s as if some kind of invasion of the body snatchers happens. Pod people seem to take over our kids, as children turn to teens that turn into young adults.
As a parent, just when you thought you had your kid all figured out, the teenage years hit — and hard. What was is now not and what is yet to come is scary, as teenagers transform into “something wicked this way comes” — well, some of them do. Some teens transition from child to teen without much of a hassle, those teens should win an award. Being a teen is awkward, we’ve all been there, if we are parents. But being a parent of a teen is awkward, sometimes awful, but can be a wild and crazy adventure for the whole family. Being a teen in today’s world, is no doubt, not like a box of “Forrest Gump” chocolates. Life isn’t always sweet and full of a rich, creamy centre. Teenage life, I’m sure, is complex and not without its struggles and challenges — much like parents, trying to navigate the troubled waters of raising a teen. The water can almost drown you, if you’re not careful.
Each day as a parent raising a teen is a lot like heading down to the carnival and playing games of chance. A crap shoot really — like whack-a-mole and your the mole, as the loving teen in your life is the one hammering down on you, as you remain dumbfounded, as to how you got into this compromising position in the first place.
It’s not all bad though. There are moments in the day when being a parent of a teen is rewarding and a complete joy. It would seem these moments are far and in-between, but exist, nonetheless. There’s no map, no compass, no definitive rule book to raising a teen — because no two teens are alike. They are unique, like snowflakes or fingerprints. Nuturing them, to the best of our ability, is what our job is — as parents. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!