I have been cataloging for the last several weeks what has annoyed my teenagers about me. It might have been easier to list those items that didn’t bother them like giving them money and letting them stay up late. OK, that’s done. But, I wore that pencil down to a nub in the interest of being real and I am handing this magical list to you, as my offering.
Warning: Do not try these at home. These stunts were performed by an untrained teen parent, and they did not go well. Learn from my mistakes before your teens unfriend you too.
- Pull up the car in front of all their friends.
- Drive on the sidewalk.
- Tell your teen they heard what you were saying incorrectly.
- Look at their Snapchat over their shoulder or try to photobomb.
- Ask a question the second time because the first answer was mumbled into a phone.
- Ask a question the second time because you forgot the answer.
- Ask a question.
- Be proud of them in front of their friends.
- Let their brother or sister sleep in or miss school for any reason.
- Say “Hi” to someone they know while they are there.
- Say “Hi” to someone they know when they are not there.
- Like something on any of their social media profiles.
- Physical contact.
- Move any of their things (this includes dirty laundry strategically placed for future use in the middle of the living room).
- Wear something that is close in color or style to something your daughter or son owns but has remained unworn for the last two months.
- Mention the opposite sex.
- Mention sex.
- Mention bodily functions.
- Suggest that a shower would be a good idea.
- Ask what they are thinking or doing.
- Ask what they are thinking of doing.
- Comment on fashion. Specifically: avoid conversations about the length of skirt/shorts; if their pants are floods, too tight, or dirty; if it is the fourth day in a row they are wearing that shirt; or if they require zipping up their fly.
- Correct grammar or spelling.
- Comment on Netflix or data usage.
- Start any conversation with “I was talking to so-and-so about you.”
- Yell loudly when you are watching them compete.
- Compare yourself to them.
- Talk about them like they were a baby.
- Reenact, or imitate anyone in any way.
- Show them the list of ways to embarrass your teen and ask if there are others you missed. (My daughter added nine more.)
If you are like me and don’t give a rat’s if your kids are embarrassed, then let this be your to-do list for the week. If you were mortified by your parents when you were a teen, and it is now payback time (for the healing) then I suggest you start at the top. If you have a budget for the ensuing therapy and believe that being embarrassed by your parents is everyone’s right, go for it.
You. Are. Welcome.
Kristine Laco likes coffee, sleep, reality TV, Netflix and having a cleaning lady. She’s pretty sure my “buy 10, get one free” card for the hospital is full. She writes for BluntMoms, MockMom and Scary Mommy, and has been included in several anthologies, the Inside Voice podcast. She’s currently working on a fiction novel. Her biggest accomplishment is successfully keeping two children and a dog alive in Toronto for many years. Kristine thinks that parenting teens requires a special kind of crazy and she’s just the girl for the job. You can find her at Mum Revised.