Specific Situations > Young Widowed Parents

Out of my league parenting teens

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Let me preface this by saying my kids are generally great. They are brilliant, top of their class, driven, never in trouble at school, not into partying or anything like that, trustworthy to be left alone, etc. I know I am fortunate in all those regards. Everyone thinks they are so wonderful, well-spoken, helpful and responsible.

But this teen thing is by far the least fun part of parenting. They have copped attitudes, find me irrational, irrelevant, and basically go out of their way to refuse to do what I ask of them. Add to that I am constantly being invalidated by the internet and the two of them team up against me. Everything I ask of them is met with a gruff moan. I'm over it.

We're not talking horrible things here, but here is an example: DS1 belched rather loudly after dinner. I told him to say "excuse me". He refused. He stated that burping is a natural bodily function and he refuses to be embarrassed by it or apologize for it. I explain that in our society when someone burps they excuse themselves. This escalated after several iterations. A few nights later, DS2 farted at the table and refused to excuse himself, coping the attitude DS1 exhibited previously.

Another example: I have issues with the microwave and don't use it for much other than popcorn and sanitizing sponges. Recently they decided to cook a meal in the microwave (not reheating it, rather cooking in the microwave). I tell them to do it on the stove. They come up with links and YouTube videos about how there is nothing wrong with microwaves. Same thing with cell phones, they present me links about the safety of cell phones (don't go there guys, my husband died of brain cancer...don't go there...), vitamins, why you shouldn't shower more than once a week, why you shouldn't use shampoo, why you shouldn't use sunscreen...the list goes on and on. It's something every day. OMG I am exhausted.

Then there are house rules, like eating in the kitchen, keeping rooms reasonable, dishes in the dishwasher, fold and put away their laundry, etc. I don't have a ton of rules and don't ask a whole lot of them, but they seem to go out of their way in their refusal to comply.

The worst thing about it all is their disrespect of me. I can't take it. I feel like I have failed completely in raising them to succeed socially. We used to be so close, and now I'm seen as their adversary. I don't know how to parent them anymore.

I don't have advice, but I am feeling the same things. The arguing and disrespect are so frustrating and hurtful from my oldest ds and now my second ds is starting to join in when he was always my "good" kid.

I have in the last year started to be more assertive and firm about punishments and rewards and it's helped some, but not a whole lot. And in some ways it's worse because they balk at me trying to be more firm about rules when in the past I've been pretty lenient, mostly because I was just in survival mode for a couple years there.

I'm definitely not enjoying the teen years beginning, and it's embarrassing to say but part of me looks forward to them growing up and moving out. Nobody shoot me I know parents aren't supposed to feel that way, but...

No advice I'm afraid, my two are only 11 and 7, and enough attitude already... But a fellow solo mum friend gave me a fridge magnet with one of those Norman Rockwell-style pictures and the text "Be a bad parent, they'll move out sooner!" which gives me a laugh sometimes when I need it. Another friend whose oldest is now in jail i'm afraid and who has been hard work his whole life confided, "I couldn't wait for him to grow up."  So rest assured, having those thoughts is far from unusual.

No advice, just solidarity.  The constant debating and their need to be right gets exhausting.  Just like the terrible twos (which really weren't so terrible looking back) this too shall pass. My youngest is 12 and I would like to freeze him in time before he takes a turn for the dark side of teenager hood. 

Vent away, I am all too familiar with feeling like a failure some days. 

I don't have any advice either, but if you figure it out please let me know.   I have two, 16 yr old girl and 13 yr old boy. 

I'm counting the days until they can go off to university. 

I absolutely hate that everyone else can't get over what "great, kind, polite" kids I have.   I've wondered if there's magic on my door that takes all those qualities away from them at home. 

Youtube is not my friend and both of mine should really be the heads of their school's debate teams. 

Is it wrong that I'm glad you posted and I'm not the only one who feels this way?


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