Monday, March 05, 2012

A good long read.

This is what being a parent of a tween and two teens can reduce a person to: Picture a mom with arms flailing about, hair standing on end, eyes bouncing wildly and teeth clenched. She could very well be sputtering, or perhaps growling a little bit like a cornered animal.
Handling our first teen wasn’t so bad. But when teen No. 2 came on the scene, and No. 3 turned into a tween, that’s when things went haywire. I realized I needed some advice. I needed to know I was not alone. I needed some backup, and fast, so I got myself down to the library.
Searching “teen parenting” in the library catalog, I came up with a nice long list of books to choose from. This is perfect, I said. Within this list, surely I will find The Way — the way to survive life with three teenagers.
Here’s a selection:
“Inside the Teenage Brain: Parenting a Work in Progress.”
Go inside the teenage brain? Does the author think I have a death wish? I can only imagine what kind of synapse shootout or drunken-hormone, mood-altering dance party is going on inside our teens’ brains. If I go in, I might never get out.
“Grow the Tree You Got & 99 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Adolescents and Teenagers.”
Oh, these teenagers are amazing, all right — amazingly ridiculous. And that part about “growing” a “tree” — would the book include tips on how to prune those pesky teenage “branches” that are out of control, snaring everyone within their reach?
This one sounded really good: “Have a New Teenager by Friday: From Mouthy and Moody to Respectful and Responsible in 5 Days.”
This reminds me of a parenting trend from the 1990s. You could supposedly potty-train your child using this intensive three-day method of following your diaper-free kid around the house with a portable potty. It was messy but effective. I assume this five-day method for a “new” teenager would be equally messy. But would it be effective?
“I’d Listen to My Parents if They’d Just Shut Up: What to Say and Not Say When Parenting Teens.”
Hmmmm. Is there a companion piece called “I’d Love It if My Teen Would Just Zip It”?
Here’s another: “You Can’t Scare Me — I Have a Teenager: A Parent’s Basic Survival Guide.”
Oh, I’m already scared — scared I won’t survive the three versions of teenagers currently roosting in our house. Does this “survival guide” include emergency protection for mood swings, hysterics and manic meltdowns?
Other titles included “What Do You Expect? She’s A Teenager!: A Hope and Happiness Guide for Moms With Daughters,” “Yes, Your Teen is Crazy,” and “The Agony and the Agony: Raising a Teenager Without Losing Your Mind.”
And then there was this one:
“Protecting Your Teen From Today’s Witchcraft: A Parent’s Guide to Confronting Wicca and the Occult.”
Finally! A teen problem I haven’t experienced yet.
I think I’ll start with that one.

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