Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An open letter to teens everywhere

Dear teenagers: This is your parents speaking. You know, the people whom you avoid at all costs these days.
We have a few requests, if you don’t mind.
First of all, would you please answer when we text you? Texting is really efficient, but only when you actually text back. You’re busy — we get it. But when you answer, we can stop fretting about whatever we were texting you about. And fret-free moms are much happier moms — trust us.
Another favor: Would you please be home by curfew? We parents have this weird problem. We can’t rest until you’re all home and tucked into your beds for the night. On top of that, we are old and need all the sleep we can get.
Yes, we were teenagers once. We know what kind of “fun” you are up to. But we just want to make sure the fun doesn’t include a ride in a police car and a night in jail. That is so not fun for a parent. So, throw us a bone, OK? Be home on time tonight and we can stop threatening to take away your car keys.
And how about slowing down a bit when you’re driving? We know you’re in a big hurry to get wherever you are going. But we’d feel so much better if we could picture you driving 5 mph under the speed limit with your hands firmly at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Think of our weak hearts and blood pressure and ease up on the gas pedal.
We know that your teenage brain is a little haywire right now, but if you could dial down smart-aleck attitude, we’d be ever so grateful. And stop being so defensive. We’re not trying to control your life, only the important parts— like health and safety and graduating from high school.
About your siblings — give them a break, would ya? They may seem annoying, but they secretly worship you. You are the awe-inspiring big brother/big sister. Why not work that idol factor more? Think of them as your own fan club or personal assistant. They might even pay you for your autograph or help you clean your room just for being allowed inside.
While we’re at it, how about turning in those homework assignments on time? If you’ve actually done the work, why not just take that extra step and actually give it to the teacher the day it’s due? You’d be amazed at what completed homework assignments can do for your grades. And here’s another really crazy idea — what about actually studying for more than one night for your next test? Just think of how your report card will thank you.
Teens, I can just hear what you are thinking right now: “I am really learning a lot of helpful tips from this column! This will really improve teen/parent relations at my own home. Jennifer Huffman’s kids are so lucky to have such a smart mom.”
You don’t have to thank me. Just text me when you get there.

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