The Terrible Two’s, Teenage Style


A+teenage+boy+covering+his+ears (1)                                                                                                                                                                               Living through teenage drama without loosing your sanity

I like to compare teenagers to two-year olds because the very same dynamic is unfolding, only this time it is a stressful transition from childhood to adulthood that requires many years to complete. I read somewhere that 25 is the age that young adults finally get an adult brain! In our family, we actually celebrate that birthday and welcome our offspring into full adulthood.

Teens are adjusting to their rapidly changing bodies. Sometimes teenagers, boys especially like to prove their new-found strength. David loved to come behind me in the kitchen and with a huge grin on his face pick me up and swing me around or even turn me upside down!.

“Oh well”, I’d think to myself, “This too will pass, this too will pass.”
It did take a couple of teens to break my husband and me in, but bythe time our fourth kid turned 13, we understood that it was pointless to overreactOne of my sons , in his early teens, had just announced that he could not stand living under our roof another minute,
“I’m out of here!”, he bellowed, “and don’t expect me to come back!”
The door slammed and he tore off on his ten speed bike. Of course my father was visiting and witnessed this dramatic episode. After a few minutes

Dad turned to my husband and wondered

,” Aren’t you going to go after him?”

Michael calmly kept reading, then looked up and explained,
“Oh, I’m not worried. The only place near enough to bike to is one of his buddy’s and they don’t feed kids over there. He’ll be back when he is hungry enough.”

Sure enough, hunger brought my son home late that night. We did not need to pronounce any ultimatums because the recognition that he still needed to live at home and attempt to get along with our rules was humiliating enough. No need to rub his face in the facts.Teenagers are often humiliated by their mistakes in judgment so they relish the opportunity to catch us in the wrong.
For example, Michael’s usual response to swearing, disrespect or a poor attitude was,
“Leave that sort of stuff at school!”

One evening at the dinner table on a Sunday, Michael yelled in anger at the dog. David had just filled his plate and was coming back to the table. He leaned over, looked at his dad and with a twinkle in his eye and a huge grin on his face said ,
“Leave that sort of stuff at church, eh Dad!”

Michael snapped out of his bad mood and had to smile. The kid was right. David’s humour diffused the situation and Michael was the one who had to apologize this time.

Teenagers love to rile their parents, to flaunt rules and standards in a blind wish to figure out who they are in and of themselves. If I remember this fact, I don’t overreact to obnoxious behaviour or crazy fashions. As parents, we are often counselled to choose our battles with our children and refrain from forbidding all crazy fashion experiments. About 90% of the time, I have to admit that some disagreements, with my teens especially, were not worth fighting over and as the most mature person in the equation, I should probably acquiesce as gracefully as possible.

Ah, this too will pass” Just don’t fall off your chair at the dinner table when one of your young adults turns to you and asks how your day went!


25 thoughts on “The Terrible Two’s, Teenage Style

  1. Loved it!!! Boy does this bring back memories. My oldest was four when she was going to “run away.” (Always my drama queen) 🙂 So I packed her a little suitcase and put her some candy bars in it, and told her, “I am so sad to see you leave, but you better hurry because it is almost dark.” So she went out the door and said, “But Mama I am running away!” I told her, “I know dear and I am going to miss you, but I have to go and take care of your sister.” I shut the door with my eye on her of course. In about three minutes there was this small knock and she said, “Mama I think I will spend one more night!” 🙂 Of course one more night turned out to be 16 more years. I agree, “pick your battles.” Loved the bike story! God Bless, SR


      1. This “astonishes you,” why? 🙂 The only “approach” where we had to part company was with those “dat-gum books!” I will never forget that as long as I live. I still laugh at that one! God Bless, SR


  2. I admire Mothers. I don’t know how you guys put up with children. I will share this beautiful story to my sister who can relate to you. She has only 6 kids. P.S. Mother’s day is coming.


  3. Loved to read this, Melanie. Your great sense of humour is present, like always.
    I only have two children, and even the younger one is 24, but I still feel she’s not quite adult yet. Perhaps around her 25th birthday next year, like you say. Thanks!


  4. Melanie this made me laugh, and agree I think teens have a hard enough time adjusting, so as a parent, even though it will be hard I will pick my battles wisely. I remember my parents being so chilled out by the eighth/ninth kid we use to say to the Little Kids (thats what we called them) that mum and dad had gone soft as we received the earlier stricter versions and yet I think the little kids turned out pretty awesome. Thanks for sharing your world it brings back special family memories looking at your band of gorgeous children.


  5. This is so true, Melanie. My three daughters have a 7 and 6 year age gap. So my youngest is 7 and my eldest is 20. My eldest keeps pointing things out that my middle child is allowed to get away with, and I keep telling her that it is because I learned that there is not much point making too many issues out of things because sometimes making an issue actually does make the situation worse. My eldest daughter often jokes at about how I did all my mother learning from being her mother first before the other two came along and the others have it easier. She may have a point there, but I do love her so dearly as I do my two other daughters too. Loved this post, thank you.


  6. I have written about the teenage years many a time — by my 4th, i shall be a pro. right now, i am going through my first. not fun.


  7. Had to laugh at your husbands comment about the neighbours not feeding kids. We just spent 3 days with my sixteen year old son & 2 friends & despite eating constantly all day long they were never ever full!


  8. I was a “mean teen”. Just nasty to everyone in my house…for years. Man am I being paid back. My daughter is 18 and just when I thought she might get better, she’s gotten worse. LOL. Fun times. 🙂


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