Living with a 13-year-old

My eldest daughter is the first teen in the family so parenting a teen is all new to me. Here are some tips that might be useful when Living with a 13 Year Old for the first time:

Being a teenager is stressful

High school. Friendships changing. Opposite Sex. Hormones. Mood Swings. Yes being a teenager is stressful. Remember back to your teen years and you can probably sympathise.

Mood swings are normal

It’s the hormones. But the mood swings... One minute happy, one minute grumpy. And I mean REALLY grumpy.

“I hate you!”

You will hear “I Hate You!” many times. You will learn to not take this seriously. You may have had a bit of this during tween years when they got annoyed and rolled their eyes at you. This just takes it to the next level. Door slamming included.

Teens don’t like housework

You may be lucky and your teen could be a little untidy (like mine ) or you could have the whole room-slob type teen. Ask them to help with housework and you are guaranteed to get big sighs. You may need to resort to some bribery - cash, mobile topup, wifi password are all good.

You will still be chief chauffeur

For some reason I used to think the main driving duties were for primary age and that when they were teens I’d be off the hook. But unless you live in town where they can walk or get buses, you will still be Chief Chauffeur. And the chauffeur duties become late-night when they ask to go to discos (see next point ).

They’ll want to go to discos

If you haven’t already had it, it’s time for the chat about drink and drugs because they’ll want to go to discos and they need to be aware about keeping safe. Be prepared to do late pick ups in out of the way places from now on.

Boyfriends and girlfriends

They’ve probably had their first boy or girl friend. It may be a Skype or Instagram type of relationship, a sign of the times. And apparently teens use social media to arrange to meet up at discos nowadays (where’s the spontaneity of meeting someone new gone?! ). So time for the other chat now!

Give them sideways chats

You’ll get more out of your teen when you’re sitting sideways to them, they are more likely to open up. So in the car is when I get the best chats with my teen.

Body changes

Your teen is a woman or a man now. They will be too big for kids clothes and shoes. They will be in small women or men sizes. Unfortunately that also means no more kids prices.

No photos allowed

Gone is the little girl or boy who would happily pose for a photo with a big smile on their face. Instead expect photos of a hand coming towards the camera as they say “No photos!”. And if you do manage to persuade them to pose (never mind smile ) for the camera it will only be on the grounds that you won’t be posting it on your social media.

Good luck with your teen.

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