10 Insane (But Totally True) Facts About Raising Teenagers

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

There are moments as a blogger when you feel like you’re doing it right. When a fellow blogger and talented writer thinks enough of you and your own voice to reach out and ask you to step up and stand in, you step up and stand in.

Normally, I’d be churning words at Mother of Imperfection but today I will be your humble host here, trying my best to do right by Coach Daddy.

Let’s do this.

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Raising teens. You just shivered a little, didn’t you? I get it.

I’ve taken a couple of turns at it already and have a few more to go. I figure by the time all is said and done, I will have banked enough good will points with the karma gods that maybe I’ll be able to just sit on a quiet beach somewhere with a virgin colada and a good book.

Why are you laughing?

photo credit: plaits via photopin cc
photo credit: plaits via photopin cc

Over the years, I’ve managed to learn a few things. Mostly, these insane facts about teenagers that I assure you are totally true:

  • Teenagers are capable of eating their weight in food. I have to share with you that next to my mortgage, the grocery bill is the highest monthly bill I have. This phenomenon starts in the tween years and is not exclusive to teenage boys.
  • If you have a teenager and you want them to sleep….take away their cell phone. Or any electronic device they have for that matter. Studies have been done finding that the blue light emitted from electronics messes with melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your body clock, and can actually keep you awake. This could explain why teenagers fall asleep in class and don’t sleep at night. It all comes back to the cell phone. Makes perfect sense to me.
  • Teenagers are clumsy. They pack the grub away and when they do sleep, it’s the sleep of the dead. There’s a whole lot of growing goin’ on. Their brains are not exactly in a hurry to recalculate to help the body balance when they’re limbs are growing like mad, so walking in to walls, falling down, breaking things? Yep…normal.
  • For teenagers, texting is quite possibly the only means of communication – unless you are their parent. I have heard the dead phone excuse too many times to count and I guarantee you, that phone was not dead. It was the desire to respond that kicked the bucket. And don’t even try to tell me you didn’t have your phone when I know a charged phone in your hand is more vital than your next breath.
photo credit: GoodNCrazy via photopin cc
photo credit: GoodNCrazy via photopin cc
  • While we are on the subject, did you know that teenagers are capable of texting…..without looking. I believe it is possible that some of the species have actually trained their digits adjust to the keyboard. It’s the same concept as typing on a computer keyboard without looking, just a smaller scale. I promise you, it is possible.
  • Teenagers are fluent in the language known as sarcasm. Since this is my personal superpower, I have nothing more to say on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.
  • Many teenagers hate math. But they love money. Now the thing about money is this: you might need a little math. Unless of course, it is your parents’ money, then it doesn’t really matter, right? No matter how many times you may have told them when they were younger, they still don’t truly believe money doesn’t grow on trees. As teenagers they continue to test the theory.
  • To a teenager, there are two possible definitions of ‘on time’. On time for them….and on time for you. They are very, very different.
  • To a teenager, it does not matter, even a little bit, how intelligent you are. You know nothing. Nothing.

Yes, insane but true facts gleaned from years of dealing with teenagers that have left me bruised and battered with a few more wrinkles than I care to admit. I get one grown and gone and another takes their place. I have learned quite a bit and feel I might be getting better at it. Which leads me to fact number ten:

Unfortunately, just when I think I have the game figured out….they go and change the rules.

William Galvin


63 thoughts on “10 Insane (But Totally True) Facts About Raising Teenagers

  1. Is it wrong that I miss my reduced grocery bills when my teen is away?

    Now, I have been known to text him from opposite ends of the house. It is easier than competing with the xbox headset and guarantees a response!

    1. Nope. My kids were away for a weekend this summer and I couldn’t believe the lack of garbage and dirty dishes. And I didn’t have to run out to the store for the fourth gallon of milk of the week. Or pickles. We go through a LOT of pickles!

  2. I’m a survivor. Right before cell phones became extended appendages. I can totally relate to all the rest. Ask no questions, get no lies. You are always wrong. Pick your battles. Unusually colored hair is totally acceptable. And now I have two socially acceptable adult children.

    1. You said the magic words right there, Val! Pick your battles. I just dyed the underside of my daughter’s hair the color of red velvet cake for the first day of school. I’m hoping it buys me a few days of good will ;)!

    1. That is my biggest fear…I was a rotten teenager and my oldest daughter paid me back in spades. I’m hoping that I’m given an easier go with the next three! Thanks, Janine! Taking over Eli’s blog is fun! I can’t wait to see your post later this week!

  3. Spoken by a man truly fighting in the trenches. Great post and soooo true. I laughed out loud when I read, “I one get one grown and another fills their space.” I hear ya screamin!

    Somehow, my 20-year-old made it through her teen years with barely a scratch and only a wisp of attitude. My 14-year-old? Well, um…he’s smelly, hungry, techy, edgy…and all boy. I can’t wait to see how this ends up. I’ve learned to keep my arms and legs inside the moving vehicle during this stage of life ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Wait! Yep, just checking…I’m a girl ;)! I’m actually taking over Eli’s blog today since he needed a little break. It’s nice to know I did well enough for you to think this was him!

      I LOVE “keep your arms and legs inside the moving vehicle”….very appropriate!!

      1. Oh gosh, Sandy! I’m so embarrassed. Ha! Ha!
        I guess I’m just living my own mantra and celebrating imperfection.
        *Takes a drag of coffee*
        Okay, that’s better!

        This was so well-written and I laughed the entire time. So nice to have met you (I just met Eli last week). I’ll be sure to hop over to your site and say hello there, too.

        Thanks for being so understanding and good-natured with my little faux paus. I don’t know why I’m allowed in public some days ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. It’s early and like you, I’m still working on my coffee. Just got my kids off to their first day of school and tackling a few comments. Don’t feel embarrassed on my account. It was obviously a twist of fate because now we’ve ‘met’! See how well things work out :)!

  4. Okay, you’ve got me laughing this morning! Especially about the phone always being “out of charge”… I went through that with one of my girls during high school. I’m happy to report that now she is an (almost) college graduate, that has changed and she is the MOST responsive to texts of anyone in the family. Great to remember that this is a phase….

    1. It is always a good thing when I can make someone laugh, Seana! My stepdaughter is the champion of dead battery but I know better…and she knows I know better. I ended up buying here one of those portable battery chargers and I don’t think she’s actually ever used it but her battery is never dead anymore…funny. I think you just have to learn how to outsmart them every once in a while for them to realize you really aren’t as clueless as they think you are.

    1. I get it, Gretchen. I really do. Like I said, I’ve already been through it twice and it sucks…..every time. The attitude alone is enough to make you want to run away from home.

  5. What I love about this is how clear it is that you don’t take teenage BS. You understand the biology of it, but you draw the line on certain behaviors. Love it.

    1. Nope. I don’t really take a lot. I’m willing to let some things go but there are some where I won’t budge. Two things I will not ever tolerate is lying and disrespect. My kids have all learned by now that I have an excellent BS detector and it’s much, much better to admit your wrongdoing than lie about it and let me find out later.

  6. As father to two 20-something-year-olds, I can concur with all the items on your list. The excessive eating, sarcasm, never being more than an inch away from a charged mobile, and believing that (their parents’) money grows on trees particularly stood out. Fun post.

    1. Well, thank you! Those are all good, and all true but I think my favorite might just be the fact that they think we know nothing. It’s always fun to see their expression when they find out you know a little about life.

  7. I know I was just a PERFECT teenager but my little brother who just hit 16 is barely tolerable to me. I plan to reconnect with him when his brain is fully developed …. What is that for men… 25?

  8. I am shuddering a little, but hey, we signed up for this, right? Teenagers and all. I agree with the food bills. I was not a teen boy but I ate more than my two brothers. Combined. They make up for it now, actually. Pot-bellies, the both of them! Anyway, that’s what happens when you grow six inches in one year.
    My parents raised five teens at once. I have nightmares.

    1. Five at once? That is frightening! I will have three at one point about seven years from now. I didn’t realize that until just now. It’s a crazy time but it passes and yes, we do sign up for it. We tell ourselves the little lie that all couples tell themselves in order to procreate….’Our kids will be different.’

      Uh huh.

  9. Really interesting about the blue light. My daughter has trouble sleeping and I wondered if it was because she was on her iPad too late. She reads books on it before she goes to sleep.

    1. I found that fact very interesting. I wish I had started taking the devices away earlier in the summer and gotten them back on a normal sleep schedule before school started. I allow an audio book on their iPods or a little time with an actual book and so far they seem to be getting to sleep earlier.

  10. I am raising two teenagers and will have three more to go after them. I love what you said about a charged cell phone being so vital. Very true! I do like texting almost better than talking to them sometimes. You can say what you need to say without so many tone of voice and attitude issues sneaking into the conversation. Teenagers can be a lot of fun too, if things are going their way that day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’ve been through two and have three coming up myself. We’ll have each other for comfort, knowing we are not alone. I can’t think of anything more important to a teenager than a charged cell phone! I agree that they do have their moments and you are right…conditions have to be just so or they can turn on a dime.

  11. Reblogged this on Nikki Young Writes and commented:
    I am reblogging this because it is such an interesting post. As I have a tween who has trouble sleeping, it is particularly poignant. We are going through this at the moment, so this definitely struck a cord with me. Hope you find it useful too.

  12. Thanks for the heads-up! Now I know what to expect in a couple of years. Our son just started 1st grade this week, but already “Amish week” (no iPad, iPhone, TV or DVD) is the toughest punishment.
    I have learned about the gadgets messing with your sleep when I was watching a documentary on insomnia one night – pun intended. I have gotten quite obsessed about switching off all those devices at night.

  13. True, true, and true! And I have found that teenage GIRLS eat WAY more than teenage boys! Scary, huh?! I was nodding through my laughter at the cell phone bit….shoot! Those teens wouldn’t be caught DEAD without their phone. So that is the WORST possible excuse for them to give! As for the sarcasm…I am luckily also very fluent in that, so it works out ok around here. BUT, I just have one laid-back teenage son and a teenage sister (who doesn’t live here, but visits often) to look to for confirmation on these “facts”. I have 3 wonderfully sassy little girls making their way towards teen-dom, and THAT is where my worry begins! LOL

  14. Ahhh yes, I remember it well ๐Ÿ˜€ Now I have two teenaged granddaughters and one heading for teen-dom in December. There will be another three to twelve years till the others reach that stage.

  15. I’ll admit it: I’m afraid to have a teenager. But sometimes my seven-almost-eight-year-old does things I didn’t expect until the teen years, like ohmygod the kid won’t stop eating, and I think–maybe I will survive it.

    I hear boys are slightly easier in the teen years than girls anyway. So that’s good?

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