Advice to children aged 13

cake 13One of the pleasures of being a child is seeing your parents adapt and change. From silly games when you are young to full-blown sporting competition as you get older. From cuddles to a respectful decorum.

However, many children notice dramatic changes in their parents around 12-14 years after their own birth. What follows is a short guide to interpreting and managing those changes in your parents.

One of the surest signs that an adult has been a parent for around 13 years are flare ups of erratic, moody and dictatorial behaviour. They tend to occur in one of three circumstances:

  • you are enjoying yourself – this apparently becomes difficult for parents of this vintage to bear
  • you are settled comfortably watching TV or playing a game
  • you have been out of the house with friends.

You may also notice parents becoming awkwardly talkative, particularly at times when you’ve a lot on your mind and don’t want to be discussing your day at school or what you would like to do in the Christmas holidays.

You are likely to experience them being picky and very repetitive about trivial matters such as where in your room clothes are kept, or that you should talk to your siblings. It’s evidence of a wider loss of perspective on their part. Pressing issues such as our world becoming polluted; and which group of friends you should walk to school with, frankly, they just wouldn’t understand, let alone be able to engage with.

There’s also a resentfulness creeping into their behaviour. Accompanying you in the car (but not getting out with you) to the cinema, friend’s house and then shopping centre are somehow inconvenient. Your financial entitlement comes with strings attached. This aspect of parents’ behaviour is often most acutely felt when you put some of their possessions – jewelry, make-up, mobile phone – to good use; certainly much better than anything they would have done with those objects.

It’s not easy, but you should try to understand your parent, who is experiencing major life changes. At its root may be their sudden realisation that they are turning into someone they despised 25-30 years ago (their own parents). They may be trying to ‘spread their wings’ – having had a negligible social life for the last decade or more, squashed by their insistence on following you around since you were young. Many parents have simply lost the social skills to make new friends. Physically, they’re having to cope with changes, too. Hair is thinning or greying, or both. Joints are grinding and muscles becoming inelastic.

All of this is normal and you should take none of it personally. Although, that may be difficult if your parents exhibit the following extreme behaviour.

The very worst of it, which some of you will face, is that around this time some parents begin writing – blogging. And they choose to write about you; well that’s their pretext, but of course they’re just projecting the difficult changes in their life onto you. This is a tricky situation for everyone, particularly as they will be going through a pretence of not wanting you to know what they are doing, when really it’s a cry for help. Opinion is divided over the best response, but there are broadly two options:

  1. troll them into silence; or
  2. crank things up a little so they have a good selection of ‘episodes’ about which they can write.
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16 Comments

Filed under individual development, parenting

16 responses to “Advice to children aged 13

  1. Hilarious! “they are turning into someone they despised 25-30 years ago.”
    Fantastic post. Thanks for linking up with #WeekendBlogHop!

  2. normaleverydaylifeblog

    This is clever! I can definitely relate to my teens thinking some of these things about me! 🙂 #sharewithme

  3. This is brilliant. So very true! I am a bit nervous for my two to be teenagers lucky I have a few years to go before I have to really panic about it. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • Jenny, thanks – I’m pleased you enjoyed it. Parenting teens isn’t something I feel very well prepared for – but every time I’ve felt up to speed with my kids, they’ve changed and I’ve felt at sea again.

  4. Another great blog post. I’m tempted to print this out for my 13 year old, though I fear the grunting I may get in response will be indecipherable. Thanks for linking up. #FamilyFriday

  5. Can i just say that I only understood my parents when I became one. I am now so guilty of the things that i did before and hopefully my son wont do that to me as well if he did I would’ve understand as I am a teenager once too. All in all your post made me think. A nice one. #sharewithme

    • Merlinda, I appreciate your comment. I’m approaching parenting a teen with fatalism – they’re bound to think I’m embarrassing, stuffy, idiotic, etc. If they choose to speak to me – bonus! Thanks

  6. Ha ha ha! This is brilliant (especially if you read in the context of my latest post entitled Frustration). Being the mum of a Teen and a Tween and a 9 year old I sympathise with the children involved in your post!

    • Well, I think your post (Frustration) provides a quite positive perspective on teens. They did (eventually) come to recognise what their Mum needed from them. Thanks for visiting and the comment.

  7. My twin girls turned 13 in April. You are exactly spot on with what they seem to be thinking.
    Although you could also add that us parents have an annoying habit of thinking that we know everything. Obviously this is delusional as we are that old and out of style that there is no way we could be right about anything! #PoCoLo

  8. See I was talking to my teen the other day about some blog posts I had read about older children and told him I just wouldn’t do it to him. Guess luckily I had him young so don’t have a lot of those issues you mention – I do try and speak to him when he’s just woken up (and he’s 18 this year).

  9. Ooh a whole new world of parenting I’ve yet to experience! Those poor children, just look what they have to put up with (in my case we may be able to throw menopausal into the mix – well I’ve got a decade to work on that 🙂 ) Thanks again for linking up to #thetruthabout

  10. This is bloody hilarious! Really enjoyed and I’ve also shared on twitter so that other poor troubled 13 year olds can understand they’re not alone! #thetruthabout

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