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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Raising a Teenager

Raising a Teenager

My daughter occasionally calls when her two teenagers behavior confuses her.  My son is just a few years away from having his own teenagers.  I thought perhaps they might need a user manual for teenagers.


Congratulations, you have raised a child to their teenage years.  Please read carefully the instructions for these precious years in your child’s life.

Your new teenager seems durable, but is actually very fragile. 

Your teen comes in two models, the Testosterone Positive and the Testosterone Challenged, or the TP and TC models.

Either model may be difficult to handle, but if properly managed will bring you occasional joy, and more importantly will eventually grow into a useful human-being that may well take care of you when you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning and are found having conversations with the mail box.

Your new teen is capable of doing chores and can even take care of themselves, but will need constant programming with the voice command function.  If the voice command does not work, monetary incentives might occasionally produce desired effects.  Threats of removing privileges is a last resort. 

Do not, repeat, do not attempt “Grounding.” Grounding always backfires because they will be grounded in your venue.  Grounding is parental punishment, teens will sap your will during grounding…DON’T EVEN TRY!!

Your teen, both TC and TP models will depend on you to help them make good decisions.  However, a defect in their wiring will cause a tantrum if you forbid them from doing something stupid. 

It you allow them to do something stupid, they will assume you don’t give a damn and will make sure to be extra stupid, get in trouble, and make you feel guilty and miserable.

Unfortunately, this decision-making defect has no remedy.  Nothing you do or don’t do will result in satisfactory behavior in your teen. 

If possible, it is best to not know about any bad decision a teen is about to make…sticking your head in the sand is sometimes the best course of action.

Your teen may sleep twelve to fourteen hours a day, this is expected behavior, they are making up for all those years as an infant when they would not sleep at all. 

When awake, your teen will be hungry, but will not know what to eat. Staring at an open refrigerator for long periods of time is not unusual.

Your teen has not yet had an empathy download.  They will only care for themselves much of the time.  It is up to you to develop their empathy program.  If you figure out how to do this please let us know and we will update the manual.

Your teen may be happy when you are miserable, and miserable when you are happy.  Their behavior will often reflect this phenomenon.  This is another defect that has no resolution, grit your teeth and accept that you will be miserable for about six years.  You wanted them, suck it up, keep your eye on the prize, an independent human that will give you grandchildren and might take care of you years down the road.

Do’s and Don’ts:

Do listen to your teen’s complaints.

Don’t ever ask them “What’s wrong?”

Do give them enough leeway to learn and grow.

Don’t give them enough leeway to really fuck up their life.

(No one ever said this was easy)

Your Teenager may sometimes act in a way that makes you want to adjust behavior with a manual attitude adjustment. 


Your TC Teen has been programmed to be very stubborn, a manual adjustment will not work, it will only reinforce the disagreeable behavior.

Your TP Teen may temporarily adjust his behavior, but he will not forget the adjustment… remember, in a few years, he will be able to kick your ass.

Your Teen will have many flaws that this owner’s manual does not address, there are too many variables, for the most part you are on your own.


Q.  Is grounding effective?


Q.  Why don’t…

A.  STOP…we have nothing.  From here on you are on your own.

You thought infants were difficult?  You thought toddlers were hard? You thought adolescents were complicated?


Congratulations, you have a Teen.


  1. We had a pair of Estrogen Enhanced .... time will tell what the next gen faces.

  2. Cousin Joe...Well Done! I am sharing this with my son and daughter in law....their kids are only 7 and 5, but the 5 year old girl is already exhibiting some classic teenage to watch from the Mimi point of view...guaranteed to make them as gray haired as twin boys made me!

    1. Those grays look good on you cuz, my mom considered them an achievement badge.

  3. Wasn't sure I was going to survive those years. Resorting to drugs for the Mom may be necessary. But it was well worth it to see the man he has become. And he admits he hopes he doesn't have a child like him.

  4. This seems really helpful, and it's unfortunate that most people don't read instruction manuals.

  5. Lol on the "precious years." I'm wondering if it ever gets easy? Some of the young adult years are just as worrisome.

  6. We were ready to send one of our TP models back to the factory for reprogramming, but settled for relocating it to a college town. The other one must not have been operating on full power, because we never had a problem with it.

  7. Yep, you know your stuff here. What a challenge it was. I'm so glad it's over.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. 😎

  8. My mom said she hoped I'd have one just like me; two of my three were just like me!!

  9. Phew, glad I let my brother and sisters have the kids. Being the cool aunt is really kind of neat.

  10. 1. Set the boundaries (rules) very early in life.
    2. reinforce boundaries whenever necessary with relaxation of rules as necessary.
    3. remind them of boundaries while allowing some wing spread (let them fly a little)
    4. go with the flow, knowing you taught them right and right-from-wrong.
    5. Love them, no matter what.

  11. Before mine got to be teens, i took heart at the advice of a lady who had teens and toddlers at the same time. She said she preferred the teen years because she could tell them, "You knew better, now you have to suffer the consequences." As she pointed out, when her toddlers broke the dining room table, her husband blamed her.

    So when mine got to be teens, i mostly employed that tactic -- you are old enough, you know better. It made my life easier, and i mostly enjoyed my teens.

  12. Wonderful ~ and oh, so true. I had finally come to the conclusion that the annoying, smelly, irritating, lazy, silly, sometimes idiotic behavior of teens is to prepare the parental unit to look forward to the day that they flap those wings out of here.....

  13. Teenagers seem to know everything about everything.

    God bless.

  14. I feel and know your pain. You nailed it.

    We went through our 3 teens and survived. Now they think we were wise and trusting, good or bad.
    A three yr. old was much easier.

  15. Ah i can totally relate Joe!

    i was lucky that my first child was quite understanding as we had lots of time to spend with each other so things were not much tough but now i have two teens with 3 years age difference
    middle one is toughest and this is grace of God that i could not do without he help of my husband who filled spaces of my leaning and i learnt how to deal with such a difficult child

    this is surprising that this process made me calmer and more understanding ,we are at good point of relationship and this is so peaceful feeling!