Have you ever wondered what happened to the days when teenagers respected their elder’s opinions, had values, helped around the house without expecting money? These days, most of them have become a teen alien!
When I was a young parent, teenagers had manners, they gave up their seats on buses to the elderly, abided by curfews bestowed on them, and obeyed the house rules without being asked.
That’s not to say teenagers these days don’t but there are a few that couldn’t give two hoots! As a parent and grandparent of teenagers, the change I see is, at times, mind-boggling!
Most teenagers still respect their parents and grandparents’ beliefs albeit sometimes challenging them (usually in a nice way). Most teens know when not to cross the invisible line. That line is usually the one that means: ‘I can try it on with mum and dad, but heaven help you if you try it on with your grandparents!’.
If you are a grandparent, have you noticed these days how your own children struggle to deal with their own children?
It can be a losing and depressing battle. One day these kids go off to school with a polite ‘goodbye’ and come home a ‘teen alien,’ a two-headed monster that shrieks and yells, slams doors and kicks anything in their path!
Send them to grandma’s – they’ll know what to do – is the usual solution when a teen alien metamorphoses.
What A Selfish Bunch Of Kids
Teen aliens and teenagers are the most selfish bunch of kids on the planet and they have learnt the art of manipulation from an early age.
Grandparents know only too well when they have been conned by a teen alien. The little darlings will cajole and sweet talk their way around you without lifting a finger to help you. They will come and sit next to you and put their arm around your shoulder and croon, ‘I love you grandma.” Yes, we fall for it because we can give them back to their mum and dad. It’s only if they live with you and you dare to ask them to clean their room or do a load of washing, that it turns into a raging battle.
Yet time and time again we see and hear on the news and current affairs programs that the world’s youth is out of control, have no manners, and are violent and so on. Well, the onus lies with us whether we like it or not.
You Are Responsible
The parent is responsible for their offspring regardless. No, even grandparents are not off the hook, you share that responsibility too because we as elders know some of the answers and need to encourage our own children to put them into action.
So how do we stop our loving grandchildren from turning into teen aliens?
With a lot of hard work and grit determination, that’s how.
Communication is the key. Even though they may seem to speak another language and they do amongst themselves, persist. There will be times when the little darlings ignore you. Just say what you have to say and ask if they would like to have the right of reply. If a shrug is their answer, so be it.
Don’t feel guilty when they have made the choice to remain silent. Silence from teen aliens can be like screaming because as every parent knows with children eventually the dam will burst and all in its path will be flooded. We are here to pick up the pieces and rebuild the bridges.
Yet if they rant and rave and tell you, ‘unfair, I hate you!’ let them go because the plus side is sanity will prevail and you have behaved the way you should have. Remain strong, determined loving and calm and let them know your decision is based on what you believe is best for them. Don’t fret over it.
That child has been reared with good morals and ideals and will eventually become a respected member of the community so let them throw their tantrum whilst reassuring them you love them. The most important job in the world is to protect them from themselves until they have the ability and skills to do it alone.
The Teen Alien May Leave The Building
Who knows one day when you least expect it, your fiery teen alien will go out of your front door slamming it and will hopefully return the teenager you once knew?
That teenager will still be selfish but will have learned a very important lesson about life and that lesson will be respect. Respect for the people who sat by their bed and wiped their brow when they were sick, who cuddled and reassured them when they were scared and who let them have ice cream when mum said no. Who kissed their sore knee when they fell over, who taught them how to fish or catch a ball and who taught them that family is their priority in life!
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