Instructions for turning a teenager into an adult

The Dream

  1. Find Teenager hard at work, studying.
  2. Show him/her how to load a washing machine
  3. Show him/her how to unload a washing machine and hang/dry the contents
  4. Show him/her a cookbook. Discuss a nutritious menu covering all food groups with healthy ingredients.
  5. Send him/her to shop with sufficient money to buy ingredients.
  6. Oversee cooking and serving of food.
  7. Discuss how to decide what to do with the change. How much to save, how much to spend, how much to give to charity.
  8. Have a cheerful conversation.
  9. Send him/her to room to study.
  10. Say goodnight as they turn out the light ready for at least eight hours’ sleep

The Reality

  1. Find Teenager. (NB This may involve forcing door open, wedged shut by dirty clothes. Teenager may be found in one of several places: in bed, glued to computer, under the clothes, in another room on a gaming device, in someone else’s house.)
  2. Argue with teenager about clothes. Spend half an hour creating a Ven diagram with the clothes on the floor – some definitely clean, some definitely dirty, an intersection including ones which teenager is not sure about. (NB the easiest way to make them define the status of those in the intersection is to make them smell each item.)
  3. Ask teenager to sort clothes into colours. Go and have a cup of tea to calm nerves.
  4. Go back and explain colours. Wonder why this was more fun when he/she was a toddler.
  5. Show him/her how to load washing machine.
  6. Look for teenager in order to teach them how to unload machine and hang/dry the contents (NB see point one)
  7. Give up and dry/hang clothes oneself.
  8. Show him/her cookbook. Discuss a nutritious menu covering all food groups with healthy ingredients.
  9. Buy pizza
  10. Have a glass of wine to calm nerves
  11. Explain at length why studying is more important than playing video games
  12. Explain at length why not everyone becomes a millionaire by playing video games
  13. Remember all the things your parents said which you said you’d never say and then repeat them.
  14. Wonder if the door hinges will withstand all that slamming.
  15. Have another glass of wine
  16. Go to bed, saying goodnight through the teenager’s door and asking them to keep the noise down.

teenagers

Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

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