Our daughter recently became a teenager - and the changes have been sudden, stark and scary!
Does this happen to all 13-year-olds? What impact does it have on the
poor unlucky bewildered parents?
I asked some friends who have been through or are going through a similar familial metamorphosis about the impact of their once cute, cuddly child turning into a hormone-raging adolescent.
This is what they shared...
When your child becomes a teenager, you will...
1. Never have the last word again. NOPE. DON'T. EVEN. THINK. ABOUT. IT. EVER.
2. Stop seeing your house as a home - think landfill site.
3. Look at your own parents with renewed awe and ask: 'Was I THAT bad?'
4. Deny it hotly when they reply: "Worse."
5. Wonder just how many shoes, trousers, skirts, onesies, leggings, unicorn T-shirts a girl needs when she wears the same thing every day.
6. Spend hours wondering how to mark that 'special' day in your girl's life when she finally becomes a woman only for her to say: 'Duh, I started my periods months ago.'
7. Cry whenever you hear Slipping Through my Fingers by Abba and wonder what happened to all the wonderful adventures you were going to have together.
8. Decide to have a wonderful adventure together but are derailed by a huge row about NOTHING AT ALL before you leave the house.
9. Wonder exactly how you keep becoming embroiled in huge rows about NOTHING AT ALL.
10. Resolve to be more mature.
11. Find yourself feeling a teeny tiny bit envious of what they are about to experience in life, all its wonders, all its glories. Then you remember: spots, boys, boys with spots, experimental hairstyles, exams, hormones, hormones and yet more hormones. Cheer up again, have a wine. As you were.
12. Wonder if 13 is too young to leave them on their own so you can have a night out for under £100. Yes, yes, it absolutely is. Damn it.
13. Give yourself a high-five when you hear one of your teen's friends say: 'Your mum's cool', only for your precious angel to reply: 'She's not. She's a weirdo.' Back to earth. With a bump.
14. Become the family joke when you're not trying to be funny.
15. Learn that texts don't have vowels - yh for yeah, k for OK.
16. Become the shortest in your family.
17. Spend a ridiculous amount of time sweeping childhood photos from view before friends come round because they're 'sooooo embarrassing' - especially the baby ones (which you love most of all).
18. Resign yourself to Bant-a being everything.
19. Be looked on sympathetically by the assistant at Boots when you buy 10 deodorants.
20. Appall your son when you 'fess up to using his new razor on your legs.
21. Never see them before noon at weekends or during holidays.
22. Wish they'd slept like this as babies. If only...
23. Feel a pang of loss when you realise that the cute 'Keep out' sign she drew when she was eight now means PRECISELY that.
24. Never find out what happens behind that Closed Door no matter how open and honest you think your relationship is.
25. Reassure her that the one tiny, solitary, lonely, invisible-to-the-naked-eye pimple that has appeared on her forehead IS NOT THE WORST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN THE WORLD EVAHHHH.
26. Re-appraise chips. They are the Devil's food. End of.
27. Find new life forms under his bed when you eventually pluck up the courage to don a contamination suit and take your chances with a spring clean (just don't look behind the radiator).
28. Have a moment when you find a picture of you and him on a pedalo in Corfu when he was six - pinned to his noticeboard, and only ever-so-slightly covered up by a photo of Robin van Persie.
29. Sneak a peek at a message on his mobile phone from someone called 'Stace'.
30. Wring your hands, pace the floor, fret and worry about whether you should ask him who 'Stace' is?
31. Decide Bant-a is the best approach and punch him on the arm and say, 'Soo, who's this Stace, then, you old dog, you?'
32. Feel slightly soiled when he replies: 'Get a life, Dad.'
33. Challenge him to an arm wrestle because 'you may be bigger than me now, but you'll never be stronger'.
34. Regret challenging him to an arm wrestle.
35. Turn up the volume on the Foo Fighters CD in the car and start head-banging at the traffic lights while reminiscing about the times he'd laugh his head off and join in.
36. Shout at him to take his bloody earphones out because you were talking to him about the Foo Fighters.
37. Stop asking her what she did today.
38. Stop asking her what her friends did today.
39. Stop asking her what she and her friends are going to do at the weekend.
40. Communicate with shrugs and grunts. Well, if you can't beat 'em.... While you're at it, practise dragging your knuckles and swinging your arms. You've seen Kevin and Perry? It's a documentary.
41. Develop a skin thicker than a rhino's callus. When they say they hate you, they mean it. Fortunately, the loathing doesn't last long. Until they're about 20.
42. Finally come to terms with the fact that no matter how funny you think you are, nor how funny your friends think you are, your teenager thinks you're just embarrassing dick.
43. Wrestle with your conscience about looking at their Twitter feed.
44. Feel a sense of crushing disappointment when you realise your child is rather a tedious moron with nothing remotely interesting to say.
45. Then feel a stab of envy and parental anxiety because they have 500 friends at the age of 13 – which happens to be the same unlucky number as you have.
46. Become curious about how popular they are on other social media.
47. Give up wondering once you realise that Facebook is the only other form of social media you know (what's WhatApp, for f***s sake?).
48. Stop hugging or kissing your partner because you cannot live with the disgust from your eye-rolling, faux vomiting teen.
49. Never have sex again. If they caught you AT IT they'd have to leave home.
50. Despite all of the above, love every molecule of their hormone-filled bodies, feel every pin-prick of pain, whether physical or emotional, worry yourself sick whenever they're out of your sight, and nag yourself silly whenever they 're under your roof.
But don't worry, it will all be over when they leave home. Sorry, make that 'if...!'
More on Parentdish: Surviving Teenagers
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