20/10/2011 18:20 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Surviving Teenagers: Understanding Each Other

Surviving Teenagers: Understanding each other Getty

My daughter likes going to gigs. This involves getting caught up in huge crowds of people, listening to music at full blast so that your ears ring, and being thrown around, feet off the ground, in the mosh pit in front of the stage.

'But why do you want to do that?' I ask her, puzzled.

'Because it's great,' she says, with a huge smile.

What can I say? It sounds like a Saturday night from hell.

Last week, my daughter came home from school to find the results of my rushed shopping trip on the kitchen table. She eyed the enormous green cabbage.

She said, politely, 'Do you actually like eating that?'

I do. I really do. I love vegetables and fruit. In fact, like a horse with huge yellow teeth, I get positively excited by apples and carrots. It's the crunch, I think. And the fact that you can eat celery and lettuce completely guilt-free.

'Yes,' I said.

And then it hit me. Most of what my teenagers do strikes me as very, very strange. But they, equally, find most of my behaviour utterly bizarre. And here we are, sharing the same house, wandering about in a state of total incomprehension.

If I sat down and thought about it very, very hard, I could probably remember enjoying being deafened by music in the middle of a hot, smelly, sweaty crowd.

Maybe one day, way off in the future, she'll enjoy eating broccoli.


In the meantime, we'll spend our days in a state of mutual bafflement.


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