Becoming the parent of a teenager can make you feel crushed, furious, tearful, redundant, nostalgic and fiercely proud. And that’s just in one meal time (if their busy social lives allow them to slouch at the same table as you for ten minutes).
The change from cuddly, mostly amenable and adoring child to teenager is a shock, especially when they’re stricken with perma-embarrassment by your very existence. Some of the changes are so slow you don’t really notice (when did he get a full armpit of hair?!), while others seem to happen overnight (being told that asking ‘how was your day?’ is ‘being a beg’) .
Here are just some of the signs to recognise that you’re wading into the teen years.
1. “The switch from having to forcibly shove them into the shower to never getting them out of the damn place. The lack of any food in the kitchen - approximately seven minutes after you packed away an enormous Tesco delivery. The sudden ability to sleep until 11 (or 12 or 3 in the afternoon).” Laura
2. “Hair products.” Marina
3. “Door slamming. It’s physically impossible for them to shut a door without shaking the house foundations. It’s not even done in anger, just an unawareness.” Naomi
4. “Becoming the butt of all family jokes. Especially when you’re trying to be serious.” Amy
5. “Being the shortest person in the family and having your towering sons use you as a comedy elbow-rest. Being told your walk is so slow they’re going to die of boredom.” Karen
6. “The consumption of bread. Loaves of the stuff, every day and all night.” Jane
7. “Coming downstairs to a kitchen that must have played host to a scrum of teens all buttering toast and leaving knives, plates, tea mugs on every possible surface. Grating cheese across a whole table when making a snack.” Ann
8. “Leaving empty mugs on the kitchen counter, above the dishwasher. Giving you a ‘God, you’re boring’ look when you mention quite how irritating that is.” Nancy
9. “The ability to stare into a fully-stocked fridge, rummage through a cupboard of food and moan that there’s nothing to eat before choosing cereal - again.” Anna
10. “Getting cross when you clear up their ‘floor clothes’, as if being grubby is an organised system.” Lynne
11.“Ash on the window sill. Filter papers in their jeans pockets when you put on a wash.” Abi
12. “Their perfection of the eye roll...to EVERYTHING you say or do. I’m not even trying to be embarrassing yet. Wait until I put some effort in.” Carol
13. “Developing strong views on pants. Anything in cotton are ‘mum pants’ and cringeworthy.” Elise
14. “Shouting “Gerofff!” whenever you try a sneaky cuddle.” Lottie
15. “Sending indecipherable texts. It took me ages to realise idk wasn’t a misspelling of her friend Eli.” Georgia
16. “Instead of hoovering up bits of Lego, I’ve now got carpets full of brace elastics.” Tammy