fuzzy, black dogs

fuzzy, black dogs
All three of my fuzzy, black dogs -- Bob, Ace and Lilly.

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Parenting Advice for Fathers: Teenagers

My son turned 18 recently. Technically, that means he is now an adult. But not really!

I've read somewhere that the human brain isn't fully formed or mature until about 24 or 25 years old. I can vouch for that! Since that doesn't help me now, I've come up with some tips and advice on dealing with older teenagers.

First and foremost, they are never, ever wrong. Nor do they make mistakes. Even when they're completely wrong, or you catch them making a mistake, it's never through any fault of the teenager!

The littlest, fuzzy, black dog actually being nice! Back to sleep...

Also, teenagers are veritable geniuses and know everything. Yes, everything! If you catch them in the wrong, refer back to the first rule above.

Parents, you are no longer adults. You have now become 'older, clueless people who lack vision.' In fact, your job is to prevent your teen from finding his (or her) true inner self and reaching his (or her) worldly potential through the dispensing of sound suggestions and sage advice. Gosh!

Also, parents, learn when to just not say anything. The words that come out of your mouth will either be ignorant, politically incorrect, racist, sexist, narrow-minded, or just plain biased in some way, shape or form. Take the following conversation, for example...

"Hey, son! Check out that tall guy..."
"What have you got against tall people?!"
"Umm... Nothing. Him. In the plaid shirt."
"Now you're making fun of what he's wearing?!"
"The dude! With the brown hair!"
"It might be gray. Or a wig! What if he has cancer?"
"Just look! Him! Over there!"
"What about him?"
"Never mind now. I don't remember."

I must say that after 47 years, 18 of them as a parent, I have finally understood the magic of the word "whatever." Honestly, I used to hate it because it followed questions like "why is the milk out?" "have the fuzzy, black dogs been fed?" and "who was at the door?"

Now I use it. It's quite exhilarating and I highly recommend trying it. Here's how it works...

"Dad! There's no gas in my car! And I'm taking Beth to the movies after we go out for dinner and I'm flat broke! And Mom said to talk to you!"