Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Teenagers – moans parents have and my advice. #parenting


  1. “I just can’t get him to read.”

Try harder. It’s dead important. Don’t give up until he is reading or eighteen.


  1. “I’ve lost her.”

That’s because you gave her a phone and allowed her to take it to her room.


This is because she has a TV in her room.


This is because you were scared of setting off a strop and caved in and gave her something that has now come between you.

Either remove those physical things or wait until she is twenty two.

Remember that you gave her the TV in her room because you didn’t want to watch the junk she wanted to watch. This then looked to her as if you didn’t care and had no interest in what she was interested in. This is because it is junk and you aren’t interested. Suffer the junk. Be interested. Or you’ll lose them until they are twenty two.

  1. “He just stares at his ipad all day.”

Eh, you gave him the ipad. (So did I).

Regulate the iPad. Confiscate the iPad. Break the wifi. Realise that there are worse things he could be doing than looking at an iPad. Discuss what he’s watching on the iPad. You never know, you too could learn how to halve a melon with elastic, or fry a whole packet of bacon in a cool way.

  1. “Her friends are a bad influence.”

So is she to them. Teenagers peer select. They home to their own kind.

Don’t blame the friends. Face up to the fact that your child isn’t perfect. Love your child anyway. Live with it. (Unless a relationship is physically or psychologically damaging. In which case, deal with it.Deal with it until it is dealt with.)

If you spent more time physically with your child ‘doing things’, they would truly and actually have less time to get up to regrettable behaviour and unwise actions. This is just a fact. And as all “So-and-so is sixteen today! I can’t believe it! Where does the time go?!” mums should know, time goes in quickly.

Do all you can to ensure that time goes in positively. It’ll be over before you know it. Take them with you when you go places. Involve them in the communities and clubs you are a part of where they can meet a wider demographic from which to peer select.

Meanwhile, get to know the young people you think are “a bad influence”. Most teenagers are likable. The ones that aren’t need to be known and liked. Know them and learn to like them. Or at least let them eat snacks in your house with your child. Where you can see them.

  1. “The moods!”

Teenagers are people, like everyone else. They have good days and bad days. Things annoy and infuriate them.

The good news is that about 99% of them manage to hold it together all day, every day, out and about in the world and at school. Don’t worry – it’s not as if they are disgracing the family name when you can’t see them. Chances are they are lovely. You just aren’t there.

The reason they are vile to you is that they need to let off steam, having held it together all day, and they figure, on some subconscious level, that your love for them is unconditional, so that can feel safe to be vile and still be loved. Okay, so they might cross various lines repeatedly and unacceptably. Persevere in correcting and advising on their behaviour. Persevere in loving them unconditionally. That is your job.

Disclaimer: I haven’t got a teenager. I just know hundreds of them. When my time comes, I guess we’ll see how that goes…




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8 thoughts on “Teenagers – moans parents have and my advice. #parenting

  1. louiseroques on said:

    How about praying for them?

    • Hi Louise – That isn’t a suggestion I have ever made in a professional context! I think that’s a good idea for a whole blog post – How to pray for your teenager. Actually, you are probably the person to ask – what’t the best book on the theology/theory of prayer you’ve ever read?

      • louiseroques on said:

        I loved Paul Miller’s A Praying Life. O Hallesby’s book on Prayer is considered a classic I think but I’ve not read it for ages. If you’re up for a real challenge there’s Carson’s A Call To Spiritual Reformation which encourages people to pray Paul’s prayers for others. Good to be in touch again!

      • Thanks I’ll try the first one and hopefully post a review. I am just beginning to put my summer reading list together.

  2. You’ll do more than fine when it’s your turn! This was awesome Sandra 😀

  3. I have a teenager. I will have at least one teenager for the next 11+ years. I might have more than a clue at that point.

    Here’s what I have found helps so far:

    Hot chocolate. I am going to patent the Parenting With Hot Chocolate method. It fosters helpful talk, takes the heat out of situations and is generally comforting.

    Food generally. Homemade pancakes, frozen pizzas, anything that allows you to invite the host of other children to stay for tea.

    On the same line, providing food or decent amusement means your house is where they like to hang out, allowing you to influence them more or generally keep an eye on what is going on. And I don’t mean electronics. Table tennis is good, chess board a surprising hit.

    Talk to other parents. For everyone’s sake, we need to share what helps and talk about what is going on otherwise we will think that everyone else is coping apart from us.

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