20 Facts About Teenagers

By Kristy McCaffrey
I currently live in a household with 4 teenagers, ranging in age from 13 to 19, both boys and girls. This doesn’t make me an expert. It does mean I’ve done bloody verbal battle over the most vexing subjects, such as why they must pay their own cell phone bill, or why they no longer like anything I make for dinner, or how I know nothing about dress codes. I love being told in a snide voice that of course they can wear super-short, strappy sundresses to school. So-and-so does it all the time. Gawd!
But here are a few things I do know, at least during the summer months.
1.         Will claim they aren’t lazy; they’re simply satisfied with the world around them.
            “My dirty room doesn’t bother me.”
2.         Will rationalize not getting a job by admitting they just don’t have time. Waking
            up at noon really eats up the hours.
3.         Believe electricity is free and should therefore be used 24 hours a day.
4.         Are leaving Facebook for Twitter because they’ve learned that their parents can’t
            stand cryptic one-liners covered in hashtags and therefore won’t creep on them in this
            confusing social media venue.
5.         Are responsible for the heavy use of Netflix. Why watch all nine seasons of “The Office”
if you can’t watch them again. And again. And again. (I feel Jim, Pam, Dwight, etc. are
now some of my best friends.)
6.         Will plot and scheme to get the next cell phone upgrade, even if it’s not theirs. Later,
            they will accuse their mom of stabbing them in the back when, because she hasn’t had a
new phone in 5 years, innocently takes the next upgrade.
7.         Will never admit that their disgust of you is equally measured by their need for you.
8.         Will trap you in a conversation. Enter any discussion with a teenager with caution. Before
            you can blink, you’ll be accused of terrible, terrible things, such as being a racist or
hating them or being obsessed with them succeeding at school. All because you asked if
they’d be home for dinner.
9.         Have seen any cute puppy photo or viral kid video months before you tell them about
10.       Sleep more than newborns.
11.       Are trapped in teenage logic—a most blissful state. In this world, fender benders are
someone else’s fault, the airline will surely mail that cell phone left on the plane (so
there’s no reason to rush back and try to retrieve it), and their parents will never
find those 5 empty beer bottles hidden in their room.
12.       Base their life views on “Family Guy,” their work views on “The Office” and their
            medieval views (and should I add sexual???) on “Game of Thrones.” The reach and
impact of television should never be underestimated.
13.       Are unable to see dog vomit.
14.       Have no idea what a garbage can is.
15.       Are far smarter than we give them credit—dealing with drugs, alcohol, peer pressure,
social media, bullying, and parents who know nothing.
16.       Are more naive and ignorant than they know—requiring firm and loving guidance,
            not just from parents but any adult in their life.
17.       Have a schedule in their head that precludes any request you make of them, such as
            taking out the garbage or unloading the dishwasher. (The schedule generally looks like
this: watch 6 episodes of “The Walking Dead” on Netflix, play 6 hours of Minecraft,
eat 3 microwavable lean cuisine entrees and an entire bag of potato chips—leave trash for
            maid (mom) to clean up.) They’re so busy.
18.       Will tell you they’re better off on their own.
19.       View the hamper in their room as eye candy and not something functional.
20.       Require that you pay attention, despite every effort to push you away. As young adults
they’re making magic. If you don’t look, you’ll miss the magnificent and wonderful
people they’re turning into. From wildly inventive photos on Instagram to building their
own computers to studying physics because it’s so interesting, they’re becoming human
beings that will one day change the world, big and small.
My teens before they were teens.
And this is why we resist eating our young, or at the very least sitting on them until they exhibit some common sense (which I saw a lion mom accomplish without an ounce of remorse on one of those cute animal videos).


With the whole world before them.


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