I am the father of a teenager
...which is to say, I am perpetually on the verge of shooting an aneurysm or committing daughter-cide.
I know teenagers are desperate to develop their individuality, to establish more and more independence.
I know they will unconciously seek conflict in order to ease the developing separation from their parents and family.
I know they will even make choices that deep down they know are stupid, just to make the choice *theirs*.
But lawsy-me and goodness gracious! What are they thinking sometimes?
The general course of events is as follows:
- The daughter presents me (or more accurately, the world in general) with a problem.
- Dad (that's me) or Mom will suggest a course of action that enables her to fulfill her responsibilities AND achieve the outcome she wants.
- But will she do that? She will not. She will choose another plan -- a plan guaranteed to end in failure, a plan that relies heavily on things like "Then in step two, a miracle occurs."
- And when the relied-upon miracle fails to occur, when the laws of space and time continue to operate in the same fashion they always have (can you imagine), we have end-of-the-world dramatics, hysterical blame, recriminations, self-loathing, and assertions that no one understands her, her life is not bearable, and that she is treated like a criminal while her little brother is loved, coddled, and indulged (I know that last one seems irrelevant, but believe me: there is no subject too remote for that to be dragged into the conversation).
Anyway, there you have it. I predict it won't be long until I stand before you a broken and bitter man. In the meantime, pray for me. And if possible, send Valium.