Teenagers v/s Parents

Teenagers! Respect the Code


Teenagers-tom-nardone-4There is a code that exists between parents and teenagers who are sixteen and older. With little kids it is easy because they don’t know shit. They don’t even know that they don’t know shit. You tell them there is an Easter bunny or a fat-ass man dressed in red who flies around once a year to deliver gifts and they just buy it. Little kids are not educated enough about the world to think they know how it works. In this regard, they are perhaps smarter than many teenagers. Teenagers think they understand shit. It is so annoying.

The code between parents and teenagers is simply this. “DO…NOT…GET…CAUGHT!!!!” That is right. C’mon moms and dads, we all look forward to the days to come, many years from now when we find out all the things our kids were smart enough to get away with. It will be funny when they are adults. It is Teenagers-tom-nardone-1not funny when they are teenagers and the police are involved and we have to get off of our asses to go to court or spend money as a result of their bullshit hi-jinks.

Teenagers-tom-nardone--3Teenagers are not going to listen to us because we are apparently assholes who are unaware the world has changed. It is therefore, put upon them to exercise some planning in the absence of a  brain. However, if they do get caught there is an expectation on them to lie to us so we don’t have to feel like morons as well.

My brother Phillip as young boy did perhaps one of the stupidest things I have heard of a person doing to this day. He and a group of his friends got involved in a pick-up game of football. Nothing so silly about that, but this game had a twist. Instead of playing in the yard or in the street, they played on the roof of one of the others kid’s house. YES! TheyTeenagers-tom-nardone-6 were playing football on a roof. I guess the gutters were the side-lines. During the second or third play of the game Phil caught a pass and accidentally stepped out of bounds which of course means, he fell off the roof. This resulted in him breaking his arm.

Teenagers-tom-nardone-5Phil did not go home and make our parents feel like failures. Our parents did not have to believe they could raise a child so stupid who would be involved in such a moronic activity. NO! He had the fortitude to leave out all the stupid parts so my mother and father could maintain some reasonable belief they were good parents. I don’t know if my mother ever knew the truth. As far as I know, she may not have heard the truth until she read of it here.

“Phil Nardone, my dear brother, I salute you sir.”

As parents we do not really understand stupid. Our teenagers sometimes act as though they are the current mayors of La-La-Land. I wish instead of wasting their time planning mischief, they would spend their time planning their escape so in the event things do not go as planned they can leave us free to continue living in denial or ignorance. We depend on them not to get caught at the very least. We prefer they live their lives correctly but in the event they decide not to do so. We need to be protected.Teenagers-tom-nardone-2

It is harder in this electronic age to get away with things and to that I say tough shit. They can just adapt and use their brains. They think they are smarter than we are so they can prove it. When our teenagers get caught doing foolish things, we are forced into a position where we have to act. We don’t want to act we want our kids to be safe and we want to maintain the belief that we have made the right decisions in bringing them up in the world, but when they get caught, it is like a big giant slap in the face that says FAILURE!!!!

Teenagers mistakes are not parents failure

Being ADHD, I think things are my fault when they are not. We are not failures just because our kids make mistakes. I have learned this is not true and I have to thank several people in my adhdpeople group for helping me fully understand this. You can do everything right by your kids their whole lives, but when they see their shit-eating friends doing things and getting away with it, they will question your teachings. I have told my son many times if you have shitty friends, you will become a shitty person and you will end up in shitty situations. He finds himself  in such a circumstance currently, but saying, I told you so, just doesn’t seem to be enough.

My son and I will get past our little problem. After yelling at him my voice is now horse. We sat down and talked it out. He is aware if what he has done and I want to help him if I can. It is not going to be an easy road to travel, and it is all on him to fix it. The biggest thing I have learned about parenthood is there is no finish line. Even though he is nineteen years old I am still his father and I love him. I want to help him if I can.

I am Tom Nardone and you are welcome

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8 Responses to Teenagers v/s Parents

  1. I remember the night during my senior year of high school where my friends & I set fire to a mattress in the middle of the street (don’t ask, I don’t know what possessed us either). Long story short, the cops caught us and we were very fortunate not to get hauled in that night. To this day my parents don’t know just how close they came to picking me up from the police station that night. Knowing just how close I came to disappointing them and losing their trust, I seriously curtailed the juvenile stupidity after that incident, and made it a point to be careful who I hung out with.

  2. Onoir says:

    Both of my parents had a way of silently staring at us until we crumbled and told them the truth. I got in the most trouble and was always negotiating with them about how much they would accept as the truth. The lesson I learned from my teenage years was that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. My mom and dad got wind of everything so it was just easier to take our lumps early in the process.

  3. Juli says:

    Tom – thanks for that post. My 19 year old son, who while brilliant, thinks he knows everything and of course, way more than me, his mother. He is also a master negotiator, and shared with me years back, his great pleasure in baffling people with BS, so at least I know he’s full of it much of the time. He’s got such a great ability to fabricate stories! It’s always reassuring to hear other parents in the same boat. I’m enjoying your blog – I’m a recent follower.

    • Tom Nardone says:

      Juli, Glad to hear you and your son are on such great terms. I I am glad you are enjoying my blog. I know you recently followed me and are a blogger/coach yourself. I will probably be giving your site a closer look tomorrow. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  4. Pingback: Teenagers v/s Parents | TOM's TEST PAGE

  5. Danielle says:

    “Being ADHD, I think things are my fault when they are not.”

    Wow I thought that was just me. I’m just learning how to deal with it at 37 and when something is so obviously NOT my fault even I can see that (and so can the NYPD – they’ve been wonderful helping me get through the situation… it was very bad), to have family members who are usually supportive blame me for it and my own parents who are too far away to see often (the same mom who blamed me for my dad’s muddy footprints even after THE SHOE DIDN’T FIT lol) be like “what??? I can’t believe that happened. I’m so sorry,” isn’t helping me. But it is making me deal with the fact that things happen to me unprovoked and they’re not my fault and I did nothing to deserve it and I have choices about what to do. Being told something is my fault that so very clearly isn’t falls in that realm too. I can ignore it and remember I can’t change others’ perceptions of me (maybe a little with family) or at least pretend the comment didn’t hurt, which is what I started doing after they started getting even more stupid, or I can stand up for myself.

    Since I look like a healthy teen, and some days I’m pretty healthy but I skate these days not for fun, but to keep up with people walking… a lot of times I’m treated like a child by adults who are strangers.

    How I stand up for myself matters. One day (and I thought my helmetcam was on but it was doing the opposite of what I thought so I’m bummed cuz this was funny) I was skating on a very wide empty sidewalk about 2 blocks from the skate shop, going slowly and carefully even though I wanted to get out of the friggen thunderstorm that made the sidewalk so empty. A lady looked down at me, yeah down and I was on a longboard, and said “Sidewalks are for WALKING” in that condescending voice people use with 13-year-olds AS SHE WALKED PAST ME! In NYC, it’s legal to skate safely on the sidewalks with the flow of pedestrians and if you are going faster you are basically riding a bike so you should be in the bike lane or street. I could’ve tried to educate her but for once I kept my mouth shut, sort of. I was too busy trying not to laugh and failing miserably to say anything. I think this was the best thing in that situation cuz like in your other post, who gives a shit what she thinks and she’s not going to take some “kid” skating in a thunderstorm seriously. I wasn’t going to try to catch up to her either. Plus this was totally going on YouTube she was such a bitch to me (from what I’ve seen on YouTube, this is apparently adult behavior as well as teen behavior). I probably would’ve taken it down if I did post it. My channel isn’t like that. But I’m pretty sure she had no idea I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe by the time she got to the skate shop.

    Other times I need to let people know they can’t treat me disrespectfully and they are really surprised when that little kid behaves like an adult. I was ready to do just that after minding my own business on the bus (I have to mostly keep my eyes closed) in the seat the other lady at the bus stop pointed me to after helping me up (I was kneeling on the ground – it was a long wait) and helping me on the bus. It happened to be a senior/disabled seat. I felt a slap on the wrist only a former Catholic schoolteacher could deliver right where I just had an IV in the hospital. It HURT. I was already having a horrible day. No one has the right to do that to me. I don’t care what I look like. People have said I should’ve hit her with my cane. I know what to do in that situation, so it was the perfect time to practice. I wasn’t feeling up to it (which would keep me from mouthing off lol) but I decided to do as I’ve been taught and ask the driver to contact the police, fully prepared to actually press charges for assault.

    Before I could, I heard a VERY stern voice from the back where the old bar who hit me rushed off to saying “she was kneeling at the bus stop because she can’t even stand!” THIS stranger was kind of grandmotherly to me and I let her grab my elbow when I got up even though I said I didn’t need help. I’m so glad she had awesome hair and I told her. Maybe her day had been as bad as mine but we talked about good things and laughed. I was tired, in pain, had an awful commute and a worse day, just wanted to go home and now this. I was ready to press charges though, even though I didn’t want to, I wanted to go home. Now I didn’t have to. Doing nothing would suffice this time. I was so grateful for that kind stranger. All I wanted was to do things the right way in one specific situation where I have been taught exactly what to do. But I didn’t have to. That grandmotherly stranger was back there and her claws came out. That old bat was getting her ass handed to her. I was satisfied with that. She knew she couldn’t treat me that way and only one person on that bus knew I had been kneeling. I could just ignore her and go home.

    I’m finally getting it. No one has the right to slap me, period. So what if I was wearing a skateboard helmet (covered only with brain injury awareness stickers and warnings not to remove it, not my usual skate swag, but that doesn’t matter either) looking like a teen in a senior/disabled seat. It’s not my fault ANOTHER stranger made it so I need that helmet (also while commuting) and I was born with an athletic build. I look young. I wear some of the same clothes as granny. Nothing is going to change me looking young and healthy when I’m not a kid and not exactly healthy. That’s what I look like and it’s not my fault, whether it be good or bad. I’m finally learning. I dress in what’s comfortable instead of trying to look my age. I don’t give a shit what others think. Their rudeness and misperceptions and prejudices are not my fault either. Even if I was 12, no one has the right to hit me. I’m guessing someone looking older (how injured I look doesn’t matter – I was injured when I got the head injury and looked it big time but some just don’t care or don’t notice) would’ve been treated with a little respect and maybe she would’ve said someone needs a seat and I would’ve really not cared and politely said I’m disabled and need the seat until X stop. But I look like a kid and for whatever reason some people think it’s ok to treat kids like shit and wonder where the disrespect comes from. It’s not NYC. There are plenty of helpful people here who will go out of their way for you. It’s everywhere. There just happen to be a lot of both here. And none of that is my fault. I’m finally starting to get it!

    And now I know I’m not alone in this struggle. And half the time the solution is to just not give a shit. Wow things from two of your blog posts sinking in at the same time. Maybe not the main point of this one but an important one… And laughter as always.

    I salute you, Tom Nardone.

    I was a parent to a four legged gift from the gods but unfortunately no longer. I can relate to this one from the other side – I rarely got caught and when I did, I wiggled my way out of whatever it was without a call to my parents. I was a GOOD kid 😉

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