When I was 16, I chugged wine coolers with my friends on the beach. Lots of wine coolers. We had no designated driver. On the ride home, we sang at the top of our lungs to the blaring radio, further distracting the already drunk driver maneuvering the streets of Miami with a carload of teens.
Do you ever think about some of the things you did as a teen and cringe?
Even worse, have you ever been caught in a conversation like this:
“Mom, what age were you when you first had sex?”
“Mom. Be serious.”
At some point, as parents of teens, you will reflect on your own poor choices and wonder how you ever made it through the teen years alive. And then, you will be forced to confront them when queried by your teen who inevitably will toss an incriminating question your way when you least expect it.
Lately, I’ve resorted to mumbling my response. It’s the coward’s way out but at least it’s a language my teen son understands.
I’ll be doing the dishes and he’ll blind side me with something like, “Have you ever smoked?”
Me: grumble, grumble, grumble.
Then, if you’re like me, you will wonder when your child’s real mother will show up. You know, the one with the flawless past who did everything exactly the way you’re telling your teen to do it.
So, while I don’t advocate lying to your teen, I do suggest being prepared. Teens will use parents as their guideposts and they seem to sniff when we are BSing them.
Recently, Madonna said on TV that she’s horrified that her daughter Lourdes was photographed smoking a cigarette. She said she thinks she may need to become a tougher parent.
Then NBC correspondent Harry Smith brought up a music video of Madonna, ahem, smoking, to which she responded: “I don’t smoke. That’s just an accessory, Harry. There’s a difference.”
Apparently, Lourdes didn’t think so.
Readers, how honest are you with your kids about your teen indiscretions? Do you skirt around the tough questions or confess and offer an explanation? Do you think your teen would buy into a do-as-I-say-not -as-I-did approach to parenting?