OK, so I am uber excited about this post! Not going to pretend I’m all cool and relaxed about it … I’M NOT!
Anyway, I wanted to start a new series on the blog for parents of smalls about any thoughts they had on their children becoming teenagers and how they hoped or envisaged themselves to be … all hypothetically of course … serving as both a little bit of fun but also as a wonderful memory for them to read back on when their children finally do become teens … how close to the truth will they be?
Eek, who to be my first guest? Well, who else better to launch the series than one of the funniest and most honest writers out there? I went big and was beyond thrilled when Sarah … otherwise known as The Unmumsy Mum (!) … agreed to answer a few questions … I may even have done a little happy dance around the kitchen when she emailed back her response!
So, with no further ado, I will leave you to read her brilliantly funny, yet beautifully poignant, responses …
1. I know it’s a long way off but what are you dreading about your boys becoming teens?
Oh god, where do I start? Actually I wouldn’t say I’m dreading the teenage years as such but there are certain things about having teenage boys in particular (the farting, the refusal to wash, the stinky bedrooms and the thing nobody really talks about that sounds a bit like mastication) that I’m sure will become concerns in due course.
2. What are you looking forward to?
It sounds really corny but I really can’t wait to see how they turn out. It’s difficult to imagine them on the cusp on adulthood when at the moment I’m still washing wet bedsheets and scraping bogies off the radiators (actually, having heard from friends about teenage boys I still might face the bedsheet washing but we’re not talking about that). In all seriousness I hope we’re close when they are teenagers; that they want to chat to me about life and are not embarrassed by the books I have written about their toddler tantrums…
3. As a parent, what issues do you imagine are important when raising teens?
I’d quite honestly hate to be a teenager in the age of Snapchat and Tinder and god knows what else will be around by the time my two are teens. I imagine I will be fretting about their safety online, worrying that they feel under pressure to look or act a certain way and always lecturing them about how the porn they see on the internet is neither a true nor a desirable representation of how to have a sexual relationship with women (god, I’m going to be so embarrassing). I’m already worried about them discovering alcohol. I was a nightmare drunken sixteen-year-old.
4. What kind of parent do you think or hope (!) you’ll be when your boys are in their teen years?
I hope more than anything else that my boys feel able to come to me with their problems. To tell me that they were sick after downing shots of whiskey/that they fancy a girl/that they fancy a boy/they want to drop out of A Level Chemistry. I would hate for them to shut me out but I am well aware that’s pretty common for teens.
5. Is there anything you’d like to say to your own parents before your boys become teens or were you an angel?
My mum died before I became a mum and there is an awful lot I wish I could say to her now I understand what it’s all about. I’m sure the teenage years will make me appreciate further what it’s really like to worry! I’m one of two girls, though, and I do think the challenges are different – hormones of a different nature were rife in our house!
6. Is there any advice that you would give your sons before they get to the teen stage?
Yes. I will tell them that it is better to be a good person than it is to be popular. If you are nice you will be popular for the right reasons, because people like you. If you strive only to be popular you will be popular because people think they have to like you, because you’re popular. That is not the same thing. Oh and I will tell them not to send pictures of their penises to anybody. The regret risk is off the scale.
7. Do you envisage raising teens to be an easier stage than raising littles?
Absolutely not. I’m starting to realise that no stage is easier, the challenges are just different. Right now I’d happily trade my toddler (who protest planks on the floor when he’s cross) for a teenager who won’t get out of bed, but I imagine I’ll live to regret saying that…
Sarah, thank you so much for taking part in this series … I love your advice to the boys about what the correct meaning of popular actually is … and definitely no penis pictures … brilliant! Now, dare I admit this … but my three teens were still in bed as I wrote this post up this morning … how are the protest planks? Ah I remember them so well! Anyway, I really hope that the wonderful bits come true for you and the not so wonderful are not too painful to parent … looking at your gorgeous boys here I can’t imagine it will be anything other than fun!
If anyone else would like to take part in this series please drop me a message in the comment box or dm me … thank you for reading lovelies … just saying!