Welcome to the second in my series of hypothetically answering questions about what you think the teen years will be like for you as a parent of smalls … hard to imagine, I know … but how close to the truth will you be?
For those who read my first interview, you will know that the wonderful Sarah from The Unmumsy Mum gave me her answers and made many of us smile and some of us tearful … it’s hard to think about our children growing up … it’s hard when they are grown up … believe me!
Anyway, I am beyond thrilled that the super, amazingly funny, Anna from Mother Pukka agreed to answer the same set of questions also. Anna has a little girl and records the funniest vlogs with her daughter that you won’t be able to help smile at … the energy of this woman is insane! However, Anna also does some fantastic pioneering for women women work … if you aren’t following Anna you must … her energy and positivity is infectious!
So, Anna’s views on raising teens? Here goes:
1. I know it’s a long way off but what are you dreading about your child becoming a teenager?
The Internet. The Internet freaks me out when it comes to teens. I literally have learned
everything about parenting from my Mum but this is a whole new ball game. She had to
basically stop us playing too much Tetris – now it’s like this world of social media that I have no idea how to control. I fear I’ll be the one deleting Mae’s Facebook profile in a frenzied rage. The other thing is, my life is on social media so I’m bound to get the ‘well, you can talk Mum, look at yourself prancing about all over the shop’.
2. What are you looking forward to?
Seeing Mae define herself – who she hangs out with, what she chooses to do. Will she sneak a fag behind my back? Will we have a chat about that and come out unscathed? It was the tears and frustration that bonded me with my Mum eventually so I’m looking forward to riding the storm.
3. As a parent, what issues do you imagine are important when raising teens?
It comes back to social media for me. Having lived in the Internet for a year, I know it can be a hugely positive tool that connects people but I’ve seen the darker side, too where you can be left truly isolated. The pixels continue to worry me – I’m hoping there will have been a backlash against it all by the time we get there.
4. What kind of parent do you think or hope (!) you’ll be when your child/children are in their teen years?
I’d like to think I’m going to be a breezy, Missoni kaftan-wearing, Bolly-swilling mother who points a perfectly Shellac-ed finger to the dedicated teen loft space and say, ‘have fun kids, I’m going out OUT” as Mae’s teenage mates gawp at my effortless coolness and want to be me. I’d draw the line at MILF references – too crass. But now I’m fully ensconced in Project Procreation, I am more likely to be the frenzied seagull in Finding Nemo: “Mine, mine, mine, don’t you-dare-even-lay-a-finger-on-her, mine”. I might even ring up potential beaus and explain I’m a Roman Catholic and that sex before marriage is
generally managed in our family with a quick Tweet across Mother Pukka socials about how small your pecker is. (Too much.) But in short, it will be less Eddie and Pats, more Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.
5. Is there anything you’d like to say to your own parents before your child/children become teens or were you an angel?
Oh I was like all other teens; pretty horrible. You’re in the halfway house between being a kid and adult – that’s not fun for anyone. I’d like to say to my folks that they did good. It’s tough out there!
6. Is there any advice that you would give your child/children before they get to the teen stage?
My motto is always ‘don’t be a dick’. You can be angry, frustrated, say things you don’t mean but there’s always room to say sorry if you were wrong and to not gloat if you were right.
7. Do you envisage raising teens to be an easier stage than raising littles?
Gosh no, not at all. Has anyone said yes? We all remember what we were like. At least with a baby or toddler there’s milk or fizzy sweets to avert the tantrums/ squawking. All I wanted as a teen was a fag and a snog from dean from Abbey National – neither my folks could deliver.
Anna, thank you so much for such brilliant answers. I so agree about the internet … it’s definitely the toughest battle in our house … I hope there are some answers by the time Mae reaches this stage … and oh my word … Tetris … LOVED that game … oh if only it were that simple now … though, to be honest, we wouldn’t be doing this fab internet engaging journey that we are on. So, I guess, like you say, our children have every right to roll their eyes at us! Oh the finding out who your children will become is really special … that’s a major plus point about the teen years and something I just love too. I adore your parent answer also … oh to be that super cool mum … but, to be honest, I think you will be … look at you!
Anna, I loved all of your answers and can’t thank you enough for agreeing to be involved … hope Dean from the Abbey National is reading this and that the teen years aren’t too horrific … I wonder how close your answers will be … I know that I’ve taken on board a lot of what you said … I’m in the middle of raising teens and it’s great to get a perspective from those not directly involved!
Once again, if anyone else would love to be involved with this series please drop me a message!
Thank you for reading … just saying!