Wednesday, November 01, 2006


When I was a teenager, I can remember detesting most adolescent girls. Many of them were sly, dishonest, cheats, spoilt, flouncy, manipulative and stupid. I thought I had happily left all that behind and forged my own friendships with wonderful women who I can't ever imagine being any of those things.

However, recently teenagerhood has re-emerged in my entourage and I am, again, mostly appalled. What is it about some teenaged girls that makes them so impossible?

In this particular case, things started off fine, then deteriorated rapidly, and kept on deteriorating. Keeping her word seems to be an insurmountable problem - saying she'll come home at Xhr and then not doing, or making contact to warn she might be late. As though it's okay for a teenager to be out at any hour with anyone, especially a boyfriend and come home when she likes. How do you develop an attitude like that? How is it she has no local girlfriends of note?

Then inviting NG to dinner, spending that afternoon hogging the living room watching a DVD with the boyfriend, sending dad out to get food when the fridge was stuffed full, and, the last straw; announcing she has 'homework' to do with boyfriend, so could dad just cook?

Then, wanting to go to a 'party' for the class at a friend's house where the parents are going to be out for the evening and then there for the night and everyone was going to doss over. Was the boyfriend going? Evasive "dunno"s, no indication of the address, or phone number of the house. It turns out the 'party' for the 'class' has 4 teens, one of whom is, of course, the boyfriend; that the parents are out all night and there's just a neighbour to contact in case of fire... Her surprise at the utter horror of deceit and manipulation as expressed by dad is followed by hysteria at having plans blocked and being unceremoniously collected at 11.30pm.

Then, when a girlfriend comes to stay at the same time as my parents, total disregard towards them is shown and lack of respect to the point my folks become irate. What happened to family hierarchy, where the eldest members of the family are given the most respect and the younger ones show it? Does it have to be explained that my folks should have first choice of tv programmes in my house? Or that their room is their space? Or that they shouldn't be ignored at dinner? Or that she shouldn't sprawl across the sofa in the hope they will give up and go to bed? Or that her friend's super-picky eating habits is an important piece of information for the head of the house? Or that they help clear away the dinner things?

"She hasn't been brought up, dear" says NG, "she's been fed."

There was me hoping for a family member, and I end up with a project.

For how long is, of course, up to her...


  1. Luvyamuchley ED dearest, and my compassion is as big as the Titanic. Have been thru it, worse even, but it least it was MY teenage girl!!!!

    The only comforting words that come to mind are clichés, so instead of that I'll be round at 18.30hrs with a super Marquise au Chocolat for your Mommy and Dad, as well as my elfins and you - I think I need a stiff gin too.....but surely less than you do.

    Can't go on much more - but it's extremely urgent not to hurry somtimes when sorting out that sort of pitfall situation.....



  2. Do you know what, Sarah? I hate adolescents, teenages or whatever one wants to call them! My daughter who was the most delightful child, turned overnight into a rude, lazy, stroppy and thoroughly horrid person! When we used to talk about our children with friends, they used to be horrified when I said what a monster my daughter was - their children, according to them, were polite, well-mannered, hard-working etc. I suspect this was all lies but they didn't dare admit that their teenagers were probably just as awful. I would say that ten years on, she is now no longer an adolescent, but she has just turned 24, so about bloody time!

    My son on the other hand, who is now 15, shows very few of his sister's characteristics - cross fingers. We get the occasional door slamming and the odd sharp remark but he is a thousand times easier than his sister - I wonder why? Is it that a mother/son relationship works easier than a mother/daughter one or is it just that some are more rebellious than others?

    I was pretty foul as a teenager but being away at boarding school spared my parents a lot of grief - the main difference I find now is that as a teenager I rarely answered back (more the flouncing off, door slamming kind) whereas now mine answer back, and it can become very heated - although of course by trial and error I have learnt not to reply to their taunts and that invariably one has more success in getting them to do something but suggesting exactly the reverse...they fall into the trap every time!

    But it's a horrid time in their lives and when my two say something hurtful, I can see they immediately regret it, although nothing in the world would induce them to apologise!

  3. Thanks for your moral support, Louise. One of the problems is that I have been thrown in to unofficial step-motherhood and have not had a lead-in. It's quite a shock.

    Also, it's not like there are reams of house rules, but they are based on keeping her safe, working at school, and being aware of others. It's only with maturity that these issues are understood and assimilated, I feel.


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