The Unwritten guide to parenting stops at a certain chapter. As parents, we’re left to wing it from chapter 13 onwards. Let’s have a satirical look at what chapter 13 is all about.
Unwritten Parenting guide
Isn’t great parenting! Our cute little cherubs make us so happy and warm inside. Looking at their cute little faces and their urge to constantly want to help with everything.
So far, everything we’ve been told and taught has come to fruition. The unwritten parenting guide has actually become rather useful. The feeding mishaps when nursing a baby, the terrible two’s, the sleepless nights, the constant “can I”, “can I”, “can I” to just name a few. We’ve tackled them all and come out the other side. The unwritten parenting guide is brilliant.
For those of you who aren’t in the know. The Unwritten Parenting Guide is a guide for all new and existing parents that only exists to those who need to know. The parents who say “what the hell am I supposed to be doing” or for those parents who see parenting through rose-tinted glasses. It exists in the minds of our ancestors, our mams, grandparents and many generations before them.
There is, however, a major flaw with this guide. It stops at Chapter 13. Why? Well, Chapter 13 is the Tween/Teenage years.
I’m surmising that chapter 13 was intentionally left out of the guide, as a learning curve. Or our parents are teaching us a lesson.
Chapter 13 is the final chapter of the guide where you literally wing it, right to the part of the guide that says “The End”. Let me explain… Can you remember being a teenager? Can you remember how much of an absolute nightmare you were to your parents? Yeh? thought so… and for that reason Chapter 13 is unspoken. Teenagers don’t make sense. It’s that simple. If you have children and are coming up to the tweenage years or beyond… Good luck. You will receive no help, you’re on your own. This is why I think our parents don’t speak of Chapter 13, to get their own back on us. Karma!
Don’t panic though, I’m now making chapter 13 written. It will help, trust me. If you’ve already passed the tweenage/teenage years, then hopefully you can relate. But for those of you who have it to come, I’ll be very frank… It’s going to get rough. Let’s have a look at just a few of the situations you will have to encounter:
They grow up so fast
No, seriously, they do. That sweet, innocent child who loves you unconditionally will sleep and wake up a completely different person. Be prepared. In the blink of an eye, you’ll have the same child. But very very different.
Oh god… The mood swings. “Do you want any tea”, “Dunno”, “Well do you or not”, “I SAID YES DIDNT I!” Try not to look them in the eye to determine their mood. Very dangerous ground. It opens you up to all sorts of vulnerabilities. Example:
“What have I done wrong now”
“If you’re going to have a go at me, don’t bother” – this will usually result in “whatever”
“Are you saying I’m ugly, stop looking at me”?
You will, undoubtedly not be able to answer these questions without incriminating yourself.
Dont expect anything at all
It would be ridiculous to even consider that your tween/teen would consider using their own initiative. They will do nothing until you instruct them to do it. Even then, it will be a challenge. But there is a bribe/threat you can use. More on that later on.
Forget it. Once your sweet innocent child turns into a tween you can forget about family time with you. They wouldn’t be seen dead with you in public. If you do manage to persuade or bribe your tween to come outside with you, be prepared for them to walk about half a mile behind you kicking their toes on the floor now and again.
Totally out of bounds. Don’t bother entering it at all. There are a few reasons I say this;
- You will be told to get out before you even finish turning the handle
- It stinks
- It will be an absolute tip. And you will be greeted with… “I know, I’m tidying it up”.
- There is an endless pile of washing, that actually doesn’t need washing. It was just easier to put it back in the wash pile instead of putting it away.
- They prefer being in their bedroom. It’s their safe haven.
If your child owns a mobile phone, the child will effectively have only one upper limb. Their mobile phone becomes grafted into their hand. If you ask them to do anything and you succeed, be prepared that they will and can only do it with one arm.
Mobile phones also play a vital role in your parenting arsenal. You can use the threat/bribe (delete an appropriate) of removing the mobile from their possession. This instantly gets a reaction and nine times out of 10 you will get the result you require. Although to a terrible standard, but a result all the same.
It’s hard, but you must accept what you’ll be dealing with for at least the next 6 plus years. You will be dealing with an uncontrollable, hormonal, smelly, lazy, rude, attitude ridden monster. That sweet innocent child you once held dear is no more. Unless they need your help of course.
So when I rang my mam and asked her why chapter 13 didn’t exist, her response was to laugh and hang up. I now see that as complete justifiable karma. The question is… will I do the same with my kids, as many generations before me have…
Too damn right I will… Karma’s a B*tch.