21st Century Dad
One Dad's Thoughts, Ideas, and Feelings.
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Teaching Teens How To Use Public Transit

May 12th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

Riding The BusPublic transit provides relief from high gas prices. It also gives mom and dad’s taxi service a break. I’ve always lobbied for Au-Teen to learn how to ride the bus, and now he’s on board.

The usual response was a look of indifference. This is the default smokescreen for adolescent insecurities. What he doesn’t understand is, I’m not here to exploit the insecurities for a cheap ego boost. My goal is to help him overcome them. He doesn’t always like my methods. Depending on the circumstances, I have R. Lee Ermey, Wayne Dyer, Mr. Miyagi, or any combination of the 3 rain down on his ass.

Learning how to read the route map and timetables would address some developmental needs. An understanding of time is one of those needs. I thought I had the perfect package to wrap this lesson in.

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Bad Grades. No Job For You! Melodrama Ensues.

February 29th, 2008 . by 21st Century Dad

melodramaNo matter how sincere you are when you say “he’s a good kid,” they still frustrate you at times. Teens aren’t concerned with making the right choices. They want to make their choices, even if it means doing something to their own detriment. The worst consequences of such choices are far more preferable to them than saying, “Mom. Dad. You were right.”

Au-Teen has been chomping at the bit to get a job. To a teenager, money = freedom. However, we’re not going to allow him to get a job while his grades languish in sub-mediocrity. Indignation is the ineffective weapon he has chosen to fight this. He’s getting totally creamed in this battle and he doesn’t like it.

His long-held belief that any idiot can get a job bagging groceries is being challenged by two people who supposedly know nothing about life as a teenager. If any idiot can get that job, why should he have to earn better grades in school?

As responsible parents, we cannot allow it. No reasonable adult, with or without children, will refute our stance. Why are we at an impasse? We’re not dealing with a reasonable adult here.

Renee and I backed off just a little to gain some ground. In lieu of tutoring or getting extra help at school, he angrily answered the challenge of improving his grades through independent study.

We usually see reruns of Au-Teen’s histrionics. Today, we saw a new episode. He stormed up to his room and proclaimed, “Alright! You win! I’m a nerd now!”

It’s always exhausting when dealing with teenage melodrama. This time, I couldn’t help but laugh.