By Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman
Teens are often (justly) accused of being annoying, weird, needy, naggy, lazy, insensitive. What I didn’t realize is that as the mother of teens, my teens assign the same labels to me—usually when I think I am being just the opposite.
The Mother of Teens: Just A Few “Mom Descriptions”
Here’s a sampling of the adjectives the kids have used to describe me (this week):
What? I wouldn’t use any of those words to describe myself. I think I’m…
I ask Child #3 to pull her chair in, as I notice she is sitting about 3 feet from the kitchen table.
A gutteral noise, followed by “You’re. So. Annoying.” She exits stage right immediately after eating.
Minding my own business, blasting the music to Dear Evan Hanson and dancing as I prepare for the holiday dinner, Child #3 walks in.
“Ucchhhh. You are SO weird.” Hair flip. Exit stage left.
You’re so Weird! My Kids’ Mom Labels
Child #2 enters the room, and sees I am talking to my sister (again).
“You are SO needy,” he quips.
“Hang on,” I tell my sister. I give him the stink eye.
“Didn’t you just talk to her yesterday?”
I think about it for a second. I did talk to her, maybe for a minute or two. That hardly counts.
He rolls his eyes, exits stage left, muttering something about my neediness under his breath.
Text to the kids: “Guests coming tomorrow for the holiday. Please—everything off the kitchen and dining room tables. Thx.”
I hear one say to the other, “Ugh, she is SO naggy.”
They laugh together at their common enemy.
Their Common Enemy
At 10:30 p.m., I yawn for the eighth time in a 10-minute period.
Child #2 observes my yawn.
“You are SO lazy.”
“No, I am exhausted.”
“Hmmm, just looks like lazy.”
“How was _____________?” I ask Child #2 as he is having a snack and doing homework.
“Oh, you seemed worried about it last night.”
“Oh my god, you are SO annoying.”
Insert: my confused face (which I hide from said child, ‘cause that could be even more annoying).
Child #3 enters the room. I am smarter now. Don’t ask, I say to myself repeatedly. I remain silent, and that is not easy. Frankly, I am kind of proud of my restraint.
“Aren’t you going to ask how things went today?” she spouts. “You know I was so worried. You don’t even care.” She stomps out of the room.
I guess from my kids’ point of view: different words, same meaning. Mom is annoying.
Oh, my point of view? So glad you asked. No matter what they think, I know moms are…
Stephanie Silverman is the publisher of Your Teen.