As the mother of a teenage son, I'm experiencing things I'm pretty sure no one has ever experienced before. You know, stuff like slamming my foot on the invisible passenger side brake during driving lessons; giving constant reminders to pick dirty clothes off the floor . . . every day for the last thirteen years; figuring out how to get an apple or a glass of milk into the stomach of a kid who makes daily passes through the Taco Bell drive-through.
I'm basically a pioneer.
As a ground breaker, it's my responsibility to impart the wisdom that comes from being a parent for 16 year and 10 months, so when you reach these milestones, you will know what to expect and be prepared for the feelings and emotions that no one else has ever had before you.
These are the ten things I want my teenage son to know, and that I'm pretty sure you will want your teenage son to know too.
1. Never seek answers from a numbered list. Life is not that simple or succinct.
2. Beware of click bait that promises quick and easy reading. They're always selling something.
3. You are not the first person ever to feel the way you are feeling. About anything. Use that knowledge to be compassionate towards others.
4. When you are pretty sure you know everything, you definitely don't.
5. When you are pretty sure you know nothing, you probably know more than you're giving yourself credit for.
6. Sometimes, it's okay for lists to only have six items.
7. But if you need a seventh thing, use your imagination. I'm sure you can come up with something.
8. If you need to communicate important information to someone, writing it out and posting it on the world wide web is never preferable to, you know, just talking.
9. Always leave room for something completely frivolous.
10. No matter what you do in life, there will always be nasty trolls trying to tear you down with their comments. They are miserable people who deserve our pity.
There you have it! If your son knows these ten things, he's pretty much guaranteed to turn out to be a strong, confident young man. But not stronger or more confidant than your daughter. He will be exactly or slightly less strong and confident than your daughter. Because this world is only big enough for one gender to be strong and confident at a time.
That's how it works, right?