The summer holiday is a great time for catching up with long-lost family members, like your teenagers. I think of the teenage years as ‘payback time’, a time when you see the fruits of all that time and effort you’ve put in over the years. If you’ve done a consistent job of instilling the correct values, you will be repaid when they actually choose to play YOUR favourite CDs in the car.
Here’s a list of further advantages when your children reach this age:
They tell jokes that are actually funny. You don’t have to pretend to laugh.
When they make you a cup of tea, you no longer have to be really grateful, so as to encourage them to do it again. You are allowed to say ‘a little less milk next time please’.
You can admit that you’ve always hated Monopoly and refuse to play it with them. You don’t feel obliged to have a game just because it’s ‘educational’.
You get shown really interesting stuff on the internet that you would never have found yourself, like the creation of the universe and conspiracy theories.
You can feel proud of the fact that you’ve brought up people whose company you enjoy, without it ever tipping over into smugness, because they’ve still got time to get it horribly wrong.
In this Facebook generation, you have a greater variety of insults you can use if they displease you. You can threaten to Unfriend them.
And after all those years of care and effort, in a fantastic bit of role-reversal, it’s wonderful how your children end up giving you ‘quality time’…