Today, I have a surprise for you. Mike is not all snark. He has a real, beating heart under there – and some serious smarts when it comes to raising kids. Since his kids are young adults and mine are still little curtain-climbers, I’m gleaning some wisdom from this post while I laugh. I bet you can too.
Top 10 Things I’ve Learned As My Kids Become Adults (What He Said, by Mike)
1. To err is human – as hard as it is to sit back and watch the inevitable happen, let them make their own mistakes. You screwed up a lot growing up and survived, let them do the same. It will mean more to them in the long run plus you can add the ultimate parental trump card of “I told you so” after each wrong decision.
2. Love is Blind – You cannot choose their friends or dating “partners.” Just sit back and enjoy the ride of them figuring out who is an ass and who is a true friend. Don’t try to steer this boat – they are the captain, you are only a passenger.
3. What’s mine is not mine – there is no more asking, just taking. Clothes, food, money, or those leftovers you have set aside for later? They will never see your hands and most likely won’t see the light of the next day. The best you can hope for is a “thank you” as your treasures disappear during your watch.
4. I would like 25 #1’s and super-size those, please, and I need them now! – Your skinny teenager has the metabolism of a T-Rex. An entire box of cereal will be consumed within one hour of you getting home from the store with it. A loaf of bread has a shelf life of a ½ day. It sucks but the alternative is to listen to constant, “There’s nothing to eat in this house !!” bitching.
5. Help! – The only texts or calls you will get are the needy kind. “I need money!” or “My car is messed up!” get sent to me weekly. Every now and again you will get the “thanks, dad” kind. Those I like.
6. Stress on Tap – lots of stress, tons of stress, always stress. Get the picture? Every year I think the level of stress I experience will decrease and every year it gets worse and I don’t think it will ever subside. You consistently fear what they will do to themselves or others. I asked my dad once if he ever quit worrying about me – he said “Never, you just learn to how to deal better with it better as you get older.” I remember the movie Parenthood describing life like a roller coaster. It truly is – enjoy the ride. There is no getting off.
7. What’s up, my biotches? – Don’t try to be cool – as much as you remember being sexy and hip, you are no longer. Moms don’t try to dress “cool” like your daughters – you are old. Deal with it. Don’t try to keep up with “cool” – you will only look pathetic to your kid and their friends.
8. Knock, knock … Who’s there? – Knock first, period. If you only retain one piece of advice after reading all this, I implore you, remember this. You can’t unsee things you don’t want to see.
9. Breaking Bad – If they want to do “bad” things (drink, have sex, etc.), they will find a way. Nothing you can do to stop it. You just hope that all that all the “training” you provided when they were younger planted a seed in their heads that causes massive guilt and head trauma if they even think about it. Remember – see #1. You did bad things and they will too.
10. The best policy – Be honest with them. They aren’t your friends – they’re your children. Who gives a shit what they think of you? If they ask you questions, answer them, honestly. You expect that level of disclosure with them, so reciprocate. Guess what? They will love you regardless and will most likely respect you more knowing you fought through the same issues and challenges they did.
I love Mike’s advice and I think he’s right on. I bet his kids are pretty awesome little pre-adults, don’t you? (Excuse me for calling you pre-adults, Mike’s kids, but since I was uncomfortable with the word “adult” until I was at least 30, I just assume you are too).
Read more What He Said, by Mike posts here. But don’t look for more sweetly funny advice – expect something more like The Top 10 Sucky Things About Being Married to a Pregnant Woman. BOOM!
Like reading things by husbands? Maybe you’ll like reading about husbands even more. Check out my new book, I Just Want To Be Alone. Guaranteed to have you laughing out loud wherever it is you hide away to read.