Sunday, September 11, 2011

Read It All (Teenagers!)

My 14 year old son is going through another one of those phases of extreme teenage behavior. You know what I am talking about, the slacking, the not hearing, the hearing then going to do something but not doing it then saying he forgot. Then there is the eating like a horse, and sleeping a ton. But worse, the doing of stupid things and being careless, which sometimes actually becomes dangerous or unsafe at times, like when he was racing on his bike doing 20 mph and then hit the busy traffic-filled intersection and used just the rear brake, pulled a 180 degree skid and slammed into a pole.

I thought we started off great with high school biology last week. I assigned my son to read chapter one. I read chapter one in my teacher's edition. I sat down to discuss it with him. There was something interesting ,a very short sidebar piece, so I asked him about it. He drew a complete blank and swore it wasn't in the book. I showed him the piece right in the sidebar.

That's when he revealed he doesn't read sidebars.

I told him when I said to read chapter 1 I meant the chapter. He tried telling me that the chapter meant the main text and that sidebar info, illustrations and charts are all optional.

When asked how he arrived at that notion he didn't know but that it was my fault as I never said to read everything, and that extra stuff is not "the chapter".

This teenage behavior thing continues to confound me, all of it. The rages of anger, the tiredness, the waking up still exhausted, but worse could either be the lack of logical thinking and the inability to see the logical train of thought or it would be the complete forgetting of things taught long ago (such as the fact that teeth are to be brushed in the morning and at night). I don't know what's worse, forgetting everything that was mastered long ago that took a long time to teach in the first place or the inability to reason when shown clear logical trains of thought. What's worse perhaps is being accused of having unreasonable expectations (like brushing the teeth is some outrageous and bizarre request) and being accused of making up new strange requirements that are crazy for any parent to expect of a teen.

Sigh....I hear I have two or three years of this nuttiness until the old person emerges. We're almost a full year into it so hopefully we are approaching the half-way mark. But just then my younger son will be entering this phase.

It is no wonder the gray hairs seem to be multiplying daily!

1 comment:

Marianne said...

LOL! I just had to giggle when I read this post. The sidebar situation was priceless and perfectly describes the mindset of this teen phase. My 15yo son has been in this stage for a couple of years, so I'm right there with you! There are many days when I want to run screaming from the house in utter frustration. Luckily, my son has a very clever sense of humor so he usually able to diffuse the imploding mom-bomb before I get to that point. :)