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to be sad when somebody posts on here about some hideous piece of behaviour from somebody between the ages of 13 and 19, and

(152 Posts)
curlew Tue 16-Jul-13 09:36:30

there's a flood of "that's normal teenage behaviour" posts.

It isn't. Most teenagers, like most people are lovely. But if they are allowed to behave like brats and get away with it because "that's what teens are like" then they will be brats. And it becomes a vicious circle.

Expect civilised behaviour. Don't accept anything else. Teenagers deserve it.

bootsycollins Tue 16-Jul-13 09:41:25


Eyesunderarock Tue 16-Jul-13 09:54:23

My teens are easy to live with, the majority of their friends are polite, thoughtful, inclusive and motivated. They have been brought up that way, and it stuck.
There are a lot of other teens out there who are much harder for their families to deal with, sometimes it is the lack of high expectations and the tolerance of low-level unpleasantness that makes them think hideous behaviour is acceptable. Sometimes the parents facilitate that.
Sometimes there are much more complicated reasons that we know nothing about, and the parents are working incredibly hard to manage the situation and the behaviour and doing an amazing job (Maryz and flow4, for example)
Rather like all those relationships where the man is lazy, egocentric and entitled and behaves like he's the centre of the universe and all should serve him.
They don't just pop up from nowhere, like Pod People, they grew up that way.

It's hard to tell as an anonymous online poster.

mynameisslimshady Tue 16-Jul-13 09:56:46

Most, in fact I would go as far to say all, teenagers do stupid thoughtless and dangerous things from time to time, even the best behaved ones.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 16-Jul-13 09:56:57

If the behaviour really is hideous, yes.

But it can be reassuring if I say my dd has been arsey or ungrateful, or takes criticism badly, or whatever, to be reminded that it's not just that my dd has quite spectactularly gone to the bad, or that it's all lost and hopeless - and that it does still fall within the spectrum of 'normal teenage'. Which I probably know anyway, but it can be nice to be reminded.

Bonsoir Tue 16-Jul-13 10:03:04

The vast majority of teens I know are pretty much the product of their upbringing. Parents' lax personal standards are often just magnified by their own teenagers' behavior.

cory Tue 16-Jul-13 10:22:36

I've known all sorts of combinations: teens who were lovely despite crap parenting, teens who were lovely helped by excellent parenting, teens who went off the rails despite excellent parenting.

A bit like toddlers really. Dd had mahoosive tantrums, ds was sweet and pliable. I am sure we helped our sweet and pliable ds by being nice, reasonable parents who gave him clear boundaries and encouraged him to express himself in other ways. And quite likely it would have been harder for dd to outgrow the tantrumming stage if we hadn't been there to help her. But she still went through it.

cory Tue 16-Jul-13 10:25:55

It is also useful to remember that parents do not make up the sum total of a teen's upbringing. They are also affected by the society they live in, by other relatives, by their peers, by their teachers, by lovely or horrible things that happen to friends and relatives that the parents may have little control over. And that's before we even mention SN. Even values are something that teens can, and arguably should, draw from a wider range of sources than just mum and dad.

We don't have total control. We can only do the best with what we have.

TheSecondComing Tue 16-Jul-13 10:29:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Tue 16-Jul-13 10:29:56

So your just going to blame the parents?

Sorry, but some teenagers show extreme behaviour. If you have one of those you may well, and indeed are welcome to post here. You need support. Maryz threads are a huge help to people for example.

Teens can be hard to live with/show extreme behaviour for a wide range of reasons. Bad parenting accounts for a very small percentage. Other reasons include: hormonal changes, undiagnosed SN, depression, bullying, drugs, too much pressure (society/school as well as parents), getting in with the wrong crowd etc.

So sorry but YABVU and if you don't want to read about other people's struggles with teenagers, then don't read the threads.

mummymeister Tue 16-Jul-13 10:35:59

OP how old exactly are your children? I do hope you aren't one of these just had a baby and know everything there is about all ages of children types because you will get a lot of negative posts if you are. Having teens is a real challenge. you want them to experience life for themselves, to have their own friends and an increasing amount of freedom. But all of these exert a change on your child - sometimes positive sometimes negative. all you can do is hope that positive outweighs the negative and the work you have put in when they were small will see them on the other side as adults in good shape. also different people have different definitions of brats. but that is true at whatever age isn't it.

Eyesunderarock Tue 16-Jul-13 10:39:56

No, her teenage DD is on a trip and curlew is hoping that she won't go wild and shag the rest of those on tour with her. grin
That's why so many people get critical of other parents, they feel that if they do everything right, that evil and shame and embarrassment will pass over them. That couldn't be my child because I've brought them up to be respectful and have boundaries and manners...
Let's hope it pays off.
It probably will.

cory Tue 16-Jul-13 10:43:00

When dd was little I used to be upset because other parents assumed that her inability and unwillingness to walk more than a short distance must be because we never took her out or let her explore, when actually dh and I were enthusiastic outdoor-ers who had encouraged dd in every way. Eventually she was diagnosed by a joint disorder.

Dd is now 16 and finally getting on top of her problems after many years. I am sure the healthy active attitude we have modelled has helped her to achieve within her limitations. But they could never make her as fit as a child with lazy parents and healthy joints. Of course the ideal would have been active parents and healthy joints but that wasn't going to happen.

I think something similar is going on with some teens. Firm and caring parents can model better ways of dealing with things, which will be an enormous help once they emerge from whatever is driving them to self-destruct. It will make their future chances far, far better than if all they had to fall back on was memories of parents modelling anti-social and clueless ways. But it won't put them on the same starting level as teens without that innate tendency to self destruct. Sometimes all you can do as a parent is damage limitation.

My db was prone to big tantrums even as quite an old child- probably related to adoption trauma. My parents put in an enormous amount of work to make him feel safe and loved, but also to restrain him. They had the reward of seeing him grow up into a well adjusted adult, a loving father and husband and a good provider. The fact that he kicked his way through the furniture when he was 10 doesn't say anything about their parenting compared to that of other parents whose children did not have the same problems. The fact that, once he grew out of it, he could achieve all these other things speaks volumes.

curlew Tue 16-Jul-13 10:43:10


curlew Tue 16-Jul-13 10:48:53

The grin wasn't directed to your post, cory, sorry. I know threads about threads are frowned on, but there is a thread round set the moment where a mother is upset because her children took a special box of chocolates she had been given and ate them, and showed no remorse or upset at her sadness. And everyone's saying that's normal teenage behaviour.

cory Tue 16-Jul-13 10:50:59

Every therapist dd (severe anxiety problems) has ever seen has started out with the assumption that I must be an anxious and over-protective mother. Because we all know that children are a product of their upbringing, right?

They usually apologise after the first couple of months when they have seen sufficient evidence of my aggravated laidbackness. grin

And then we agree that genetic make-up is a funny thing and that traits do skip generations.

HildaOgden Tue 16-Jul-13 10:54:29

Curlew,can I ask exactly how much experience you have of parenting teenagers?

curlew Tue 16-Jul-13 10:56:53

As much as any other parent of teens and very involved aunt of teens.bwhy?

TheSecondComing Tue 16-Jul-13 10:57:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yamsareyammy Tue 16-Jul-13 10:58:15

I thin it can be allowed to be a sort of get out clause for parents, but equally, teenagers will be teenagers!
[Had some btw!]
Mine got to the age of 15 pretty much ok, then wham!
Changed into teenagers, more or less overnight. Most unexpectedly with one of them.
You can see that it is not just emotionally either. eg suddenly earlier risers become want to sleep in till midday people. Strange.

curlew, how old are your children.
For this thread to be taken seriously, by me, and others I suspect, your kids have to be at at least 15 imo.

yamsareyammy Tue 16-Jul-13 10:59:36

Aunt of teens doesnt remotely count

Are the teens yours, how old are they precisely, and perhaps your real experience is working with them? Again, slightly different.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 16-Jul-13 11:00:55

Completely agree, if you expect people to be rude and surly and don't pull them up on it, that's what you'll get.

Crumbledwalnuts Tue 16-Jul-13 11:02:14

And I have three teenagers, although I really don't think that features.

HighBrows Tue 16-Jul-13 11:07:12

Being the aunt of teens and actually parenting teens is a very different thing.

Teens are people, some are great and some are arses.
I would consider myself and my ex husband great parents, that didn't stop our son going off the rails. Teens are influenced by not only their immediate family but mostly by their peers. Again my son had wonderful, friends and some god awful friends.

My son is almost 18 and is doing ok now. The worse years were 14 and 15.

FaintlyHopeful Tue 16-Jul-13 11:09:01

here is a brilliant article that tries to explain teenage behaviour in terms of evolutionary psychology. It doesn't go into detail about the other factor, which is that children today hit adolescence much earlier than earlier generations, so the period of risk taking / general arsiness is much longer now.

Adolescence is bad enough & it now kicks off when most are still children. Surely this deserves understanding? suicide / accidental death skyrockets in this age group, a bit more going on surely than bad manners.

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