If you haven't experienced the third circle of hell in parenting, a.k.a parenting a teenager, you might want to skip this blog post.
Raising teenagers is the 'Twilight Zone' stage of child rearing. As a parent of a teen, you will be faced with situations daily that aren't in the parenting books. Here are a few examples of challenges you might encounter:
A classmate steals your daughter's cell phone... and sends out inappropriate photographs.
Your son hacks into the Facebook page of a girl he likes... and the parents of the girl want to sue you.
Your daughter has a few friends over... and 15 minutes later there are 50 kids at your house and the police.
In the world of modern parenting, where 10-year-olds have pushup bras and sexting is considered normal behavior, you can't expect smooth sailing through the teen years. It's a tough job to raise kids in 2012, but I've found there are five golden rules for parenting teenagers that will save your sanity.
Absolute Rule #1 - You are an idiot
Absolute Rule #2 - Bad takes on a whole new meaning (blue hair and nose rings are not bad)
Absolute Rule #3 - Trust but verify
Absolute Rule #4- Karma is a bitch
Absolute Rule #5 - Create a spy network with other parents
I'll go over these rules before Mother's Day. But the first rule is important to remember because it helps you to not take teen behavior personally. Because you are an idiot -- at least in the mind of your teenager. It matters not that you have received three degrees or saved lives or cured cancer. One day your child goes to sleep and you're a hero. The next morning your child wakes up and you, the parent, are a complete idiot. Welcome to the world of parenting a teen.
You can't take it personally. It's part of this stage of parenting. The little birds are preparing to leave the nest and they are defining who they are as individuals. It's normal for your kids to question and even disdain parents at this age. If you are a parent you are uncool.
Even U2's Bono is uncool... to his teenage daughters. In a 2009 interview in the UK's Daily Mail, the music icon admitted his children think he's a dork. The singer confessed to the newspaper that his children think he's an embarrassing dad.
The 48-year-old has two daughters with wife Alison Hewson, and says they cringed at the music he played at the band's afterparty for their recent tour.
He also said Jordan, 19, and Memphis Eve, 17, feared he would 'bore the a**' off Beyonce and Jay-Z when they came to stay at the family home in St Tropez.
Bono is a rock star, world activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. So what chance do you have as a normal parent? Zero!
Accept that you're a dork to your teenage kids, don't let it hurt your feelings and look for the rest of the rules of raising teenagers this week.