Teenage dis/ease is a common disorder and treatment is rather behind the times.
There is a new dis/ease going around my home… And it’s been 16 years in the making.
My teenager is now 16 years old.
For girls, there is the Sweet 16 but what the heck do we do for the boys? Pat on the back and high five? This year, I’ve decided to celebrate it as a season of dis/ease.
But first, I must clarify:
- He is not a disease. I’m just having some fun here.
- He does not have a disease (at least one that we know of…)
- Dis/Ease is more about his stage of life and how he is not at ease anywhere – except when he is plugged in and staring at a screen of some kind.
- Dis/Ease is also about me and my current stage of parenting. We are writing the book on parenting in our household. We have two teenagers now and the hormones are flowing free and wild for each of us.
The 13 symptoms of Teenage Dis/Ease (Regardless of gender):
If you, or your teenager, have five or more of the following signs, you likely are suffering from the dis/ease.
- Frequent and unsolicited groaning
- Frequent and unsolicited moaning
- Slurring of his/her words upon waking and substance use is ruled out.
- Frequent and unsolicited mumbling
- Random, weird thoughts
- Freakouts of varying duration and intensity
- Blaming others
- Stomping his/her feet
- Unpredictable drama
- Slamming of doors
- Piles of smelly socks, soccer clothes, and various unnamed undergarments
- Assiness (aka, general ass-like behavior)
If you have a teenage girl, add the following three symptoms:
- Clumps of long hair in every imaginable drain
- Piles of books used to keep strangers and family at a distance
- Eyes that can give death glares and will shoot lasers any time of the day
While these symptoms are typical for teenagers everywhere, parents are free to inform their children that they themselves never behaved like this toward their parents. To prove it, I consulted with my mother. Her memory is clearly failing in this area because I am certain that I was an exemplary teenager.
Treatment for teenage dis/ease:
At present, there are no pills, no apps, no technology that will properly treat the symptoms listed above. Several evidence-based, behavioral treatments have shown varying degrees of success with the condition:
- Isolation has shown some positive impact, however, eventually they need to eat and attend school.
- Duct tape also has a minor positive effect but keep in mind that family communication can improve the condition.
- Catch them on a good day and it will be a breath of fresh air. You will feel like you really know what you are doing as a parent.
- Bribery can work, but will backfire. Like any addiction, you have to increase the reward to get the initial desired effect.
- Divide and conquer is an excellent strategy. Once you have them alone, they are less likely to display the symptoms listed above.
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Keep it Real
Photo by Dan DeLuca