By Marcia Kester Doyle of Menopausal Mother
I think we can all agree that cuddly newborns and giggling toddlers are adorable. We’re quick to hit the “like” button when memes and videos featuring this age group inundate our Facebook feed.
But something frightening happens when children hit the tween stage. They morph from adorableness into something akin to an animal that has been raised in the woods by a pack of wild boars.
It starts when their vocabulary reverts to their caveman roots–a string of grunts, groans, and the occasional shrug. This is usually accompanied by excessive amounts of eye rolling and door slamming. Once they hit the puberty stage, tweens find sadistic pleasure in publicly annoying and embarrassing the adults who raised them.
Every parent reaches a breaking point during these difficult years of child-rearing. NEWSFLASH: This is the ideal time to liberate yourself from the bonds of “politically correct” parenting and resort to getting even with your self-absorbed offspring.
It’s amazing what a little payback will do to convert a grumpy tween back into an obedient, respectful child!
Follow these ten easy steps to annoy and embarrass your tween while they’re still young, and you’re guaranteed to experience a smooth transition from the elementary school age to the dreaded middle school years:
1) Crank up the lawn mower at 7 a.m. outside their bedroom window when they’re trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning. Remind them that if they had offered to do the chore themselves, you wouldn’t have to start at the ass crack of dawn to get the job done.
2) Ask twenty questions about the show they’re watching on TV, but wait until they’re immersed in the thickest part of the plot before speaking loudly over the dialogue. Bonus points if you “accidentally” switch the channel.
3) During one of the many impromptu gatherings of tweens in your living room (the same place you have been rudely banned from entering while their friends are over), dash into the room with a wet plunger dripping in your hand and shout, “Okay, who clogged the toilet???”
4) Pick up the six wet towels left on their bathroom floor and deposit them on your lazy tween’s unmade bed. Be sure to tuck the towels under the covers so they stay moist all day. Maybe next time they’ll actually put their towels in the laundry basket. Better yet, show them how to operate the washing machine.
5) Allow the youngest child in the family to bang on a new drum set while his older sibling is trying to take a nap instead of completing a homework assignment. No drums? Metal pots and wooden spoons work just as well.
6) Turn on the sprinklers while your tween daughter and her girlfriends are busy taking selfies by the pool. This will be a quick reminder of the stern warning you gave her earlier about wearing skimpy bikinis and posting pictures of it on social media.
7) At the neighborhood block party, jump up on a picnic table and play air guitar to a Bon Jovi song. Add a few hip gyrations to spice things up. When your tween complains that you embarrassed her in public, let her know that you felt the EXACT same way when you saw her grinding on Riccardo Bonetti at the fifth grade Bon Voyage party.
8) Call your son’s friends “Dude” and “Bro.” If you’re lucky, the next time you see them, they’ll address you as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” And your tween might actually call you “Mom” or “Dad” instead of “those grumpy A-holes who think they know everything.”
9) Tag them on Facebook with a Throw-Back-Thursday photo from their first day of Kindergarten with the caption, “I sure miss the days when my child was so sweet and angelic.”
10) Blast Barry Manilow on the car radio while driving your kids and their friends to school. Make sure all the windows are rolled down so that EVERYONE in the car loop can hear you belt out the lyrics to “Mandy.” Maybe next time they’ll take you seriously when you tell them they’re not allowed to switch the radio station in your car or listen to anything by Kanye West.
If you follow these ten easy steps, your tweens will learn the most valuable lesson in life: Karma really is a bitch and she has a sense of humor, after all.
About the Author
Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humorous book, Who Stole My Spandex? and the voice behind the popular midlife blog, Menopausal Mother. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, BlogHer, In The Powder Room, Mom Babble, Humor Outcasts, Boomeon, Blunt Moms, The Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Midlife Boulevard and numerous other sites. Visit her blog, author website, and Amazon author page.