Opinion: Teenage sons: Sweet and sour

My husband called the other day and asked, “Can I punch our 15-year-old son?” “Sure,” I replied. “Just don’t hit him in the face.” Of course, we were joking – no need to call CPS, fans – but honestly, teenage boys are a nightmare.

Take the aforementioned kid. He questions every single word Doo and I say, including but not limited to our tips for better organization and time management, our pleas for daily showering and deodorizing, and our advice for academic success through actual homework completion. He never admits to wrongdoing of any kind. Ever. And when asked to do something, anything, he whines as if being tortured. Can you really blame us for wanting to smack him upside the head?

True, he does have a sweet side (he gives awesome hugs and is very gentle with his young cousins), but his aptitude for tenderness and compassion is usually overshadowed by his propensity for butthole-ishness. Literally, his entire personality just revealed itself in the last half-hour as I was typing: He offered to play chess with his 12-year-old brother (sweet), but couldn’t resist dismissing the game and his opponent when, for the first time ever, he was forced to a draw (butthole).

The saving grace is that he seems to act this way only outside our humble abode. Teachers, grandparents and random adults find him polite, mature and genuinely likeable. Which is, I suppose, the way we want it. If he’s going to behave like an ass, we prefer he do so in private.

I’m not a teenage boy, nor have I ever been, but I just can’t understand why he finds it so hard to be pleasant with us, his adoring family. Of course, I’ve heard worse about teenage girls, of whom I have two looming, but those I can handle. It’s this boy thing I don’t get. He is driving me bonkers with his disrespectful tone and arrogant manner. And punishments don’t seem to work for very long. Yes, he’ll be an angel while we hold his phone hostage; but a week later, he’ll be back to hotly debating the logic of the chore chart or his bedtime on “Walking Dead” night.

Clearly a mother’s love is an amazing thing. The fact that I still kind of like my teenager says a lot about my patience. But I must admit I found Doo’s phone call hilarious and somewhat comforting. It’s not just I who thinks teenage boys are a nightmare!

Peace out.


  • Tanya Miles

    I loved this! We have a teenage son, and I can honestly say we have these same “sweet and sour” feelings. Thanks for this honest look into how we feel about our “little boys”. lol