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Typical Teenagers
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I would have ordinarily posted this to the ACoA forum but I’m banned from there and this item might even get me banned form here but I still feel it’s worth the risk to say what I want to say to parents and there kids.

 

I keep seeing disparaging comments on line about TYPICAL TEENS and, since I once was a teen (but not a parent) I feel motivated to offer my side of the story about these AWFUL TEENS. When I see comments about: typical, rebellious, problem-teens, gangs and even other kids, my first thought is: Why are these kids behaving like that and why did their parents do such a bad job with them?  Why are these complaining, whining parents UNWILLING to honestly look at the lousy job of parenting that has produced these “bad” kids? 

 

OK, I will allow that perhaps some genetic faults or “disorders” might be involved but, based on my experiences as a teenager, most of what messed me up was BAD PARENTING (along with MAYBE some genetic things).  So here is my version of how and why I became a BAD KID or problem teenager.

 

In the beginning, I dearly loved and respected  my parents and was 100% devoted to them BUT…..as time went by, they not I, set up all the nasty, unhappy, frightening, abusive, NEGLIGENT and BAD conditions which finally led me to having a very bad attitude about them and, by the time I hit my teens, I now had the power and motivation to show them what a lousy job of parenting they both had been doing which was now appearing in me as TYPICAL TEENAGE behaviors.   I was way to frightened of my menacing parents to join a gang or become violent with them so most of my typical teen stuff was subtle and indirect but aimed at putting my parents down any safe way I could find.  LOL, it was no MY TURN to shame them back and I did it with joy!  They were openly calling me a "typical" teenager while I was silently calling them "typical morons".

 

They, not I, set it all up years before with their ignorant, stupid, violent and unloving behaviors and attitudes and now they are scratching their WOODEN HEADS in perplexed dismay at how their kids have turned out - after they, the parents, “did the very best they could”!  What a pair of FOOLS!

 

Yes they both did the best they could to unwittingly produce what is now an out of control, embarrassing, mysterious typical teenager and  they get all kinds of sympathetic support from other unhappy, angry (but inadequate) parents who confirm that teenagers are THE WORST but are just a little too big now to be intimidated, shamed, threatened and beaten down as was so easy when the kid was little and easily intimidated or fooled.  Now the kid is too big to beat up and too smart to con and fool so the WOODEN HEADED adult feels helpless and perhaps even a little afraid of the MONSTER they unwittingly created so long ago. 

 

The other part is how so few teenagers can see that the mysterious and often dangerous creature they now are, and perhaps even in a Gang, is the direct consequence of BAD PARENTING and may now believe that being a troubled or troublesome teenager is JUST THE WAY IT IS – that becoming a teen automatically makes a kid: weird, angry, depressed, miserable, hostile, quiet, unhappy, a dangerous gang member, etc.  And since the “wise” adults keep pounding it into the kid’s heads that they are just “typical teens, going through a phase” the kid unwittingly falls for that LIE and never bothers to examine just how they got this way – UNTIL perhaps entering Recovery many years later. 

 

I finally found out why I was such a mess as a child, teenager and young adult (but never entered a Gang) after entering Recovery at 48 y.o. and it bothers me to this day that I did not have an opportunity to get help many years before that.   BUT, at least I know now and have been given a few coping skills to make my life better than it ever was with my Shame-based and inadequate parents who by the way were very skillful, ambitious, capable, lovable, fun and industrious in many ways but very bad parents just the same.  They, not I, set up all the conditions for me to become a “typical” teenager!

Were you ever a typical, troubled teen?  If yes - how did you get that way?

 



-- Edited by jimrich on Saturday 24th of December 2016 03:24:28 PM

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Here is the difficulty - Jimrich, I honestly believe no one gets up in the morning and decides to be a bad parent. The world can be a cruel place. In many ways the world intrudes on what many parents hope would be a perfect bubble of hope and warmth. The dominant cultural narrative is that if you allow the awfullness of the world to penetrate your family bubble you have failed and you are an in adequate parent . . hence the pressure to be perfect and the need to maintain perfection at all times. No parent wants to fail and especially no parent wants to fail their kid(s).
I don't believe in the "typical teenager". I expected things to be difficult. I worked hard to be patient and supportive even while acknowledging things that were incrediby difficult for me like my child's lying and stealing from me. I am so not perfect but I worked hard not to shame and be clear about the consequences of "antisocial" behavior. None the less,
My child and child's friends say awfull things about me and are unkind, my child takes me for granted and does not acknowledge my struggle to provide a home, a safe and at least sometimes sane home . . now I am broke, alone and lonely. People say don't worry everyone has problems with their kids . . I cannot accept this . this seems like a capitulation to me, it seems like an acceptance of abusive behavior from the world. I cannot accept that it is "just the way teenagers are" to be hurtful, userous and thoughtless . . nonetheless here I am in the same emotional and material place as many parents, abandoned, devastated and s**t upon.
I feel like we send so much time critiquing and blaming our family sitches that we don't allow the parents in our lives to be humans, striving, hoping, dreaming humans who go to work experience abuse in the work place and strive to be superstars at home none-the less often failing abysmally. Teenagers, transforming humans, need not be characterized as typical but neither do parents who must balance the world their own needs and the needs of their children need to be characterized as uniformly bad and solely responsible for their children's suffering.

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advanceretreat wrote:

 

Your post covers a lot of issues for parents but says very little if anything about being a child so I will take the liberty of speaking for both the child and the parent by offering my OPINIONS here.

Here is the difficulty - Jimrich, I honestly believe no one gets up in the morning and decides to be a bad parent.

 

Yes, my parents certainly did not wake up and then “decide” to be “bad” and neither did us kids.  Does anyone "decide" to be a bad anything?

The world can be a cruel place. In many ways the world intrudes on what many parents hope would be a perfect bubble of hope and warmth.

 

I don’t believe my parents or any other parents expected the world or our life to be PERFECT (whatever that is).  They may have wanted things to be like they PREFERRED such as less painful and more affluent, fun and happy, but not PERFECT!

The dominant cultural narrative is that if you allow the awfullness of the world to penetrate your family bubble you have failed and you are an in adequate parent . . hence the pressure to be perfect and the need to maintain perfection at all times.

 

I don’t know where that "perfection" concept came from but nobody in our family ever expected things or people to be PERFECT.  Perhaps, adequate, but certainly not PERFECT and I have no idea where this notion of being PERFECT ever came from.  There were a few folks in my life who were close to PERFECT (whatever that is) but, when closely examined, they were NOT perfect at all.

No parent wants to fail and especially no parent wants to fail their kid(s).

 

I do not believe my parents “wanted” to fail us but, when they did, they had lots of lame excuses, blamed us kids or simply denied that they had failed so we took up their dishonest attitudes and refused to acknowledge our ‘failures” or blamed it on whoever we could.  Our parents had the advantage of getting away with their dishonesty whereas us kids had to be very careful with our denials, excuses and dishonesty.   We got punished for lying but our parents were never punished for their LIES.

I don't believe in the "typical teenager". I expected things to be difficult. I worked hard to be patient and supportive even while acknowledging things that were incrediby difficult for me like my child's lying and stealing from me.

 

Have you ever figured out why your child lied and stole?  We lied and stole because our parents set up all the conditions for us to turn from honesty and honor to dishonesty and dishonor!  Our parents unwittingly FORCED us into underground, criminal and corrupt behaviors by the inadequate style of parenting they used ON us.  The story of exactly how our own parents unwittingly conditioned my brother and I to become lying thiefs is long and complicated but, they, not us, set up all the conditions for us to lose our love and respect for them and go underground to get away with as much sh*t as we could while looking real good and noble to their gullible faces.  They, not us kids, blew it and they never saw how they had FAILED us so long ago.  Our ignorant and pathetic parents alienated us boys at about 6-8 and we soon turned to crime and corruption right under their stupid noses!   I don’t know what happened to your kids or in your family but, in our family, our own parents unwittingly sent us boys off to become very corrupt and bad from an early age.   My older brother did time in state prison all because of ROTTEN PARENTING!

I am so not perfect but I worked hard not to shame and be clear about the consequences of "antisocial" behavior. None the less,
My child and child's friends say awfull things about me and are unkind, my child takes me for granted and does not acknowledge my struggle to provide a home, a safe and at least sometimes sane home . .

 

My parents would have and did say the very same thing about us boys but the ugly truth is that they DID NOT provide a good home so us boys just gradually went under ground to live a secret, sinister and corrupt life by about age 10 while our DELUDED parents smugly believed they had PERFECT children.  If your kids and their friends have such contempt for you, you may need to HONESTLY look for their reasons and motives for their attitudes.  I have said why we had deep contempt for our parents because they, not us, set it all up that way!

now I am broke, alone and lonely. People say don't worry everyone has problems with their kids . .

 

Yes that is the very same type of adult STUPIDITY that our parents were given when my older brother was sent to prison.  All the ignorant and proud parents ganged up to declare my brother wrong and our poor little parents as the victims but the sickening fact is that our parents set up all the rotten conditions for my brother to become a THIEF.  I would have been a thief too but I was way to afraid of authorities.  My morals were no better than my brothers’ but I was always afraid of our parents and the cops.  Our parents FAILED to give us good morals but that's another long story.

 I cannot accept this . this seems like a capitulation to me, it seems like an acceptance of abusive behavior from the world. I cannot accept that it is "just the way teenagers are" to be hurtful, userous and thoughtless . . nonetheless here I am in the same emotional and material place as many parents, abandoned, devastated and s**t upon.

 

IMO, parents get what they deserve if they cannot honestly look at what they have produced.  My parents went to their graves convinced that they did the very best they could and that their kids were wrong and bad but NOT THEM.  The sickening fact is that my parents did NOT do their best and they produced some very mentally screwed up kids.  One went to prison and I spent a few years in Recovery work to undo the damages my parents did to my brother and me.  Our little sister seems to have grown up a little saner than us two boys.

I feel like we send so much time critiquing and blaming our family sitches that we don't allow the parents in our lives to be humans, striving, hoping, dreaming humans who go to work experience abuse in the work place and strive to be superstars at home none-the less often failing abysmally.

 

I honored and acknowledged that my parents had it tough and dealt with very difficult life issues in pretty honorable ways … BUT…the wrong and bad stuff they did, especially dad, completely over rode all of their good stuff so, in my experience, they were more bad than good; more wrong than right;  more ignorant than brilliant and more DISHONEST than honest.   They would NEVER admit to that but that is how I experienced them and our rotten home life.  My siblings might tell a different story but this is my  current reality and version and I am being as honest as I can here - thanks to Recovery principles.

Teenagers, transforming humans, need not be characterized as typical but neither do parents who must balance the world their own needs and the needs of their children need to be characterized as uniformly bad and solely responsible for their children's suffering.

I would not label or characterize parents or adults as “typical” anything.  My parents were not “typical” although their behaviors and attitudes were very “common” back in the ‘40s.  I knew a lot of kids who lived underground, secret, amoral, double lives back then and now I understand why.   They, like us, had very inadequate, abusive or negligent parents who unwittingly FORCED their kids to go underground and get away with doing bad stuff.  If there is anything “typical’ about parents and adults, it is that they are DISHONEST.  They live in and with DENIAL about what they do and what they are and most kids can see right through these LIARS.  I did!  I could see the excruciating dishonesty in my own parents at about age 5 but never knew what to do about it other than to become a LIAR myself and hide from them whenever I could.  They soon became the most dangerous creatures in my life which just killed me because I totally loved and respected both of them when I was younger and would have stayed in love with and totally loyal to them forever IF ONLY they had made it possible but they, not I, destroyed my love, devotion and commitment to them by the time I was 5-6 and we never got back to real love again!   They, not I, ruined everything but, they did not and perhaps will never honestly look at what they did to their own kids.   My parents were my heroes and best friends up to about age 6 and then they completely destroyed my love and respect for them with their brutal punishments, neglect, jealousy and DISHONESTY.  There were times when they were loving, kind, generous and “good” BUT they somehow always managed to wipe it all out with stupid, mean and DISHONEST behavior.  The only benefit I ever got from my parents was examples of how NOT TO BE and I try my best NOT TO BE like them except where and how they were positive, dignified and HONEST. 

IMO, it is a very rare and courageous parent/adult who can and will HONESTLY look at them selves and their lives and Recovery has taught me to he HONEST more than any other thing in my life.  It works if you work it..............

 



-- Edited by jimrich on Tuesday 4th of April 2017 10:01:44 PM



-- Edited by jimrich on Tuesday 4th of April 2017 10:04:39 PM

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The strange war between children and parents will perhaps never end but Recovery and Honesty has at least shown me what happened in our family and us kids were NOT the problem until we reached about 9-11, after which we did become a "problem" thanks to very bad parenting, in our case (and perhaps some genetic factors as well) . I am gradually seeing this "war"as a necessary feature of nature or spirituality but have no idea why nature (or god) acts this way. No other animal behaves as neurotic or insane as humans - especially grown humans - so the reasons or motives of Divinity for setting things up this way is beyond me for now. If I had been in control of our family, I would have made my parents sane and happy which would have allowed them to produce 3 sane and happy kids instead of the dire wreckage that was our sick little family. My siblings went on to produce a few relatively sane kids but I had none of my own. I am left with believing that Divinity or god knows what she is doing and that, despite all the pain and anger, things are going the way they need to go. I feel very blessed that I found Recovery support groups and learned to live a better and happier life (so far) by understanding what happened in the past and GETTING OVER IT. I am still very aware of what all went wrong in our family but don't suffer from it as much as I used to. Perhaps I will eventually get to the place of forgiving others as time goes by. Just living a happier and more meaningful life is good enough for me for now so.........one day at a time..............

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Hey, let's be civil about everyone's points of view. Too few posting here as it is and I would like to see a spirit of welcome prevail.

 

Welcome back jimrich



-- Edited by barelythere on Tuesday 4th of April 2017 11:08:02 PM

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barelythere wrote:

Hey, let's be civil about everyone's points of view. Too few posting here as it is and I would like to see a spirit of welcome prevail.

 

Welcome back jimrich



-- Edited by barelythere on Tuesday 4th of April 2017 11:08:02 PM


 So what's your point of view on "Typical Teenagers".   I would like to see a spirit of friendly SHARING prevail.



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