Raising Teenagers. Never a Dull Moment.

I have 4 kids. Raedean is 24, Mckenzie is 18, Mason is 15 and Miss Parker is 13. Raedean is on her own. Well living in her Dad’s basement currently finishing up University. Mason and Parker spend a week at their Dad’s and a week with me. Mckenzie was away in Utah for school for 2 years but is home and lives with me full time. Anyone with teens or has gone through the teen stage will appreciate this blog.

It seems to me that when you add ‘teen’ to their age, they become the experts on life. So from about thirTEEN to nineTEEN, they have all the answers. No one listens to them. Life is unfair. BLAH BLAH BLAH. As you can tell from the beginning of this blog, something must have happened to have me all worked up in a tizzy! And you’d be right. For those of you that haven’t quite reached the teen stage yet. Just wait, your turn is coming.

I’ve had the kids since about the 15th of August till now, with a couple days break at the beginning of September. Let’s just say, I am not sure how I did this full time 24/7 when I was a stay at home Mom. Normally the ex and I have a week’s break, but he was on vacation on one of his weeks the kids were supposed to be with him so I’ve had the kids. I would also like to interject here, those single parents out there with their kids full time, ALL the time… YOU ARE MY FUCKIN HEROS!!

So the garbage left where ever, the bedrooms that haven’t been cleaned, the dishes that need to be put into the dishwasher, the laundry that piles up, etc, etc, etc finally came to a head last night. I’ve been off work so I’ve been playing taxi cab driver, alarm clock, chef, nurse, CHIEF BOTTLE WASHER!! And last night, I was exhausted (which really didn’t help the whole situation). Needless to say, there was a Mom snap moment.

After dinner, I asked Kenz to do the dishes. That was ok. But when I went down to throw a load of MY laundry in the washer (I don’t do theirs any more) I noticed that the laundry room was a freakin disaster! From there, I noticed the pop cans in the family room. From there, I noticed the hurricane ruined areas they call their bedrooms. From there, I notice EVERYTHING!!

Now I don’t have a lot of rules or chores for my kids to do. I even took the time to do up a sheet for them a while back…


Bed Made: Bed made properly. Sheets neatly on bed, comforter organized over sheets neatly, pillows put at head of bed. Stuffies organized on bed.

Clothes Picked Up: All dirty clothes sorted into Whites in one side of your hamper with colors and darks on the other side. All clean clothes put away in appropriate drawers or hung up.

Supper Chores: Help with Dinner-Mom will give you a chore (peeling potatoes, making a salad, etc.)
Dishwasher-This includes loading and unloading the dishwasher. Dishes must be put away properly.
Clean Up after Dinner-Table is cleared and wiped down. All items put away. Any dishes that do not fit in the dishwasher must be washed, dried and put away. Cupboards cleared and wiped down. Kitchen floor swept.

Coat, Shoes & Backpack Coat or Hoodie hung up in the closet or your bedroom. Shoes must put in the front
Put Away: closet or left in the garage in your cubbies. Backpacks can be stored neatly in your bedroom.

Room Dusted & Vacuumed: All items put away off your desk and dresser in their containers or appropriate drawers. All surfaces must be dusted with a damp cloth. All items must be picked up off the floor and your room must be vacuumed completely. Garbage cans must be emptied. All dirty laundry to be taken downstairs and put in right bin to be washed.

Bathrooms: All items must be put away first (towels hung up, items on the counter put away). Spray the shower, toilet, counters and sink. Allow to soak for a min. Wipe with a dry towel. Towel must be put in the laundry hamper after to be washed. Floor must be vacuumed with the floor brush.

Vacuuming of Main All items must be picked up and put away first. Vacuum all area thoroughly, including
Living Areas: stairs.

Downstairs Straightened Up: All games and movies returned to their correct container. All games, toys, etc. put away properly. If it does belong to you, please set the item in front of whoever’s door it belongs to. Blankets folded and put away. Pillows put on couch properly. Coffee table cleared off and items put away properly.

All Garbages Emptied: Take a black garbage bag from under the sink and put all garbage from kitchen, all bathrooms, and both computer desks into it. This must be taken out to the garage and but in the big garbage can out there. Please remember to put a white trash bag in each garbage afterwards.

Suburban Cleaned Out: Take all garbage out of the suburban and dispose of in garbage can. All drink cups, games, toys, etc. brought in and given to the rightful owner to put away. Any dirty cups or dishes must be put in the dishwasher. All jackets/coats/hoodies or other clothing given to rightful owner to either put away or put in laundry.

As you will notice, it describes what my expectations are. Pretty simple really, right?? According to my teens, WRONG!! Last night, it all came down to R E S P E C T (insert Aretha Franklin singing). I pay the bills. I buy the groceries. I drive them everywhere. I make the dinners. I LET YOU LIVE HERE FOR FREE! In exchange for that, I ask that you respect me and my property. Not a difficult thing (well, not in my adult brain anyway). So I got pissed off. Wrote out exactly what their share of the bills would cost them minus what their contribution currently really is. Let’s just say, the numbers were skewed in their favor!

And that’s when all hell broke loose. They didn’t seem to think I was hearing what they had to say. So in-between heated words it ended with me telling Kenz that if he couldn’t follow the rules, he was more than welcome to find his own way, the hard way (add a lot more choice words into that statement and you’ll get the picture)!

So he took me up on my offer. He was packing his bags. I asked what his plan was. His plan was to call a friend to see if he could stay there, could he please have his phone? Ummmm, not a chance in hell was my reply. I pay for it. You owe me money. So no, I was holding onto that and his brand new laptop as collateral until I got my money that he owed me.

And that is when he decided to call the cops on me for ‘stealing his stuff’.

So at 9pm last night a female officer showed up on my doorstep to see about this problem. COME ON IN! After going back and forth about what the problem was, she asked Kenz what these rules were that were so difficult for him to follow. I eventually ended up describing the rules as he kept going on about how I didn’t listen to him. She seemed to think the rules seemed fair but if he really didn’t want to follow them, he was welcome to leave MY home. You are of legal age she told him, so you can make your own decisions. She offered him a ride to where he wanted to go. With no plan, she said the best she could do was take him to a homeless shelter. Then described in detail the living conditions. (please note that he had already experienced this once before) Did he still want to go? He started to waffle a bit. So I suggested that he was tired, his meds had worn off and that maybe the best solution would be for him to go to his room, stay there for the night and we could discuss this again tomorrow. The officer seemed to agree this was indeed the best solution. So he reluctantly agreed as well. I thanked the officer for her time. She smiled and explained she had a 23 year old ADHD daughter living with her and that she fully understood exactly what I was going through. So sorry kid, probably not the officer you wanted to try and see your side of this dilemma.

As I went down to start the laundry (for the 2nd time last night), Kenz apologized. Nope! Not tonight buddy! I was sticking to my guns. You do not get to throw a full blown 2 year old temper tantrum and think that an apology is going to solve it. We will discuss this tomorrow, like we agreed to. Of course while this is all going on the 15 and 13 year olds are out of sight, but not out of ear shot. I wanted to scream at them to make sure they were listening in REAL good! YOU GUYS HEARING ALL OF THIS!!??

So here we are, the day after, and things are somewhat normal. True to my word, this morning I did not mention a thing about the incident last night, but you can bet your bottom dollar, this will be a topic of discussion after school.

I stand by my offer… you can live here, free of charge as long as you respect me and my rules. You teens just have no idea how easy you actually have it. Much like I didn’t when I was that age.

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Debbi Serafinchon Written by:

Just an average ordinary woman being herself on this crazy ride we call life. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I chose to bring along 4 crazy side kicks on this journey, my 4 kids. The actual realization of my journey began after my divorce. Hindsight being what it is, I realized before my divorce I was just going through the steps. My eyes are now wide open to the path ahead of me.

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