Questions for couples: surviving the teen years

Upset teen and mumOkay, we’ve got a couples quiz for you: who received the last Presidential pardon?

If you think it was a criminal, you’re way off base. Last week, President Barack Obama pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving with the press and his daughters Sasha, 13, and Malia, 16, looking on. However, it wasn’t the turkey pardoning that got Republicans excited. It was Sasha and Malia.

Elizabeth Lauten, a senior Republican aide, didn’t like what the girls were wearing or how they behaved so she attacked them on social media. For many people, however, the first daughters were simply acting like the nonplussed teenagers they are.

Lauten issued her resignation following the backlash of her statements. This raises the question: how should the girls have acted? Is there such a thing as a well-behaved teen?

Lot’s of couples are pulling their hair out thinking of ways to deal with their angst-ridden teens. How many times have you heard “I hate you” today? Problems with children can sometimes contribute to marriage problems, making the issue even more frustrating.

Why not answer these questions for couples and see how you’re doing?

  1. You’re feeling disconnected from your teen so you:
    1. Run screaming away.
    2. Jump out the window.
    3. Breathe and settle your body’s fight-or-flight response. Breathing helps you calm down and think more rationally – something your teen might be incapable of right now!
  2. Your teen has really pushed your buttons. You:
    1. Push her buttons right back.
    2. Jump in the sandbox and start throwing punches.
    3. Remain calm, even when the tension levels are high. Don’t issue punishments when you’re angry; just have a glass of wine with your spouse later!
  3. This is what’s happening in your kid’s brain:
    1. Raging hormones and strange chemical imbalances.
    2. A temporary increase in emotions and a decrease in common sense.
    3. Both of the above. Your kid’s brain is going through some serious changes… don’t you remember when you were 16?
  4. You’ve just heard “I hate you” for the tenth time today. You:
    1. Scream “I hate you” right back!
    2. Go in the bedroom and cry.
    3. Remember that your kid doesn’t really mean it. She’s just upset because deep down she knows you’re right. She’ll love you again… in about 20 years.
  5. Surprisingly, your teen wants to talk to you about a serious issue. You:
    1. Tell them to go find a friend.
    2. Give them $20 for the movies.
    3. Sit down with a cup of cocoa and practice some empathy because you remember how tough being a teen can be. Mend the fences, people!

Many couples can’t believe the monsters that their loveable little toddlers transform into when they hit their teenaged years. The terrible twos have nothing on those teen years! Do you have teenagers living at home? How do you cope?

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