Being a parent tops the list for tough jobs. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, your kids will end up with issues and it will be on your hands. You may not make the same mistakes your own parents did, but you’ll make other ones. It’s undeniable – parenting is hard.
When your new baby comes, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing. And just when we get the hang of how to manage a completely dependent little being, things change. The little person starts to move on their own, crawl, walk, run. But as parents we still guide them, help them take little steps, and have our arms there to catch them if they fall.
Years pass too quickly. Toddlers turn into children who have a life separate from you. They have their own world at school and with friends, and they want to step just far enough away to be independent, but close enough to grab your hand if they need it. And so they inch away, little by little, from your grasp.
Once they become teenagers, new rules apply. Parents are not cool – and trust me on this – not even the coolest people are cool parents. Because dear readers, teenagers need parents to suck. Otherwise they don’t fit in with other teenagers. Having cool parents means they are different than everyone else whose parents suck. In terms of being a teenager, having cool parents isn’t cool.
So – here’s the thing. I’ve done the teenager thing once, and I am coming up on a new round of the experience again soon enough with my younger two. As far as round one went, I can tell you – if anyone was going to be a cool parent, it was me. After all, I was only 17 when I had my daughter, so I was still young once she hit high school. I still had cool oozing from my pores.
And though I was fair, I was fun, and I was involved and engaged in her life – I was not her friend. I was her PARENT. I might have been up on the music and fashions, and I might have been able to converse with her friends without making her cringe (most times), but I did not fool myself into thinking I was one of them.
So based on my strong stance on these issues, I was stirred to rant on my blog after hearing about yet another parent of a teenager we know who smokes up with their kid. Never mind that the boy is 15 years old and probably has been doing it for a few years. Never mind that he would have done it regardless. The fact that this dolt of a parent sits around and shares a reefer with his child makes my blood boil. A big raging kind of boil.
I don’t want to hear the stupid excuses for being a lame parent. And for those out there inclined to give them, let me give you my rebuttals.
“He’ll do it anyway, at least this way he’s safe in our house.” News flash – your kid smokes up with you AND without you. So the fact that he is blotto sitting around the kitchen table at 8pm, doesn’t mean he won’t be in some very unsafe place at 11pm, or mid-afternoon for that matter.
“At least if he smokes what I give him, I know he isn’t getting into some cheap toxic crap that he got from some whack dealer.” News flash: Yes he is, he’s just not sharing that toxic crap with you. He’s smoking your stash with you, and his stash with the cute blond he is hoping to have sex with later.
“I want my kid to be able to come to me with anything.” News flash – Your kid isn’t going to come to you with anything because you are a drug buddy, not a parent who can help them handle the crap that life hands them. They won’t come to you, because even they know how screwed up you are.
What is going on out there? I’m not going to get into rants about using drugs, because you make your choices, and I guess we all deal with stress, or bring on pleasure different ways. I’m not going to act the innocent, I’d like to say I remember how great it feels to be high, but quite honestly, I can’t recall. It was either too many decades ago, or I was always too wasted back then to store it into the memory bank. But I will say using drugs is very different than using with your kids. Like, different planet kind of different.
You are not cool. You are not a rock star, even if you do play a mean guitar solo or have lips like Mick Jagger. Don’t use drugs with your kids. Go get a bunch of friends who use instead. Or use alone. Or get into therapy (there’s an idea!). But give me a break – sharing a joint with the child you raised puts you on some cool level? Or makes you a concerned parent watching out for your kid? Not a chance.
I don’t know if its laziness – not willing to get your sorry ass into the basement or back shed to get your fix away from the family – or if it is a pathetic need to feel accepted and loved. Or maybe your addiction has fried so many brain cells that you just run on stupid-level most days. I don’t understand it, and based on my outward fury on the subject, I don’t expect you to lay your answer out here, but I do know that the parents that fit in this category need an earful of logic, and I am more than willing to give it to them.
A good parent isn’t ever cool enough, and a great parent gives up trying in exchange for being seen as loving, caring and wise. Trust me when I say if you are past 25 years old, you are ancient and lame in the eyes of a teenager. The best you can hope for is being seen as “pretty okay, most of the time”.
Deal with it.