How to enjoy sheltering with teenagers, Part four

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Okay, so I probably have only mentioned the teenager part in passing before, but I figure a lot of folks are in this same special rocking boat. I’m very lucky that my teen is not terribly stormy, she’s mostly sunny with a chance of clouds most days.

If your teen is on a school break and wants to sleep most of the day, let her. If you find yourselves on different shifts for using the common areas of the house, just enjoy the peace instead of rattling the rhythm.

Here, it goes like this:

“I didn’t want to sleep so late again.”

“You did, though.”

We are only both awake and in the same room for a couple of hours in the evening. It suits me because I reserve the last couple of hours for (usually bad) television and brain unwinding, and there’s nothing easier to do together than park your brains. Even though this is the very easiest way, I suppose I should feel guilty about not collaborating on anything, so I do.

If I can find some way to get extra fabric in here, and even if I don’t, I am planning to teach her how to use our antique sewing machine. This is very amusing as a concept, because I barely know how to do anything with it at all. I can thread it, and I have wound a bobbin before, I’m pretty sure. Maybe we’ll learn together and make up names for the components I don’t rightly recollect. It could have pistons and thwackers and twiddlers.

While I imagine the home-schooling is relatively easy with them, you do have to be careful of a couple of things when you are shut in with teens.

Don’t confide in them too much. The other morning, I told her I was trying to parse the fact that I had a dream about Jon Hamm and then woke up with a pulled hamstring.

She did not slow her stroll away, as she said, “There’s a good joke in there somewhere. Keep trying.”

Ouch. I forgot that I am living with my own worst critic and a teenaged critic.

Deflate any rumors they pick up with lightning speed. A few times now, she has announced a bogus news flash. Everyone is used to my reflexive skepticism, but at times like these it’s dependably reassuring, I bet.

Anything you hear that’s too bad to be true, probably isn’t true.

In fact, this is a terrific time to work on teaching your teens how to evaluate their information sources. Their reflex to trust whatever they hear from close friends is perfectly natural, and it is precisely the reason we will never stop having wars. It’s not their fault, but it is your job to do your best to show them the light.

This is probably also a terrible time to blog about your teens, because they might actually read it. I’ll report back. Probably.


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