How to Retard Your Teenager’s Growth Into a Responsible Adult

Filed under:It's My Life,Priorities,Rants — posted by Anwyn on June 13, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

1) Allow her to attend functions at a church you yourself do not seem particularly involved in.

2) Allow her to make her own commitments to that church, such as, for example, participation in an especially codependent music group.

3) Plan a surprise slumber party for her birthday on a Saturday night, before a big performance at church the next morning; suddenly realize, on the night of the party, that your daughter’s commitment to the previously mentioned music group will, GASP, ensure that there are three or four teenagers not of your own family lying around your house on Sunday morning without your daughter to keep charge of them, and phone the director of said music group to imply that her expectation that your daughter appear at both dress rehearsal (at a moderately early hour on Sunday morning) AND the performance (an hour after the rehearsal due to competition for rehearsal time in the sanctuary) is a bit extreme and inform her that she “may or may not see” your daughter at rehearsal, though she will be at the performance, because you don’t want to let the music group down “one hundred percent.” Only fifty percent; that’s acceptable, since of course this is YOUR convenience we’re talking about, and never mind giving your sixteen-year-old daughter the option of keeping or breaking her own commitments by the lights of HER priorities and good judgment.

And some people wonder why the director has bad dreams.


  1. *shakes soy-sauce bottles at said mother in sisterly solidarity*

    Comment by Bumble — June 15, 2009 @ 6:31 am

  2. (For the uninitiated, inverted soy-sauce bottles are a reasonable way to simulate the weight/motion of handbells if you want to introduce somebody to the practice at home.)

    Comment by Anwyn — June 16, 2009 @ 7:25 am

  3. My teenage daughter volunteered to help with VBS this week. Yesterday she had an opportunity to go swimming with her cousins and flippantly told me, “Oh, we don’t HAVE to go to VBS *every* night.”

    I went a little ballistic… explaining to her that when she commits to that, she had BETTER have her butt THERE taking care of the little kids because people were DEPENDING on her to do it.

    Sheesh. I can’t imagine being on the other side of that coin. I want my kids to grow up understanding what it means to commit to something — and that if they think they might not be able to fulfill the commitment, they don’t do it. And that when the commitment ceases to be fun, they don’t get to back out of it. What kind of job will that kind of person be able to keep, if we suddenly one day don’t feel like going in?

    Comment by GradualDazzle — June 17, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace