Mind Candy

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Things you should never say to your teenage daughter

Posted by mandyf on January 30, 2013

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but teenage daughters are from somewhere beyond anyplace the Hubble telescope has managed to pick up yet. Communicating with a teenage girl requires an interpreter, a lot of patience, and I would say common sense but sometimes that even fails to penetrate the atmosphere around your teen daughter. Okay, maybe not yours, but definitely mine. I’ve searched high and low for the right things to say to mine, but in the end I’ve only managed to find out what not to say which has proved equally valuable.

Rule number one is to never use the word forbid! This gets their brain firing like a feline needing a catnip fix. This is a challenge, you’re throwing down the gauntlet. I was once said “I forbid you to get a nose ring.” Now in all fairness my little precious did not come home with a nose ring. She came home with a belly button ring, a tongue stud, and some piece of metal that kept staring at me from the eyebrow area on the right side of her face. She put up a good defense citing she did just as I said and avoided the hole nose ring thing. Being right was little consolation when she was sitting in her room for a month after school though.

Never ever under any circumstances use the words “around” or “about” when discussing time. You have to be specific! I once said be in by around ten. That is not specific. What I should have said was “be in by ten p.m. on the night of 12/09/2007” because that is concrete. What I originally said using the word around ten somehow makes it’s way through the auditory system of a teenage girl as maybe eleven or twelve, or even the tenth day of the month. Ten p.m. is generally “around” that time in the grand scheme of things. Who knows? You have to remember putting information in their mind is like programming a computer, if it is not literal it is open to a huge world of interpretation and fills in the blanks with the most personally pleasing data.

Never ever tell them about the things you did when you were their age, unless of course it’s something like getting a job and saving money for college, or perhaps volunteering with the sick and elderly. Somehow a teenage girl is wired to store every single thing you have ever said and throw it right back at you the exact second you try to punish them for doing the same thing. They will use it against you in the snippiest most snide way possible so you walk away from the exchange looking like the evil unjust hypocrite and they look like poor persecuted Snow White. Even worse than that it’s possible they will attempt the things you did and try to pawn off their shenanigans as some sort of alternate universe form of bonding. It’s not uncommon to hear things in this scenario like “but mom, I was just trying to be like you were when you were my age.” Don’t fall for it!

Never tell them what kind of boy, or girl depending on their preference, to date. No matter what you say they will go directly against it. That is unless of course you tell them to go for the bad boy. Never say “date the kid with a charge for grand theft auto and a snake tattooed on his forehead” because they will do it! Even if they don’t want to they will do it to spite you and prove their point. What that point is I’m not even clear on and I did that to my parents as a teen! In fact don’t even talk to them about dating, just let them figure it out on their own and when the are hopelessly lost they will come to you and maybe consider listening to your advice. Of course whatever you say will be wrong and they will blame you for their dateless dilemma so it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Don’t tell your teenage daughter anything you wouldn’t want used against you in a court of law or blabbed about to the public in general. Teenage girls gossip and yours is no different. It used to take a whole night and hours on the phone to spread a juicy morsel, now it reaches the world in audio, text, and sometimes video in a matter of seconds thanks to cell phones and computers. Remember what you said to your spouse about your neighbor Marjorie and what she did with the UPS man when her husband was at work? Your daughter sure will and that is why before you yourself gossip in the home you need to go down to the Bat Cave and enter the cone of silence. Anything you say in the house, no matter how quietly you whisper, your teen daughters bionic hearing will pick up and instantly disseminate.

It is easy to go on and on for days about all the things to never say to your teenage daughter but if you stick to the above major no-no’s you should be okay for the most part. Most important is if the conversation ever turns to sex…fake a heart attack. Yes it’s cruel and extreme but sometimes it’s worth it.


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