Finally. After about 400 attempts I have remembered (or happened upon) my Blog password. Though my memory is showing signs of decay my persistence should be a lesson to the younger folk.
Having been a procreative dinosaur I am lucky enough to have children but unlucky enough that they are experiencing their later teenage years. They have been kind enough to share their tribulations with myself and Mrs. Jerk Dinosaur. In fact it is difficult to escape their constant derision of school, chores and life in general.
Yes. I was a teenager once but it does not mean I understand them. The mists of time may have blurred my recollection of growing up but I do not remember ever being so self-entitled as today’s generation.
I look upon my progeny with a mixture of pride, frustration and foreboding. Before me I see two beautiful, talented and blessed individuals. When they apply themselves they are brilliant. Each has their own particular gifts and interests wholeheartedly supported by their mothers (yes – modern blended family) and I. Recently there has been little application or commitment to anything on their part.
Teenager 1 has all but given up on school going from an all ‘A’ to a ‘D’ student in the first part of this year. It is a constant act of diplomacy between my wife and the school to get extensions for homework and assignments all without any appreciation. Teenager 1 seems determine on achieving a Doctorate in YouTube and Gaming. She devotes endless hours to this past time. So much so there is a teenager shaped sag in the couch. Despite my encouragement and more recently criticism she refuses to see the consequences of failing school.
What would I know. I am a “crusty old dude” with no sense of how life is now. According to teenager 1 parents don’t know how to parent, teachers don’t explain things properly and school is an imposition that does nothing to prepare anyone for life.
According to both my girls, life is hard and everyone else is to blame. Honestly, I’d hate to be a teenager now. I cruised through life by being average. What ever life threw at me I managed to negotiate it and land on my feet. Average doesn’t cut it anymore. We want our children to be successful and follow their dreams. They appear to waiting for the life they want to fall in to their laps without lifting a finger.
It is frustrating to sit idly by and watch opportunity slipping away. Procrastination rules. Teenager 2 is distracted by peers and the pressure to remain included. It seems you can only remain in the club if you are mediocre and a slave to trend. The latest hot fashion or gossip magazine is gospel. I am dumbfounded by teenager 2’s need to cake on layers of make up in practice for her weekend trip to the mall with friends. Oh, the tears and tantrums when the look is not quite right.
I don’t think mirrors existed when I was a youth. In fact I try not to look in the mirror as I go about my morning ablutions. I carefully avoid the uncapped lipsticks, foundation, hair crimpers, hair straighteners and false eyelashes. Scary. The first time I saw a false eyelash in the bathroom I thought it was a mutated spider and belted it flat with the heel of my shoe.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I am worried for my daughters. I am hoping that this is a phase they are going through. It is a dog eat dog world out there. With the advent of the Internet the world is a smaller place with an employment pool that is far greater than what it once was. Where I competed with maybe one or two kids for my first weekend job, the kids of today compete against thousands of online applicants across the globe. The cream rises. Employers are seeking exceptional over average even for the local paper round.
I’ve seen my girls grow and develop into fine young women. They are exceptional in my eyes. Without putting too much pressure on them I want them to be exceptional and indispensable to any future employer. I want them to be happy