Living with "Kevin the Teenager"

Okay so BP is not actually a teenager yet, I guess I ought to clarify that he isn't officially a teen until August. I fully expect the scene where his body morphs and his hair grows and suddenly he is a grumpy, slouchy teen overnight. But at the same time over the last year or so I have seen those teen traits creeping into our everyday lives and this post is about what it's like living with "Kevin (or BP) the Teenager".


BP's moods are erratic at the moment, on minute he's really happy and the next he's almost crying. If something sets him off first thing in the morning (usually me reminding him to brush his teeth) he can be in a bad mood all day. It only takes a comment that he takes the wrong way or interprets as an insult and he goes into a strop. He shouts at his brother when he's annoyed at me or his dad, he stomps around the house trying to express his anger, and he slams doors. If he's in a particularly bad mood he may even cry. This hasn't happened for a while though.

Teenagers. Everything is so apocalyptic.

Kami Garcia, Beautiful Creatures

I have been told in the last week that I annoy him. He can't tell me exactly what it is I do that annoys him, but it has something to do with the tone I use to speak to him. We discussed it for a while and I pointed out that I only use the "I'm annoyed" tone when I've had to repeat myself a number of times. I've tried to emphasise that he is making choices to ignore me and that makes me angry because I have to repeat myself constantly. I don't know if the chat made a difference... I hope so.


This is kind of the same as the above, BP trying to show me that I can't control him. Not that I would want to control him. Like I said we had a discussion about his behaviour recently and I tried to make him see his choices are causing him to get shouted at. I even asked him how he thought I should act when he is disobeying me or not doing the things he's been asked to do. I didn't get much of a response.

Looking back I realise that when I was a teen I also thought my mum knew nothing and that she hated me, although in my case that may have been true! I am trying my best to not fly off the handle when he rebels, but it's definitely not easy.

Maturing Physically

BP is almost the same height as me, I never thought of myself as short until now! I'm 5ft5inches tall and BP is about half an inch shorter than me, or at least he was the last time we checked. He could be the same height by now! 

I have noticed hairs growing above his top lip recently too. It won't be long before the Hubby is going to have to show him how to shave. I know he's only 12 but that shadow above his lip is getting darker by the day and I'm sure the school will be in touch before long to ask that he shaves. We spent a little time laughing about it a while back but as the hairs grow more and become darker we're trying to not laugh so much. I don't want him to think we're making fun of him. It's a part of growing up and we're trying to make sure he knows he's closer to becoming a man.

I've noticed a distinct smell recently too, he needs to shower more often and his feet - ugh! BP took off his shoes in the car the other day and I had to tell him to put them back on. I know it's just a part of growing up but oh boy! 

Intellectual growth

It's not all bad living with a teen. When you catch them in the right mood you can have brilliant discussions with them and they tend to ask great questions too. While having breakfast in a morning we'll sit together and watch the news, on occasion BP has asked questions about what he's seen. Topics have included politics, money, and social care, along with many others. It is great to see him learning more about the world and being inquisitive too.

Adolescents are not monsters. They are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves. 

Virginia Satir

The sections listed above are just the things I can pick out and say they're traits of a teenager, but living everyday with "Kevin" is tough at the same time as being good/funny/entertaining. I am not laughing at BP, I'm just amused by the similarities to "Kevin the Teenager" and being able to see them as a parent, as I'm sure my parents did. 

Add to the above list a bedroom that is a tip most of the time; clothes on the floor, cups on the side, papers all over the place. His need to watch TV all the time, or if he's not watching TV then playing games, and if, god forbid, I tell him to put either off then the strops ensue. 

It is easy to focus on the bad side of being a parent to a teenager but there really are good bits too. Like his intellectual growth, I love being able to talk to him about politics or whatever we've seen on the news and hear his views. He gets particularly excited when he's talking about writing, which obviously I love! Those special moments when he comes for a hug too, out of the blue and a complete surprise, those hugs are amazing. 

I know that my eldest boy is going through changes, changes that will last a long time. I can only hope I'll be a good mum and see him through to the other side.

Are you a mum to a teen? How do you cope with your "Kevin"?