Of parenting and teenage woes indiabusinessport.com

“No, no, it’s not ‘coronasomnia’ for sure, Tina,” quipped I. The conversation with my friend, was more of a ranting session than anything else.

Our teenaged children seem to be nocturnally-inclined beings and I could write a whole new version of ‘Vampire Diaries’!

Or maybe a self-help book for parents of teenagers. The tome would rest on the foundation that contrary to common belief, it’s a bad idea to even try and communicate with your teenager; because there’s an immense risk of cerebral collision, almost like an avalanche of Gen Z lingo hitting your being…and my words of wisdom seem to just ‘BOOMERang’!

My son thinks it’s fine to stay up until the witching hour, reading books on start-ups and watching videos saturated with ‘dark humour’, that I just can’t fathom. “If you relish dark humour, then it means that your IQ level is higher than average.” I frown at the back hand jibe!

My nephew remains awake reading “thriller novels”- defined as “novels that chill your bones, the ideal conclusion and the most positive thing that can happen to a character is that the monster murders him/her before devouring the sense organs”! Hearing this, my eyes roll, my ears yearn to be blocked, innumerable insects crawl under my skin, my nose can literally smell the gore and the tongue squirms with distaste.

Waking up the next morning is a struggle for most teenagers! “Look,” I tell the son sternly, as he eats his breakfast in slo-mo, eyes shut, almost shoving the cereal up his nose, “I want you to sleep earlier.”

“Ma, I am not sleepy, you see,” begins the boy sluggishly, in a tone that you might use to explain an abstract piece of art to a walrus and then suddenly you hear the splashing of the milk and cereal as the teen passes off into the bowl.

Yes, counselors in school might call upon you and say that it is absolutely “normal” for teenagers to “drown” thus into bowls of soup, dessert and cereal and be given the freedom to ‘be’, to be allowed to think independently and be left alone. However, if he is left to his own devices, his daily schedule could be devised as such:

Post dinner, read novels and watch dark comedy till 3 am.

Awaken at 3 pm the next day.

At 3:15 pm spills himself over the kitchen counter, hungrily, on a platter, as he listens to “Oh the misery…” chewing the lyrics more eagerly than the food in his mouth.

Once the stomach is satiated, his room could be exploding under a wave of cacophony- a mix of cricket commentary, guffawing at a stand-up act or movies on one of the various OTT platforms. That way the online classes in the times of Covid were ideal.

My friend’s offspring, Nemo, wears these over-sized denim pants.
There’s enough room in them for two more teenagers and may be the cricket kits too could fit in. The waist seems to be at knee level and the floors get swept, clean and nice. When the pants are bought, they probably visualize the pair fitting an elephant. I did read in an article that these pants are mainly worn by “bassers”. They are individuals who love a lot of bass in their music. They drive cars with a billion watts sound systems, sounds more like savages at war, bombarding each other with nuclear bombs!

The pandemic has further slackened them, with veteran parents consoling me, “Yours is a saint, Nav. He is so sorted in spite of the difficult months of Covid! Be thankful that he’s got Friedrich Nietzsche quotes scribbled all across his mind rather than some violent, nonsensical virtual game.”

As life crawls back to normalcy, with children going back to school and restoration of physical, social interactions, teenagers find some respite and so do their parents. To be fair to this generation of teens, I feel that have their boots more firmly fitted to the ground than we did, in our times. Such thoughts come upon me when I remember that nobody “understood” our weirdness as we grew. Times have changed and so have our thinking processes.

The other day, as I sat enjoying one of those rare, mellow and relaxed conversations with my son, he looked into my eyes and quoted his favourite philosopher, Nietzsche, in a very serious tone, “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

Food for thought, I’d say and probably the entire parenting experience will taste more delectable if one just went with the flow with more patience and resilience.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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