I’ve raised two sons as well as two daughters, and it seems that in every stage of my boys’ lives, from the moment they stood unassisted to when they took their first steps, there was a battery of things I NEVER imagined I would have to say to my little male bundles of joy. When they were young, it was the simple stuff like, “Don’t stick your fork in the electrical outlet” and, “Stop eating dirt—that’s not part of the food pyramid.”
Raising boys is a whole different ballgame, and their teen years are known to reduce even the toughest of parents to a puddle of anxiety and insecurities. If you have uttered one or more of the following statements to your teenage son, you’re not alone:
1. If you keep “borrowing” gas money from me, I’m trading in your car for a Vespa.
2. You’re gonna need a chain saw to cut those toenails.
3. Just because you have laser lights and a stereo system the size of a Winnebago, it doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to have your friends over every weekend to host a rave in your bedroom.
4. You’re going to have arthritis in your fingers by the time you’re twenty-five from using your cell phone 24/7.
5. All that dirty laundry on your closet floor is making your room smell like a Porta Potty that needs a hazmat team to clean it.
6. Pay your speeding tickets before you end up on a television episode of Cops.
7. No, you will not get carpal tunnel syndrome from flushing the toilet several times a day.
8. You need to make a cell phone payment instead of spending your entire paycheck on sneakers…unless, of course, you plan on ditching the wheels in favor of using your feet like Fred Flintstone to get around.
9. Yesterday there was a five-pound ham in the refrigerator, and now it’s gone. A gallon of milk, two bags of chips, a loaf of bread and an entire box of Oreos are also missing. If you step on the bathroom scale, I think I can solve the mystery of the missing food.
10. Belching the alphabet is not a skill that women find attractive.
Thankfully, one of my sons is now an adult who has turned into a fine gentleman. My youngest (and feistiest) still has a few more years to go, but the way I see it, he’ll probably be the one who ends up married with four children. And hopefully, they will all be boys.