TEN new year's resolutions that will change my life… maybe.
I'm not making any new year resolutions for myself but because I am such a generous and caring mum I have prepared a list of resolutions that will change my teenagers' lives (and hopefully mine too).
1. Learn a new craft… I suggest you start with the complicated and challenging art of hanging up a wet towel. Not only will you have a dry towel for your next shower you won't have to listen to me yell at you about the mountain of wet towels turning mouldy in the corner of your room.
2. Practice awareness… so that when I am reading a book or the bathroom door is closed you will be fully aware of the fact that I will not take kindly to being interrupted unless you are offering to cook dinner.
3. Be generous. If you can afford new toys, designer clothes, eating out regularly and expensive phone plans for yourself you can afford to get me more than a box of chocolates for my birthday. Even if I say "Don't spend too much on me", what I actually mean is buy me something thoughtful because you want to spoil me not because I told you too.
4. Pay your debts… you may think a loan from me is interest free and I may not send out collection notices but I do expect to be paid and I will nag you daily if I have to until your debt is repaid.
5. Say please and thank you, especially to your parents. We have spent years drilling this into your young minds and it makes us ridiculously proud and happy when you appreciate us spontaneously....in fact we may be so grateful we knock a few dollars off any debts you might have.
6. Respect our privacy as much as you demand your own… If you don't like me walking into your room unasked, even if it is to deliver a load of freshly washed clothes and towels, there's a fair chance we might feel the same. As much as the idea freaks you out your parents do have sex (maybe not as often as you but it does happen) so unless the house is on fire do not open that door.
7. Answer your bloody phone. Never is your phone more than 10cm out of reach so if it rings and you don't answer it we tend to jump to conclusions that involve ambulances and police officers. So just answer the phone or send a text if you are going to be late or not coming home for dinner.
8. Delete the word "later" from your vocabulary… Few things irritate parents more than that word. Parents are not as dumb as you think we are - we know that later is just another way of saying "that is never, ever, ever gonna happen".
9. Surprise us… And it is pathetic how little it takes to surprise and impress most parents. If it is raining close the windows and take the clothes off the line; tidy your room for absolutely no reason or mow the lawn because you noticed it needed to be done ... see I told you it was simple.
10. Be happy and don't be afraid to show it… It's really all we want for you and if we can see you are happy with your work, study, hobbies, friends and partners we will be happy.
That's my wish list for 2013 - what would you add or change for your teenagers or have you just given up on trying to change them?
*Life with teenagers can be like an out-of-control roller coaster. I go undercover to blog about the everyday dramas of raising my otherwise perfect teens.