A teen and parent's view........

Firstly - the teenager........

Today I had an argument with my parents, because I came home from a boring school trip and just wanted to sit back, relax and watch some TV, but my mum insisted I go and help my Grandma in the garden, so I did. I wasn't entirely happy but I enjoyed it once I thew myself into it. Then afterwards I wanted to watch 1 hour of TV but after 45 mins my dad told me I couldn't watch anymore TV. This really annoyed me and I argued with both my parents. I was angry because they were telling me what to do and weren't listening to my opinion. I stormed off to my room and cooled down. Once I put everything in perspective I felt quite silly for getting so angry about it. I apologised and now everything is good.

And now the parent......

Today my teenage daughter came back from a local school trip (hardly a tough day of exams!) and slumped ole she'd just done an Ironman triathlon event! Meanwhile my 80 year old mother was in the garden putting in some bedding plants she'd insisted on buying to brighten up my rather neglected garden. While she struggled to bend and stretch planting these flowers, my teenager slumped I was trying to finish some work (I work from home) so I asked her to help her gran...Well, you would have thought I'd asked her to complete the 2nd Ironman of the day with the look of angst and martyrdom on her face. That said, to her credit she did actually go and help.

Later when my husband came home and she'd resumed her earlier position, he was generally irritated by the 'Championship' slumping going on, while our daughter slouched at her desk with the statutory 3 devices open - phone, tablet and PC!

He suggested she disengage from said devices as spending all her time on them is generally accepted as not a good thing....So this request was perceived as not just the 3rd Ironman of the day but something close to an attack on her civil liberties - the ensuing "conversation" when quickly up the defcon ratings until it was an all out shouting match - followed by the almost inevitable storm out, bang door finale!

In retrospect, this was not a good moment to discuss the dangers of excessive screen time and multi tasking. Better to have that much needed debate proactively and at a time when neither pf is parents were irritated and hence less able to be balanced and to listen to her give vent to her thoughts and feelings. We probably would still not have agreed with them, but at very least could have made her feel heard.

Luckily we did have the good sense to leave her alone to fume in her room and get it out of her system - let the "Red Mist" subside on all fronts, which enabled the subsequent "kiss and make up"

A lesson learnt? Maybe!

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