Smells Like Teen Spirit In Here

Can you believe it has been 10 years since I first started this blog? 10 years since I started documenting my life as a Dad. Well it’s time I checked in on myself and what better time than when my oldest child just turned 13!

Yep, if the title didn’t give it away, I now have an official eye rolling and always ready to eat all the groceries teen. To be fair he doesn’t so much roll his eyes as he just puts up with my attempts at humour.

It’s a new chapter, or dare I say, a new book of parenting that I am writing/living IRL as they say. We survived the terrible twos. The actually more terrible threes. Whatever was in between five and seven was a blur and then the pre-teen angst that seemed so cute and easy to manage. You know, when your kid thinks they have it so bad. That’s when I was eye rolling a bit.

But now. The unknown for us. I think I would have more success understanding the Metaverse at this point.

All I have to go on is remembering what life was like when I was 13. Fire up the microfiche machine.

Now I would definitely say our 13 year old has a lot of similarities to me at that age. Like me he’s super tall, super hungry and super helpful. But that only gets me so far when understanding how to be the parent of a teen in 2022.

Things that I can still relate to:

  • Pants get shorter quicker than you think
  • There is never enough food in your lunch
  • Money does burn a hole in your pocket
  • Going to bed no matter the time is still a bummer
  • Keeping your room clean seems like a job

So what do we have going for us? Well, we are quite fortunate that we managed to raise a pretty level-headed and thoughtful kid. That whole theory of if you put in the work, you will reap the rewards is playing out so far. This isn’t bragging because parenting is not a competition. Every kid and every situation is different. We could not be happier at year 13.

So what has changed in my blogging approach now my kids are older?

I think it really means the focus turns back on to me much more. No more cute kid click bait stuff. No more hilarious tales of potty training or temper tantrums. In 2022 I would guess we must be all pretty tired of parenting tips, hacks, advice and stats.

Another interesting wrinkle of blogging with a teen rather than a toddler is, he can easily go and read this. He sees what we post on social media. He can give his opinion back to us. For me that means, not being a jerk about what I post or say online about him. I don’t think I was that bad 10 years ago, but I am certainly very aware of every photo or word I put on the Internet about our kids.

Both our boys have Instagram accounts which has become their gateway into social media. That is one huge difference from when I was a teen. You did something embarrassing and it had a life of a day or two. Now it NEVER GOES AWAY. So being on top of their social media activities and teaching them how to be a decent person is the challenge.

Having two boys, my wife and I have said a few times over the years that the main goal was to make sure they became respectful, grown men and not assholes.

It’s something that never stops.

Last week our teen got up at 7:15am on a Saturday and did his own laundry. Then he got his own breakfast and went about his morning. I did not have to do anything. I joked that the parenting is over and he’s good to go.

But I know that is far from the truth. 13 is only the beginning. There is high school, dating, driving, getting a job, drinking and so many M for Mature moments ahead that we are preparing for.

But that’s what makes it fun right? Helping to shape how another human becomes who they are and seeing what they turn out to be. Again, so far, so good.

Before I sign off and fire this post out into the digital world, I do have to take a look back at 13 years of being a dad. There is so much content out there making parenting seem like a chore and that you don’t want to become one. Sure, exploding diapers are no joke, but honestly, all the good, will always outweigh the things that suck.

So to wrap up on the teenager thing. It’s been a wild adventure that has moved fast. I feel like the last 13 years moved 10X as fast as the previous 13 years. Does that mean it will seem like days before my 26 year old is driving me to the hardware store to hang out with my friends?

For those parents who are just starting out. Enjoy it. Even the crappy parts. Even the sleepless nights. It goes by so fast. I know we all take a lot of photos and photos are great. But take short videos of even the most boring thing. You never know when you will need a smile going down memory lane. I wish I took more video. Hearing how your kids talk when they are little compared to now is pretty amazing.

10 years a dad blogger

I still can’t believe this little blog is turning 10. I did a little digging and in the decade this site has been live, it has seen over 300,000 views. Imagine if I had stuck with it on a fairly fulltime basis?? Still, 300K is pretty good for a guy who just wanted to have a place to share his thoughts as a second kid entered the world.

I guess now I will be posting about trying to stay one step ahead of a 13 and 10 year old rather than what it’s like to never get sleep. I have much more time to document my hobbies which as you know mostly has to do with BBQ.

I also have some other content ideas that have been on the backburner that may come to light. Stay tuned.

For those on the subscription list, please do reach out in the comments and let me know you are still there.

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