Raising Teenage Boys: Laughter Is the Best Medicine for This Single Mom by Tammy Read

Raising Teenage Boys: Laughter Is the Best Medicine for This Single Mom

Raising teenage boys is challenging. Raising them as a single parent can feel like repeatedly getting hit by an 18-wheeler when you're just trying to cross the road. That's funny, right?

I thank God for my sense of humor. I keep it in my "Mommy Survival Kit" along with a box of chocolates and bottle of white wine. Every single day brings a new challenge, but it also brings the same exact challenge from the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that... You see where I'm going here. We just keep adding a new challenge daily to keep me on my toes while still not forgetting the challenges of the previous day that no one learns from.

These challenges are usually simple. I have good kids – mostly. Well, I have one good kid anyway. The other is the reason I added a bottle of white wine to the Mommy Survival Kit. The high school years for my oldest are rough – on me! You've heard parents threaten their kids with the saying, "I hope you have a kid just like you when you grow up!" Well, my in-laws got what they threatened.

I wish my parents' will was much stronger. You would be reading my article on raising a genius if that were the case. My oldest does things like not go to bed when I tell him to. He yells at video games like a truck driver in 5 o'clock rush hour traffic in New York City. He goes out with friends when he knows he's grounded because I'm not at home to stop him.

Discipline has always been a struggle for me. I used to take electronics away from him as punishment, only to give them back quickly because he would either go and torture his little brother to use his electronics or he would follow me around the house repeatedly asking me what I did with his stuff. This is why I tried the white wine to block him out, but let's face it, that's not the best example of parenting. I'm not knocking it, though. I'm surviving.

So then I tried punishments that would essentially just make me laugh and torture him a little bit. When he wouldn't listen to me, I forced him to listen to Miley Cyrus songs that I blared from the center of the house and then I sang over the top of Miley. I can really belt out "The Climb." Things did disturb him a bit when I grabbed onto his big punching bag when I sang "Wrecking Ball."

The problem is, this is my kid, too, and my personality comes through at the most inopportune times for me. He started grabbing spatulas from the kitchen and using them as a microphone singing along with Miley and me. It became a fun thing for us, and you can catch us every night after dinner putting on a show in the kitchen. We have actual microphones now, though. We got pretty serious.

Sometimes I just try sternly yelling at him. I wish you could hear my voice because then you would really understand why yelling is not a viable option for anything but a laugh. Let's just say my high-pitched voice would make a great voiceover for a cartoon character. Now add that to the fact that I am about 8 inches shorter than my son. I tried to rectify that one time by standing on a living room chair to yell at him. Great idea, right? Get a little height so he has to look up to me. Word of advice: don't stand on a soft chair cushion that actually makes you sink lower. Good thing about that is we both couldn't help but laugh at that and then forgot what he was in trouble for.

You just got to laugh to survive the teenage years. You will still feel like you're getting hit by an 18-wheeler daily, but eventually you will cross the road and laugh about how you got there.

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Laurie Balles Simpson
Tammy, I was literally cracking up reading this. I mean...tears down my face. As a fellow single parent of two teenage boys, thank you for sharing this!
Donna Turn
You're so LOL Funny. I have to admit I was laughing along with you, & I am glad you & your son laugh about it too. Thanks for sharing this lil ditty with us. Prepare to write a book. One day you might make it to the Ellen show!
Tammy Read
You know I keep trying to get Ellen's attention...haha!
Tammy Read
Thanks Julie Rose!
Elisa Schmitz
OMG, yes! I was nodding my head the whole time, Tammy Minnoe . So relate-able. Thank you for sharing this. You are not alone, LOL!

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