The Young Teen in Your House

In His Solitude by Charly Palmer
In His Solitude

Little kids love summer. Big kids love summer. But what about teens?

My kids looked forward to every summer until they became teens, and then everything changed. Suddenly, running through the sprinkler just didn’t thrill them anymore.

I was used to them rising early to run out and play with their friends. But once the teen years hit, they’d sleep later and later, completely missing summer mornings and sometimes needing to be called for lunch.

I remember worrying that my older son would suffocate in his room. By 11 am, he was still sound asleep with the window shut tight while the sun heated up that end of the house. My attempts to rouse him were greeted by growls, as though he were a confused bear who thought he was still hibernating through the winter.

Once conscious, he’d stumble downstairs, where the hunger that had built up over 12 or 13 hours of sleep made him eat as though he’d gone days without food. His enormous breakfast would segue into lunch with the rest of us, and he kept on eating. Then he’d head outside to play basketball with friends for the afternoon, come home in time to eat an enormous dinner, and play on the computer before lapsing back into his night-time coma.

I learned from friends with older children that this was actually par for the course for growing teen boys. Looking back, it makes sense to me now. After all, it takes a lot of rest and nourishment to grow to 6″ 4″ and wear a size 16 shoe! But at the time, I was quite mystified.

Do you have a young teen in your house this summer? Are you mystified by some of the things you’re seeing him or her do? As teens’ bodies change, their emotions and behaviors change, too. Learn more about how to live with your teen in my free Special Report, “Ten Tips for Coping with Temperamental Teens.”