11 Things You’ll Learn When You Live With A 16-Year-Old

For the past few months I’ve been minding my friends daughter, a scruffy, geeky 16 year-old hipster. With no kids of my own and having spent little time with teenagers since being one myself, it’s been… interesting. This is what I’ve learned:
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Shutterstock

1. They think hickeys are cool and parade them about on their necks like a badge of honour.

2. They’re part of the rather new and secret Tumblr club, and like, really dig hanging there.

3. They’re online or texting pretty much 97% of their life. I’m pretty sure even when they’re sleeping their fingers still simulate a texting motion.

4. When you pick them up from school they’ll either talk your ear off or sit in silence (probably texting) without murmuring the slightest nicety.

5. Unless directed otherwise, they’ll use a new towel after their shower every day and discard yesterdays one on the bathroom floor.

6. Despite the rule: “Boyfriend is not allowed to sleep in your bedroom,” they’ll pull all the tricks in the book to sneak him in. The old “We just fell asleep while watching Netflix!” is a classic!

7. They’ll happily live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and mac and cheese for dinner.

8. They’re grown up enough to start having sex and drinking at parties but not grown up enough to cook, clean the dishes or do the laundry.

9. With teens, the notion of impermanence is so exaggerated! They can be indifferent to you in one moment, then you’re the coolest person alive the next, they’ll bitch about you on the phone to their friend because you didn’t let them go see that movie on a school night, then later they’ll turn to you for a cuddle and some paternal advise.

10. Whilst being mature enough to engage in a real conversation with you, they’re also close enough to childhood to disarm you with their exquisite innocence and naivety.

11. When you take them and a best friend out to a Thai restaurant for dinner, don’t expect to have fun. They’ll begin behaving like monkeys, throwing spoons across the table at one another and falling into uncontrollable giggling fits at “in jokes” you are not privy to. TC mark

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