(A.K.A. Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live)
This is now where I go to for all of my parenting know-how. It is a veritable fount of knowledge that is mostly hidden from the public under the guise of rude comedy and things we adults like to make fun of on a daily basis.
I hesitate to share my new-found parenting GOLDMINE, but I will do this because I like you people, and also because one of my new life goals is to be less troll-like, so I will offer up social interaction as a way to start conversation. (I hear that’s what non-trolls do in their spare time.)
Anyway, one evening, while watching SNL and enjoying a rousing skit of Rude Buddha, http://www.nationalconfidential.com/20120304/video-snl-rude-buddha-with-lindsay-lohan/ I learned a little trick to sounding oh, so wise. This has recently come in quite handy with our overwrought teenager who is dealing with the angst and stress that accompanies life as a first-world teenager. (Oh Ma Gawd, the pressure is tremendous!)
During a recent dramatic scene (Act 2, Scene 4, I believe…entitled ‘Why My Life Won’t Go How I Want It To’), I remembered Rude Buddha enlightening his followers by making up enlightening statements to solve their problems on the fly. You know, he just pulled solutions out of his ass at random intervals. So I figured, hey, why not? How much worse could it get?
Thus far, we being the wretched parents that we are, had been unable to solve the teenager’s problems, so why not give it just one more try. We went for the Samberg Method. Fake enlightenment.
So, it goes a little something like this. During mid-crisis, just make something completely ridiculous up. (The more ridiculous, the better.) When you do this for the first time, if you have done it correctly, your teen will look at you as if you have been smoking crack. If you get “the look,” you have succeeded in throwing a mental speed bump right in the middle of their mental breakdown. Yay for parental success.
Careful though! You absolutely MUST keep a straight face while pulling this off. Practice in front of the mirror a couple of times for good measure.
If the tirade continues, you may need to do this multiple times. Fear not. Make up things up as you go. You can be enlightened by anything—things you see or hear or whatever. That’s all part of the fun. Of course, we may be paying for psychological care for our kids later, but it’s sure fun for now.
Here are some helpful examples:
Teenager: My coach says I have a terrible attitude!
Parent: Well, we need to remember that potatoes only grow underground.
Teenager: (Confused look, followed by eye roll.) I don’t even GET what you are saying.
Teenager may continue tirade: I had a terrible day! I had to sit on the bleachers, and I got yelled at!
Parent: I’m sorry you had a bad day. Just remember that the river always looks wider before you begin to swim across.
Teenager: What is WRONG with you? Are you listening to me?
Parent: Yes, I am trying to help you. Sometimes it helps to put things into perspective. (Inside head…Bwa-ha-ha! Evil laughter ensues.)
Teenager: I’m going to bed! This has been a terrible day!
Parent: Good night. Love you. Don’t forget that a wet towel never holds as much water.
Teenager: (Huff. Eye roll. Door slam.)
Parent: (Leans back, smiles, sips wine.)