I’ve put together some helpful tips and hints in order to make it easier for my friends and acquaintances to easily ruin the lives of their teens. I have been so successful at this endeavor recently that it’s only fair I share some of the things that have helped me achieve this high rate of success. So if you find yourself feeling stuck, or if you see that your teen is suddenly acting too happy or content, try some of the following to get things back on track:
- When the teen in question asks for permission to get a nose piercing, immediately deny the request. It also helps if you say something sarcastic like, “Oh, absolutely…if you want your face to get infected and rot off!” or “I think that’s a great idea! We’ll do that right after we get your tattoos!” Then very quickly follow your sarcasm with, “And by that, I mean HELL NO.” (You know, just in case the teen in question is a little slow to pick up on the sarcasm stream.)
- When roaming bands of teenage boys randomly appear in your driveway to socialize with your teen and her friends, put on your best tube top and short-shorts, grab a plate of cookies, and head outside to join the party.
- After you have scared off the roaming band of teenage boys, demand that your teenager and her friends stay in the house after you have gone to bed so as to avoid being targets for midnight stalkers and creepers and such. This will make her really mad, because as she will tell you, she is invincible, and (eye roll) ‘Duh, MOM, nothing is going to, like, HAPPEN!’
- Insist that your teen do things around the house during her summer break—really horrific things like unloading the dishwasher or sweeping the floor. It’s important that you really work the Cinderella angle if you want to achieve total life-ruining status.
- It is also important that you make your teen get out of bed before noon during the summer time if you are going to be successful at ruining her life. Her inability to sleep the summer away is a pivotal aspect of the downfall of her life.
- You will also need to remind her where she lives. It may seem a little odd, but approximately 1.5 days into summer vacation, your teen will attempt to spend every single night at any house EXCEPT for her own house. It will become necessary to remind her that she does, indeed have a home and a family and that, no matter how lame we may be, we are the ones she is stuck with. At this point, your teen may roll her eyes so forcefully back into her head that it will appear she is experiencing a medical emergency. DO NOT PANIC. She is not having a seizure. This is merely a sign that you are nearing your goal of total life ruination!
- Finally, and this is the big one, you MUST remember to require your teen to interact with siblings as much as possible during her summer break. She should be seen in public—taking her little brothers to the park, for example, or accompanying her sister to the library. Visits to the community pool are also wonderful, because she will typically run into a slew of her friends (whose lives are also undoubtedly being ruined by their own parents) while she is forced to keep her little brothers afloat instead of lying on a chaise and tanning.
WHAMO! Your teen’s life is ruined—easy as that. I know, I’m a professional. It has taken years of practice and experience, but if you follow these easy steps, you, too, can go down in history as one of the most famed, life-ruining parents EVER! (Can’t you just hear the door slamming in your ear as you read this?)