How To Talk To Your Salty Teenager #1


When you have a salty teenager, it’s important to get on his or her level.  You need to be quick with the comebacks.  You need to know the lingo.  You gotta get hip with the vibe.  You GOTTA maintain a silent trickery, otherwise – what fun is it?

This is your chance.  Most teenagers walk a fine line between crazy and self-obsessed.  Their brains are weird, but still somewhat moldable.  The world is beginning to look and feel more and more cut-throat.  It is your job to provide the comic relief.  This will also stave off your own temptation to have a nervous breakdown and wind up in a padded room.  Laugh or cry, baby!

One thing I like to do is let them know I’m onto the drug lingo.

As I’m walking out the door, I like to say things like “I love you, buddy!  Do your homework!  Please do all of your chores perfectly!  And don’t smoke crack!”  Say it nonchalantly, and shut the door quickly.

I also like to leave notes.  Such as: “Help yourself to the beans, cheese & tortillas available to be made into simple burritos.  Also — NO METH, NO KUSH & NO LEAN. love, mom.”

Whenever you can, casually walk around pretending to talk to someone on your cell phone, saying things like “Yeah, I was CRUNK the other night!  Woo!  What a party!”

I think “crunk” means drunk plus crank?

The teenagers realize that you are full of shit, but they also have less to prove.

On another note, definitely DO play favorites with your children regarding their music choices.

I have one son who is super into Duke Ellington these days.  Another who is into Tyga.  I clearly have a favorite, and I am not shy about re-iterating who that favorite is when it is time to choose what we listen to collectively as a family.  Feel free to judge me.  Then listen to a song (any song) by Tyga, and judge me again.  That’s right – playing favorites with my children is totally legit.

It’s important to express your favoritism in a reasonable way – such as “Thank you *ustin, my favorite son, for playing music that is chill and classy, not totally shitty and degrading.”

That’s all for now, folks.  I’ll try to keep you posted with my amazing parenting skills — as the epiphanies come to me, I will share them.


hang in there.






You are my child

Born of my flesh, my blood, my labor

You are my child

And sometimes I fail you so completely

Sometimes I just don’t get it

How to reach you

How to connect


Child of my body, Child of God

Please forgive my clumsy efforts

at parenting


I just say all the wrong things

Especially when I attach myself

to the drama of the moment

Could I please have a hall pass

when I don’t know what to do?


Child of Light,

you came here for your own special reason

Your own karma

I don’t control that

Your destiny

is not at all

under my jurisdiction


I will wait for you, dear child of mine

I will wait for your teenage brain

to stabilize

I will wait for my own fears to subside,

and maybe that will help

Maybe you will sense

when the swords I carry

as your Mama Bear

are laid down

Maybe then,

you will feel safe to approach me

as a human who just adores you

in this way that is beyond language

and beyond intellect

Maybe then,

my overwhelming love for you

won’t feel like another obstacle

for you to push against


Sweet child of mine,

Thank you for coming to this Earth

Thank you for choosing me as the vessel for your entrance

As the mountain for your shelter

As the indiscriminate heart for your perfect evolution


Dear child,

I am here

You don’t have to do anything

Say anything

Be anything

Or prove anything

I am simply


Of your existence


Bless this life

That lives and breathes and moves

In you

and I