I recently read the most disturbing news story. The latest Teen Challenge craze. Trying to outdo themselves after eating Tide pods and walking into traffic blindfolded, they've now started the 48 Hour Disappearance Challenge.
Here's the thing with these challenges. People (adult people) claim - post reading these about these challenges - that today's youth are getting progressively more stupid.
I disagree. These youth, who could work an iPad with ease by the age of three, design apps in their sleep and can hack into websites - are not getting dumber.
But, there could possibly be some stupidity involved - just not entirely on the side of the teen population.
I'm no expert on parental-psychology but I actually think a huge portion of the nonsense (these "challenges" are the nonsense I'm referring to) is because somewhere along the line a parent or set of parents has failed to make their child understand HOW MUCH YOU WILL WRECK THEIR WORLD IF THEY SO CHOOSE TO PARTAKE IN THIS ASININE STUPIDITY.
And how stupid is that?!?!
You're the parent. You have parent super powers. Use. Them.
I know a lot of kids who have never chewed on a Tide pod. Why? We have access to Tide pods up here in the Great, White North - why are my children and their friends not giving these suckers a taste?
Probably, (and this is just a guess here) because I, and other parents I know, have made it abundantly clear that Tide pods aren't cheap and if you so choose to touch one, when you're in my house, it will be to toss it in with a load of whites and start the stinkin' washing machine!
This is part of using the super power granted to you at parenthood. The ability to teach a child that making stupid decisions involves severe consequences.
Not laying out these consequences and following through with them??
That's the stupid part.
Ding, ding, ding - we have found a winner folks. The stupid parent award goes to - you who found out your child dined on a Tide pod and failed to serve them a heaping helping of household chores as the dessert to their culinary inquisition. Congratulations. Here's your Sucky Parent of the Year trophy.
What. the. hell. are some parents doing that doesn't make it clear to their child that if they want to "disappear" for 48 hours, it will not result in their picture on the nightly news but rather they will return to find their few meager belongings on the front lawn (clothes? No, I've purchased most of those clothes. They're mine. You can have the shirt Grandma gave you for your birthday and the pair of pants you bought yourself when we were school shopping.) and their cell service shut off.
Moms, Dads, Raisers-of-Hellcats, I'm tossing a Parent Challenge out there to you. If you have a kid that participates in the newest challenge craze - you make them understand they are already a challenge. They (if they're like normal kids) are a challenge to you each and every single day. And if that's not enough for them, if they feel they want to be MORE of a challenge - then I'm guessing you, like me, have a to-do list that could rival Santa's Good List - start delegating. Go ahead - challenge that offspring of yours. By the time you're done handing out your "challenges" they'll be too damn busy to participate in whatever their buddy is doing.
Not sure where to start?
Allow me. Feel free to just print out the text below.
You, dear teen with much time on your hands, can start by taking every single item in the fridge out and setting it on the counter. Then when its empty, run some soapy water and scrub every shelf and drawer in the inside. Then, don't bother putting everything back - Mama ain't had time for this since 2014. Check every expiration date on every bottle and container. Only put back the good stuff. Toss out any nasty or unidentifiable leftovers and organize it as you put it away.
Finished? Now do the same for the freezer.
The garage cabinet.
See you in 2023. Mama loves you. Toodles.
Step it up, parents. If your teen has time to partake in some crazy internet challenge - clearly, they have ample time to help you with all the challenging tasks you don't have time for and don't really want to do anyway.
Stop referring to these teens as stupid. Start referring that way to the parents who are doing all the household chores while their kids are off chewing on laundry soap.