Don’t Let Teenage Grumbling Get In The Way of Parenting

My college boy was home for the summer and we had a list of things we wanted to do together.  (Well, maybe I did.)  We had a French Exchange student staying with us as well, so we had lots of touristy adventures planned. One of those was to hike the Dipsea Trail from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. It was a seven mile hike through the Redwoods, over the mountain, with a beautiful descent to the Pacific Ocean.

The morning of the hike Lucas got up slowly and bleary eyed.  He said, “I’m not going.”

“What?” I asked. “Of course you’re going.”

“No. I was up late last night.  I don’t feel good.  I’m just gonna chill on the couch.”

“Lucas, that’s ridiculous. Get dressed. We are leaving in 30 minutes.”

“Mom, I don’t want to go! You can’t make me go!”

I looked at my 19 year old son, stubble on his chin, 5’10” a solid 190 pounds.  I sighed, “You’re right, I can’t physically make you go. But you said you would, and I have been looking forward to spending time with you.”

He shook his head, “You know, I don’t like how you are talking down to me.”

He was right.  I was annoyed.  I was acting “motherly” and I told him why.  “I am talking condescendingly to you, but that’s because you made a poor choice last night. You are obviously hung over and you want to waste this beautiful day on the couch, where you will still feel terrible. You wanted to go on this hike yesterday, and it upsets me that last night’s actions are effecting our plans for today. Get dressed, drink some water, take some Advil. You will feel terrible in the beginning, but I guarantee you will feel way better if you exercise and get some fresh air.”

“Argh! I don’t want to go. But I know if I don’t, you will make it way worse for me.”

I shrugged, “If you don’t go, you will regret your decision.  It will be fun.  Come on.”

“Fine.” Lucas grumblingly concedes, “Where is the Advil?”