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My Preteen Thinks I'm Uncool!

My Preteen Thinks I'm Uncool!

Maybe you're like me. I thought I was a pretty hip mama, but I'm really just uncool.

1. If you're like me, you are just out of style!

Our clothes are frumpy; our hair is dumpy, and our shoes are out of style. Our jeans come up too high at the waist, and they are too narrow at the ankles. Our shirts are too loose, and we usually don't layer three or four of them at one time.

2. If you're like me, you are out of sync!

Our music is too soft and low. (Gee, our parents thought our music was too loud!). To make matters worse, we listen to CDs, cassettes or (worse yet!) vinyl LP records. And we aggravate everyone under 20 when we pump our music through stereo speakers, instead of directly into our ears on Ipods or MP3s.

3) If you're like me, you are nosy!

We hang around in the kitchen or family room, while our preteens' friends are visiting. We ask our preteens where they are going, when they want to leave the house. We inquire about where they have been, when they return. We still want to know if they have eaten, as well as what they ate. Worst of all, we have the nerve to ask them, "How was your day?"

4) If you're like me, you are unreasonable and mean.

We insist that homework and household chores be completed before the electronic entertainment systems are switched on. We demand that pets be fed, beds be made, and clean laundry be put away. We threaten to confiscate cell phones, MP3 players, video games, and other goodies, on a whim (such as for sassy talk, direct defiance, and unsatisfactory academic grades). Preadolescents will label this as surliness. Of course, this makes us the worst parents in the world.

) If you're like me, you are too paranoid!

We make all kinds of outrageous rules, making our preteens call us when they arrive at their friends' homes and insisting on curfews. We may even poke around their bedrooms a bit, while we are dropping off stray items (left elsewhere in the house). In doing so, we may inadvertently move some personal item on a shelf or desk. (This can trip off a major conflict from the preteen, who is certainly not paranoid at all. He or she will simply want to know why we were inspecting their private space without a search warrant!)

6) If you're like me, you are selfish and stingy!

Everything a preteen does costs money. Even biking to visit the preteen down the street will require funds. It does not help to remind a preadolescent that she just earned $20 for babysitting, Grandma sent him money his birthday last weekend, or you gave her an allowance yesterday. If you refuse to fork it over today, you will be tagged a miser.

7) If you're like me, you don't know anything!

Preteens know everything about every possible subject. Just ask them!

8) If you're like me, you are growing cooler every day!

Surprisingly, by the time these aspiring grownups reach their mid-teens (and seek car keys), they seem to change their perceptions of us.

Quite suddenly, we find that we are not as uncool as before. In fact, the barometer on my own coolness meter is rising quite quickly. (I just got invited to the mall with my teen and her friends. Do they want my company, or just my credit card?)

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