“When I was your age…” you tell your vampire teen, knowing they’ll listen to your every world. Excuse me while I fall off of my chair laughing. If things were only that easy. Most of us were the age of our children long before they were born; I’m talking 50-100 years or more.
The culture of my teen years is not the culture of my children. I was 13 in 1873. People were still talking about the Civil War. My husband was 13 during the Civil War. Even more distant is my BFF Elizabeth who was 12 in 1632. Samuel Pepys was watching Punch and Judy.
Modern teens still marvel at the idea that many of their parents had no computers in the home when they were teens and no Internet. When most vampire parents were teens there was no electricity, much less phones, recorded sound or shopping malls. How did our mother’s make it through the adolescent years without Target and Aeropostal? No really, I’m serious.
A few helpful hints for relating with and being actually helpful to your Vampire teen:
- Keep up with popular culture – this one of the top survival tools for any Vampire, especially vampire parents.
- Don’t be old fashioned. The phrase “When I was your age” will sink like a rock in water to your kids. Feel free to tell them stories of your youth – they will love and respect and understand you all the more for it. But don’t compare. We grew up in a different universe than they did.
- Retro is cool for parties, decorating and clothing but not a cool parenting style – especially not for Vampire teens. Retro is the kiss of death in the modern world for our kids especially.
- Modernize your mouth. Don’t used old fashioned terms when talking to your teen. Do not refer to your son and his popular friends as “Swells”. And whatever you do, don’t call them “Sheiks”.
- Never act like things were better when you were young. It wasn’t better – it was just different. No, actually it was worse. A lot worse. Deal with your own insecurities – don’t pass it on to your teen.
- Practice empathy by helping your child understand that it’s normal to be a bit concerned or self-conscious, and that it’s OK to feel grown-up one minute and like a kid the next.
- You couldn’t wait for your first corset and bustle. Your daughter can’t wait to wear make-up and strapless sundresses. Guide your teens into good taste but let them be individuals (and be grateful bustles and corsets are not everyday wear anymore).
- Read what they read. Keep up with the new world of YA literature. They aren’t reading Dickens unless they’re forced to. Today’s young adult literature is full of ridiculous vampires (always a real treat for us), violence, post apocalyptic worlds, draconian societies, Goths, fractured families, paranormal everything, and more sex and romance than we could have imagined when we were teens.
- Let your child know that some things are best kept within the vampire community.In English Lit your teen should know he can’t say, “My dad was friends with Oscar Wilde.”
- Be positive and encourage your Vampire teen to do the same!