Teens like to challenge their parents.
It’s not uncommon for an otherwise normal, intelligent teenager to associate with the worst people in the world and think it is his parents who are being unreasonable for being concerned about the friendship.
“What do you mean you don’t want me to be friends with Jimmy? He’s not a bad person. In fact, both his parole officers say he’s a good person,” a teen might argue.
My teen son is no different from the average teen when it comes to questioning the authority of his parents. But instead of normal teen questioning about friends, money, chores, or curfew, my son has differentiated himself and would rather question whether I know anything about anything, including how clothing sizes work.
We were at a store recently when he decided to take a stand about trying on garments before buying them. I thought it made perfect sense to see if the items fit before buying them. My son, on the other hand, thought I was an idiot.
We were there to buy him a few pairs of compression shorts. My son examined the brand of shorts in the store and was happy that they would be a suitable replacement for the brand we’ve bought before. He grabbed 3 pairs and was ready to head to the checkout lane when I asked him to try on one to make sure these shorts fit properly.
That’s when the trouble started.
“They fit,” he said.
“How do you know they fit?” I asked.
“They’re large. I wear large. Can we go now?” he barked.
“But they’re different brands,” I said.
“I can see that, Dad.”
“Which means that they might be different sizes,” I said.
“What do you mean different sizes? All larges are the same,” he said. “If all larges weren’t the same, there would be chaos in the clothing world.”
I knew if I didn’t nip it in the bud, we were headed for a heated exchange in the middle of the store. I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly as I thought of the best way to diffuse the mounting tension.
I wondered if soliciting the opinion of fellow shoppers would convince my son. I even considered doing a Google search so that he could take the opinion of total strangers over that of his own father. In the end, I didn’t need to do any of those.
My daughter stepped up and said, “Dad is correct. Sizes are different across different brands. Mom told me to be aware of this and I’ve seen it myself when shopping.”
“Really?” my son asked his sister.
“I know, right?” she said.
Moments later my son was searching for the fitting room to try on a pair of shorts.
As I waited for my son to come out of the fitting room, I wondered why he keeps choosing to stand his ground on topics that have easy to find answers.
But it is probably only a matter of time before my son wises up and starts to question me on topics where the answers are less black and white.
If there comes a time when he demands to hang out all hours of the night with friends (bad ones, I’m sure), I just hope my daughter is around to talk some sense into him.
Lord knows I can’t do it.