My son is nearing the end of year one as an official teenager. Thus far, I’ve not had to bear too much of what I call the “I Am Teen, Hear Me Roar!!!” effect until as of most recently.
Over the past several weeks/months, his appetite has drastically increased to the point where the first thing he says to me when I arrive home is “I’m hungry”. So, like many other mom’s of teenagers, I’m just going to call him “HUNGRY”.
I remember being a teen, but as a girl, even if I was hungry, I was likely so focused on maintaining my girlish figure, that food was secondary or even tertiary! I did have a high metabolism, as does his father, so perhaps that’s the issue.
I’ve done my son and myself a disservice, by not encouraging him to participate in meal preparation. Racking up on snacks is not my style, though I’ve entertained it a few times only to find that teenagers are not the best at rationing per se’, especially if it tastes good.
I remember my Dad used to “hide” food when my younger brother was a teen. I lived with them at the time. I’m 10 years older than my brother and my brother is 10 years older than my son. It’s all beginning to come back to me.
By living with them, as a single mom of a young child, I learned that teenagers will eat almost ANYTHING. I once attempted an organic diet of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, various products composed of soy, veggie burgers, tofu products, whole wheat pasta and such.
How many times do you think I came home to an empty carton of SOY milk?
How many teenagers do you know that will eat a tomato like it’s an apple?
I’m learning how-to-deal in various ways, including tips from my colleagues at my full-time work outside of the home job, from fellow bloggers, from magazines and e-zines, the internet and through social networking.
The best tip I’ve received thus far is regarding leftovers. I guess I missed the first signs of “I Am Teen, Hear Me Roar!!!”, where he suddenly lost interest in leftovers. Looking back, that likely occurred at the onset of the teenage years, about a year ago. Without enduring the constant leftover lunches myself, my fridge is constantly in danger of becoming a Penicillin breeding ground. Instead, a colleague suggested the following response:
TEEN: I don’t want leftovers!
Parent of Teen: Well, you can eat again tomorrow when I make something else.
At first, I felt like a bad mom. Sadly, I still entertain him, when I know his Dad does not or won’t. He knows more than he lets on and it’s time to stand my ground!
The kid will learn how to be self-sufficient (to a point), or else he’ll end up being one of the grumbling entitled workers that we encounter on a daily basis, whether it be in retail, hospitality, customer service or warehouse, etc.
Tonight, my significant other will work his second day at his part-time job for extra income. He’s been the meal-maker, as I’ve been the breadwinner. Tonight, I will be tasked with making dinner. Tonight, I will engage “HUNGRY”.
I’ll let you know how it goes! I’d love to hear your tips and tricks on how to deal with a hungry teenager! I’ve got about 8 hours before I need to make a dinner decision, so please comment below!
Stay tuned for more posts in my journey as a single working,mother of a teen.