Being a parent is a double edged sword. You want to be understanding and give them the benefit of the doubt, but you also don't want to be taken for a fool. Because most teenagers, by nature, are very egotistical, and they will try to turn any situation to their advantage. The younger teens want to be older when it comes to priviliges, and they want to be catered to as far as responsibilities are concerned. They older ones who are of legal age want to be independent and "do their own thing" without parental control, but they don't want to carry the financial responsibilities that come with such independence. So, being a parent to 4 such kids and also to a toddler can be a very challenging task. I like to take care of and do things for my kids, but I have to be careful not to enable them to claim ignorance and incompetence when it comes to basic shores. It is a very fine balancing act. I asked my youngest teen to clean her room for two days since we're having family from Sweden arriving tomorrow and two of them will sleep in her room. Her reply is "I'm gonna do it. I haven't forgotten" "I'm doing it after the gym". Well, it's after the gym, and I can hear her in the pool with her boyfriend. I have also asked everyone not to put their dishes in the sink, but to put them in the dishwasher. If it's full then empty it good damn it. If it's full but still dirty; then start the dishwasher, and wash your dishes by hand. But, this very simple concept is too advanced for these kids. So, I end up doing it all...not happily, I might add.
The other thing that really bothers me is that they think we are fools. They think we buy all their explanations or denials of incidents that have happened throughout their teenage years. Not so..., been there, done that, got the t-shirt so to speak. I'd rather they tell me the truth than have them believe they can lull me into some false sense of security. Ain't gonna happen kids. They may think we're from the stone age, but we really do know what's going on.