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Posts Tagged ‘teens’

Bad Manners At Taco Bell

My youngest son has a good friend with terrible manners.  He’s a nice 14 year old boy, kind and generous to  a fault, but this kid almost seems proud of his bad manners.

After I spent twenty dollars at Taco Bell for fried chicken tacos, quesadillas and tacos made out of Doritos, Sandor said, “Thanks Mom, that was awesome.”

Then he shoved his friend, Jake.  “Say thank you, chicken butt!”

Jake shoved back”What ever.”

I’m pretty sure I sighed and rolled my eyes.  We’d been through this before. “Alright Jake, I’m not unlocking the car and were gonna stand here in the parking lot until you say thank you.”

He smiled at me, his shaggy hair nearly covering his eyes. Then he looked at the ground and mumbled something I literally couldn’t understand.

“Nope,” I smiled at him. I was playing hardball. “Not good enough.”

Sandor didn’t even mind me calling his friend out.  Jake’s terrible manners made him a little crazy.

Finally, Jake looked at me. I didn’t know if he was gonna flip me off or say something nice. “Thanks for the food.”

“Perfect,” I said as I gave Jake a big bear hug.

We have a serious rule in our world about good manners. Sandor is the youngest of four and the rule is pretty well etched in stone. If you are rude or disrespectful, you can’t come over. But I understand some parents don’t have the same obsession, so if I like the kid, and I like Jake a bunch, I try to work with them. I figure it’s “my house my rules.” And when Sandor goes to hang at a friends house, their parents get to make the rules.

Once everyone was buckled up I turned off the radio.  “Jake, good manners will make your life way easier.”

“How? My friends like me for my jokes, they don’t care.”

Sandor said, “Dude, you’re not that funny.”

Jake and I both ignored the comment. “Here’s the deal Jake, if you have good manners teachers will like you more. That’s makes your life better. If you have good manners parents like you more. Then you get invited to go to more cool places. Cause in the end it’s my call, not Sandor’s, who we invite over or take to the movies or laser tag or whatever.”

“Yeah, we took Sam to Florida with us because he had good manners,” Sandor added.

“And think about this,” I was on a roll with a class A lecture. “If you get pulled over by the police, and you will get pulled over and you have good manners there’s a way better chance he’ll let you off with a warning. If you’re a punk with bad manners he’s gonna definitely give you a ticket.”

At that point I made myself stop, even though I wanted to keep on going. I was on a roll. I turned up the radio and let the boys ignore me for a while. But I was still thinking.  It’s easy to teach good manners if you start when your child is young. Then people praise them for having good manners and the circle starts rolling.  But once a kid turns into a teenager it get’s tougher.  They resist. Jake almost seems to think good manners make him seem weak.

Maybe if we explain how good manners can benefit them, kids will understand. Maybe.

I got out of the car to let Jake out at his house. He was about to climb out of the back seat when I said, “Thanks for coming over, Jake.”

He stopped. He knew it was a trap. Then Sandor leaned over and whispered something to him. Jake got out of the car and mumbled, “Thanks for having me over.”

Then he gave me another sheepish smile and a hug.

Now, if I can just get my son to stop burping like a monster in front of me.

Jpeg

I’m trying to figure out if people actually read my blog…..so…

**I’ve got five free Be Nice Bumper Stickers for the first five folks who post a comment on the blog.  Just email me your address and I’ll mail your bumper sticker!

 

“Stop and Frisk” is for Idiots! or how to make kids hate cops forever

friskImagine for a moment that my son, Sandor, who is about to turn 14, his adorable girlfriend and his best friend, Sam  are walking down Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  It’s Saturday and they are going to see a 2 pm movie.  They laugh and push each other as they walk toward the movie theater.

A police officer pulls up next to them and gets out of the car.

“Hold up a second. I need to talk to you guys.”

Sandor looks at his phone, he doesn’t want to miss the movie.  His girlfriend suddenly  looks pale  nervous. She squeezes his hand. He squeezes back.

“I need to see some ID.”

They all shake their heads. “We’re only 14, we don’t have any ID. We’re just going to a movie.”

The officer smiles, but it’s not friendly.”Well, I guess you’re gonna be a little late late. We got a call about some kids spay painting a building just a few blocks from here. One of them is a blond. Where are you guys coming from?”

“Our house, right up the street.”

The questions go on and on an on.

“What’s the address?”

“Where are you going?”

“Who are your parents? Do they know where you are?”

“Where were you an hour ago?”

“Is that paint on your jeans?”

“Why are you in such a hurry?”

Sandor isn’t as nervous now, but he’s starting to get angry. “It wasn’t us, we’re going to the movie. Seriously. You can’t do this. We weren’t doing anything wrong.” He’s wondering, why is this cop hassling them?

“Yes sir,” the Officer says. ” I can do this. I need both you to put your hands on the back of my car.”

“Why?” Sandor asks and his girl friend starts to cry a little.

“Just do what your told, kid,” the cop says and pushes both boys against his car.  He kicks their legs apart, really wide.

The girl friend pulls out her phone and starts to call her dad but the police officer says, “Please put you phone away.” The girl does what she’s told.

The officer runs his hand up and down their legs, inside and out, around the waist band of their jeans. He reaches inside Sam’s boots, then checks the front pockets of their jeans and the pockets of their hoodies.

A car load of teenagers honk and holler as they pass by.

Then the officer gets a call on his radio. He says, “Don’t move” to the boys. Sandor is so mad and humiliated, he wills himself not to cry in frustration.  He wants to hug his girlfriend and tell her it’ll be ok.

He can read the words on the side of the police car “Protect and Serve.”He looks at Sam, he wants him to see those words too. But Sam is gone. His face is ashen  blank, absolutely empty. His eyes look as though he’s shut down.  Sandor knows that look. It’s how Sam looks when he’s beyond angry, when he’s thinking about revenge and getting even. It’s his game face. Sam never lets anyone see his real emotions. But he never forgets.

The officer returns, “Alright guys, your good to go. They picked up the kids working on another building. Stay out of trouble.” And then he’s back in his squad car and gone.

Sam and Sandor don’t know what to say. But now, at the age of 14, they both hate and fear cops.  The officer humiliated, embarrassed and violated them. He made them feel weak and powerless in front of the entire town, in front of the girl, and for no reason. This feeling will never leave the boys.

That’s what the “Stop and Frisk” policy does to young men. I understand it might lead to a lot of arrests. But      “Stop and Frisk” will to turn an entire generation of African Americans, Muslims, Hispanics and whites kids against law enforcement. The officers will never be trusted or respected. Just feared and hated.  And that’s not what cops want.

“Stop and Frisk” is a lazy and easy way to make arrests. But it will destroy any hope of having minority communities work with the police.

Our Law Enforcement Officers deserve better and our young people will demand better, or seek their revenge for being humiliated.

 

  • This story is one hundred percent a work of fiction.

Being 19 is The Worst!

lexoBeing a nineteen year old has to be one of the hardest things on the planet. Your technically and adult, so you are supposed to know what you’re doing. But nineteen years olds don’t even have fully develop brains so they might be crazy smart and still do the dumbest stuff. And it’s not really their fault!

Most 19 year old are on their own for the first time. So they have to deal with things they have never ever even considered. Landlords for example. He has power, he’s a grown man, he owns the place you live. You have to pay him money but you have to hold his feet to the fire and insist he fix things when they are broken.  Demanding a grown up do something for you for the first time is awkard. But that’s what happens at 19.

At 19 you don’t have your mom or dad making  judgmental observations about your friends. At first you think it’s great. But then, bad things start to happen because you accidently pick terrible friends.

When you were 16 you folks would say things like “Honey, I think your friends are kind of snarky bitches, kind of back biting don’t you think?” And you would realize it was true.

Or “Honey, I think your friend is a drug dealer and maybe using you for your car.”

I remember once, years ago, one of my kids was 19. They moved into a terrible terrible Little Rock neighborhood. They thought they were friends with the low life neighbors. I tried to warn my kid. “No Mom, they are my friends. You don’t understand.”

A week latter the trashy friends stole everything in the house including the laptop with lots of irreplaceable creative stuff on it.

Nineteen year olds have to move away and grow away from their parents. that’s natural. But it’s so hard.

For a nineteen year old there are just so many new and really important issues and situations they want to handle and need to take care of but they end up calling home for advice. Even though that’s the last thing on the planet they want to do because they are trying to be independent. There are insurance deductibles, and deposits,  and groceries, bills, over draft charges, flat tires, dead batteries, lost keys, tax returns, utilities and direct deposit pay checks that arrive two days after all your bills are due. Parents handle most of this stuff until you move out on your own.

Even health is an issue. Without your parents hovering and annoying supervision 19 year olds don’t get enough sleep and eat really crappy food. Then they get sick and feel terrible. After months of feeling puny, though you are in the prime of your life, you relize what your parents preached was true. In order to be strong and feel great you have to eat well, sleep well, help other people and exercise. You have to take care of your body if you want to feel good.

But little by little they figure things out, they learn what to do. They don’t call home every day for help, or even every week. They figure out how to be an adult. And for a parent that’s a really proud and heartbreaking day.

Idiot Parents

mustangYesterday I heard a story on CBS News. Based on information from  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the best used cars for teens are “big, slow and ugly.” It took the insurance companies of America to point out the obvious.

I’m so sick of idiot parents who buy their teens a red Mustang V6 and with way too much horsepower and then they are surprised when their kids drives too fast.

I know your child has staggeringly white teeth and a 2.8 GPA and you want you baby to be popular but for the love of god, don’t put them in a sports car. Because they will drive way too fast and hurt and possibly kill themselves, their friends and other innocent people on the road.

Your teenager has a brain that is not fully formed.  That’s why teens make bad decisions sometimes.

You’re brain, Mom and Dad, is supposed to be all connected and put together. So you must make the sound judgment calls that will keep Joe Joe and Skippy safe.  But you apparently would rather be the cool dad and buy your kid (who, by the way, will probably lose their scholarships in their freshman year because of frat parties) a brand new Charger with a V8 and top speed of 175 miles an hour. Guess what, your kids is gonna drive way too fast in that car. And it’s your fault because you gave it to him for graduating from high school.

I drive super slow, I poke along like a sloth and I’m pretty sure if I had that car even I would drive too fast, because THAT’S WHAT THE CAR WAS DESIGNED TO DO!

Bottom line. You are a moron if you buy your kid a sports car. They will drive way way to fast. I can almost promise you that.  And when your child passes me on Highway 5 because I’m doing the speed limit and he wants to go 80 in his silver 2014  Mustang, when he causes an accident and he dies and I die, I swear to you my ghost and hopefully are going to come looking for you….the idiot parents.

When You’re Mean To Your Mom

mean teenKids and teenagers you might not realize this but when you are ugly and mean to your mother, everyone (the general population) thinks you are a punk….without exception.

Here’s what happens.  When I worked at a boarding school I was on a committee to help choose the “Community Leaders”.  It was a big deal and roughly 100 kids applied for the 25 spots.  A beautiful and smart young lady applied. She had a 4.0, she was a cheer leader, she was the president of several clubs and she was a minority (we really needed some minority kids to be leaders) so she was a great looking applicant.  But several of those on the committee, students and staff, had watched the way she treated her Daddy when he came to visit. His name was Levon, He was a hard working, blue collar widower who worshiped his daughter. But she treated him like bear poop. She was rude, condescending, snarky and bitchy to this sweet old man. This was brought up during discussion and her file was tossed. People had been watching and knew what kind of person she really was.

Recently I mentioned to my seventeen year old daughter that I ran into her friend, Heather, at Wal-Mart. I said we had a really nice conversation in the produce isle.  But my daughter shook her head and said, “I know, right? She’s so sweet and cool to everybody at school but she treats her mom so mean. And her mom does EVERYTHING to help her. It’s crazy. She gripes and yells at her mom in front of people all the time. ”

And guys, did you know one of the first questions everyone in the family asks after you’ve taken one of my daughters out…..”How does he treat his mom?” If he isn’t sweet, if he doesn’t love on his mom, if he doesn’t give her hugs and love….you’re on the list. Because we all know you will treat our daughters the same way you treat or mom. With respect or like a punk ass jerk.

When eleven year old boys want to come to our house they are always sweet and polite to me, but then, when I find out they treat their moms as though they were indentured servants…well, that’s not the kid I want to take to Magic Springs. What if his behavior and attitude rub off on my kid.

So kids, 8-30, now you know. You will be judged by the way you treat you moms. If being rude to her makes you feel more important and more grown up, understand it’s actually  making you look  small, weak and and pathetic.

Now go hug your mom.

Kids, These are Some Of The Things That Really Piss Parents Off

asleepAdults, you don’t need to read this cause you already know the answers.  Kids, I thought I’d throw you a bone and tell you just a few of the things that really make your parents mad. These aren’t  the things that make us slam doors repeatedly, scream and break our favorite coffee mugs. These are the little things that make us sigh loudly, and lock our bedroom door because we don’t want to look at you.

When we ask you to water the plants, the cat and the dog in the morning.  We text you a reminder in the afternoon then come home from work to find you asleep on the couch. The cat, the dog and the plants are all dead, shriveled up from lack of water.  That actually happened. One of my kids had a parakeet and we watched it fall off this roost in the cage.  Birds need water.  We buried it’s colorful little body in the yard.

clogsWe really hate when we buy you nice new shoes and you smash down the back part and wear them like clogs.  Seriously, you’re so lazy you can’t put your shoes on all the way? Those are the shoes you “really really wanted”, so I paid sixty bucks for them, knowing you would outgrow them in a few months. Now they are clogs. Damn it, that pisses me off.

Sometimes we know you are rolling your eyes at us and thinking “what ever” in you mind. but we just can’t catch you doing it. But we know, we can feel it deep in our bones, what you are saying and doing.

Here’s one that really makes us crazy.  I tell you he seems like a good guy when he asks you out and you say “he’s just a friend, and he’s way too nice.” Then you date some dumb ass  misogynistic jerk who breaks your heart. Or boys, I tell you she’s a manipulative sleaze and you are completely surprised when you find out she’s been going out with the entire offensive line behind your back.

This happens all the time.  You ask to stay over with a friend. You tell me, “if you’ll let me I’ll help you with all that yard work when I get home.”  But you stay up till 4am at  your friends house, then come home and immediately fall into a death like sleep on the couch.

It’s my fault because I spoil you, but when I wash your clothes, make a nice neat stack and tell you to put them away, then find them behind your bed, on the floor or worse. I want to light myself on fire  when I tell you to clean up your room and  you just throw the clean clothes into a hamper and I find them, still folded, waiting to be washed again.

And then there are the obvious ones. We buy you new clothes but you still wear the old worn out stuff that’s stained and makes you look like you live in a box under a bridge.  There are the days we fix a really nice dinner, your favorite in fact, but you filled up on a Cheetos and Hot Pockets, so you don’t eat anything.

So, there you have it boys and girls, a partial list of the stuff you do that really pisses parents off. Now that you know, maybe you’ll stop. Or, perhaps you already know how bat poop crazy you’re making us. Perhaps you’re trying to make us insane so you can put us away. Then’ll you’ll stay up all night, eating Hot Pockets, rolling your eyes and killing all my plants.

 

Texting and the Dead Goat

goatA couple of weeks ago I saw a guy get his nose spread across his face like peanut butter by a wicked spin heel kick at a Taekwondo tournament. It was an inspiring and bloody mess. Lexie missed the astonishing kick because she was checking her texts.

While we were driving to the mall, Sandor and I watched a mother deer and her three tiny spotted fawns bound across the street, right in front of our car. Sandor and I  squealed and gasped as though having some kind of happy seizure but Lexie and her friend, missed it because they were texting.

Not long ago Sandor missed seeing a dead goat on the side of the road because he was playing with Lex’s phone.  Every little boy  wants to look at the bloated body of  a dead goat!

You get the idea and I’m just as guilty. Last week as Sandor was reading to me, telling me about the Basset Hound with the longest ears in the world (over a foot long according to the Guinness Book of World Records). He was waving his hands around talking about this dog, when my phone lit up. And I checked my text. The text from a co-worker said, “it’s raining here”.  And while I was reading that text Sandor wandered off because
I wasn’t paying attention to him anymore.

Kids text each other from the deer stand in the middle of the woods and entire families sit in the bleachers during football games staring at their phones. Yes, they manage to see the big plays but then they miss the coach when he high fives their son, they miss seeing their boy sitting alone and dejected on the bench, because he missed a big tackle.  We are all missing out on the moments that give life flavor.

As long as teenagers are texting or waiting for their phone to go off and make their butt buzz, they aren’t really engaged in life. If they are texting while they watch tv with the family, are in the car or sitting at the bus stop, they are in two different places at one time and they are missing the show.

I hate writing off an entire generation but, I think it’s too late for the teenagers and twenty year olds(sorry guys, you can’t be saved). The dye has been cast, so we might as well move on. But as parents we might be able to help our younger kids. Before you give them their first phone, make some rules for texting and make sure they apply to you as well.

1. No texting when you’re eatting with another person.

2. No texting when you are involved in an actual activity, like deer hunting, skydiving or wake boarding. Enjoy the moment, even if it’s a quiet one.

3.  If I’m driving NOBODY gets to text in the car. (you don’t want to miss seeing that dead goat)

Technology has gotten ahead of us.  Once upon a time we thought it was  a good idea to put cocaine in Coke-a-Cola and to give it to depressed middle aged women. We thought cigarettes were actually good for us. Doctors believed mercury baths were a great way to cure stds or venereal diseases (yup it cured the disease alright  but it also killed the patient).

After a while we figured out mercury and cocaine were actually BAD for us. Maybe that’s the case with of texting. We have an amazing technology but we don’t actually know how it will effect us socially, intellectually or physically in the future.

I recently read a report that teens make far less eye-contact now because they are so accustomed to looking at their damn cell phone.

Once, my son Jack, said, “nothing really important ever gets said in a text,” and he’s absolutely right. It can all wait. Don’t let texting blind you to the beauty, tragedy and taste  of life and stay away from the mercury baths.

 

Sometimes You Need To Kick Them In The Head

punkThere are two words parents and Martial Arts instructors hate, fear, dread and have to deal with.

“I know.”   Ahhhhh

“You know what? You know nothing. You’re a kid…you don’t know.”

As a parent there are two major intersections when “I know” slams through the intersections of life and turns you nice kid into a pain in the butt punk.

1. Right around the 12 or 13 year old mark it happens.  When the first arm pit hairs and boobs appear teens start thinking they know EVERYTHING. Boys get boy muscles and think they are bad to the bone, powerful, dangerous and all knowing.  Girls realize they are sexy and have power so they become snarky and use gossip and eye rolling like a dagger.

2. The sophomore year of college (around age 19)is the year of “I know”, heavy sighs, “you don’t understand anything.”  and knowing so much about the “real world”  than their parents. The first year of college they are still giddy, overwhelmed and excited. but the second year they think they have EVERYTHING figured out. They think they are worldly cause they drink  coffee with professors and can stay out as late as they want. Thankfully this wears off and by their Senior year they realize how little they know and they really don’t want you to drop them from your insurance policy.

When “I know” is said in a Martial Arts school things get touchy and sometimes painful.  The instructor has to do something..quickly. the “I Know” attitude  is toxic for the whole school.

When  a brilliant, athletic, skilled teen age boy says “I know” to his instructor instead of “yes sir” he puts a lid on a cup that is only a quarter full .  This young man has two or three extraordinary and seasoned instructors with years and years of Taekwondo knowledge.  They are pitchers filled with ice water and they want to pour their knowledge into that kids cup/brain, so he can continue learning and improving.

But the second he says “I know” he puts a lid on his cup. He thinks he knows it all, he believes his own hype. Nobody can learn anything if they think they already know it all.

It’s heartbreaking for the instructors and parents. But there are options. Martial Arts instructors can sit down and have a serious discussion about the kid’s ignorance and lack of respect or, they can kick the lid off the cup. Instructors never like to “thump” a student but sometimes that’s the only way to get a teen to realize how little they know.  Likewise, parents can have a serious discussion or they can start “thumping” and  change their child’s understanding of the universe. Cut off cell phone service, auto insurance or reposes the car they you probably paid for. Sometimes you just have to let them fail…big time.

Good news, most kids figure out how little they know and return to normal.  The important thing is to hug them after you cut up their debt card or round kick them in the head.  The hug is the important thing because it says, “Hey jerk, I still love you”.

Their bruised ego will recover. Most teen egos are like fire ant hills they always come back bigger and stronger.  But if you don’t fight the good fight and try to keep them in check they will take over your entire yard and make your life pretty hellish.

I Feel Sorry For My Daughter

My daughter Lexie takes a beattongueing sometimes, but I don’t think there’s anything I can do to help her.

Here’s the problem. She’s sixteen and has lots of wonderful friends who have boat loads of issues, troubles, stresses and concerns.  I’m not talking the garden variety  problems, these kids have to deal with so much bad stuff.  Some have moronic  moms who stay out at bars all night, then come home  falling down drunk. There are really mean step dads, jealous and greedy step moms and biological fathers who have been missing for years. A lot of times Lexie’s friends are the actual adults in these households. They constantly worry about their little brothers or sisters, they make sure mom gets up and goes to work. and these guys generally have to work and keep up their grades and take care of things at home.

Lexie’s life, our life, isn’t perfect…it’s not even in the same zip code as perfect. But it’s not terrible. She has a beat up car to drive around, clothes, food, a little spending money. Lexie knows how much we love her and how proud we are. She knows Alex and I will get up and go to work every morning and take care of her little brother. So, compared to her friends…she’s got nothing to bitch about.  Several of her buddies have said to me, “I’d give anything to have Lexie’s life.”

But Lexie’s life is absolutely not stress free. There are mammoth pressures on the kid. We expect excellent grades, an excellent attitude and we demand to know where she is all the time. Alex and I screw up constantly because we are human.
There’s a long history of crazy in our family that’s not always easy to deal with.The house is falling apart and there’s never enough money. She has a little brother who can be annoying because he’s a ten year old boy and she has puppy poop to clean up ALL THE TIME. I get stressed out, tense and mean, Alex gets worried about things and clams up. She doesn’t have a closet in her room and there’s only one bathroom for all of us.

But Lex can’t whine and complain to her friends because they just sigh and roll their eyes. They figure puppy poop, a stoic dad and a crappy car are nothing compared to their problems…and they are right….kind of.  Lexie never tells them what’s really upsetting or about the pressure she puts on herself. Because she know, in their eyes, she has no right to complain.

Thankfully she does have a big brother and sister she can talk to. They will listen to her bitch and moan and whine,sometimes.

I  really do feel sorry for Lex because whining about your life and parents is kind of a right of passage. Her friends think her life is shiny and flawless but they are wrong.

As a family we rarely sit around blowing bubbles and holding hands, though this morning, during breakfast we did turn off the lights and  chop open a bunch of glow sticks just to see what kind of shiny mess we could make.

 

 

How Teen Sexting Starts….Yup, They Told Me The Truth

sextingDear Parents, the code has been broken.  One of Lexie’s friends recently explained to me exactly how teen age sexting with pictures starts.

As parents when we hear that a teenaged girl is in a pickel because she sent a picture of her boobs to a boy we sigh and groan and say ‘what the hell was she thinking, how could this happen?” Well, now I know.

It goes something like this and according to my 15 year old informant the script doesn’t vary much.

Girl and boy are flirting via text.

Guy: “I’m just lying here watching tv. I wish you were here.”

Girl: “Me too”.

Guy: “I’m  sore from lifting weights. But look at this”. Then he sends a picture of himself with his shirt off looking all ripped.

Girl: “Nice lol”

Guy: “You should send me a picture”.

Girls sends a picture of her pretty face.

Guy: “That’s not fair. Send me a good picture.”

And then…if the girl is stupid(that’s how teenager put it)…she sends him a picture of her boobs or maybe she’s wearing a bra. If she’s smart she laughs at him and says something like “No way.”

Then the teenager and Lexie and I discussed the next thing that happens. Both the boy and girl take their phones to school. The girl shows other girls the picture of the guys muscular chest, everybody comments and it’s not that big of a deal.

And the guy does the same thing. He shows all his friends, team mates and acquaintances, even his little brother and uncle,  the picture of the girl without her shirt. And it’s a very big deal because he promised he wouldn’t show anyone.

A friend of mine who is a fifty year old business man told me his sixteen year old son and two best friends were looking at a picture of a girl on their phone. then they handed it to my middle aged friend. He looked, of course, then deleted it andyelled at the boys. But he looked, because he’s a guy.

So girls, think about that.  They boy might show it to his dad. And if his dad is a total perv and ass he might not delete it.  When you send that picture of your boobs, lots and lots of people will probably see it.

As parents I think we have a few options.  We can pull our children out of school and keep them at home for the next ten years.

We can take away their phones or at least give them phones without cameras. Or, we can warn our daughters that this is how the situation almost always unfolds.  The boy will show everybody the pictures on his phone because he’s proud of them and thinks their hot. It doesn’t make him a bad guy, it just makes him a normal guy.

After I learned all this from the 15 year old I called one of my older, 20 something kids.  I started explaining how all the teenaged sexting starts and was interrupted when they laughed and said,  “Mom, I know how it starts.”

Ouch!  And I made a mental note. “Never ever pick up older childs’ phone and casually glance at the photos without permission.”

*Names have not been included to protect the innocent and guilty.