Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top 5 Life Changing Mistakes Teenagers Make

For better or for worse, nearly all of us determine how our lives are going to turn out in the fullness of time by decisions we make when we are teenagers.  These life altering decisions are almost never influenced for the positive by adults, since nearly all teenagers are convinced that all the adults they know are dumber than a bag of hammers.  Some teenagers listen to their dumb ol' parents and thrive, but many don't.

Since teenagers know it all by the time they reach 15 or so, input into their decision process is never sought, nor appreciated from us grown up dullards who went through the same processes that these braniac teenagers did.  Accordingly, many of their decisions are unforgiving and irrevocable in the long run, and formulate who these kids turn out to be in their later years.  The TOP FIVE mistakes that these brilliants kids of ours make have to be the following:

5.  Start smoking cigarettes as a teenager.  Back in the day, it was exceptionally cool to be seen with a fag in your mouth (yes, they used to call cigarettes 'fags'  back before the term took on a different meaning.  Look it up).  "Rebel Without a Cause" star James Dean was almost never seen without a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and what self respecting teen didn't want to emulate James Dean?  Fast forward many decades and see what that nasty habit got you: stained teeth, a several hundred dollar a month expense, smelly clothes and apartments/houses, and bad health.  Once you decide to quit (and cigarette smokers all do at some point in their lives, voluntarily or involuntarily), since smoking is primarily an oral habit, a massive weight gain is in store for that 'cool' teen as they substitute banana cream pies for cigarettes.  This mistake is a bad one, one that nearly nobody recovers from in the long run.

4.  Drop out of high school/college.  After 10 long years in elementary, middle and high school, many teenagers figure that they know plenty enough to get by in the world, since they are already smarter that their knuckle dragging parents.  And in the short run, these drop outs will find jobs in automotive garages, assembly plants and other endeavors where an education is not really a prerequisite for employment.  Once their paychecks start rolling in, they will be flush with dough that their studious peers who stayed in school will be lacking.  These big rollers will be the ones with the cars, the rad digs and big roll of cash in their pockets (mostly one's, with a $20 note on the outside, that little trick fools everybody, trust these teens when they say this).  As time marches on, these under educated 'high rollers' will be left behind their more studious peers in the earnings department, never to catch up.  Sure, you can point to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as dropping out of college as your examples as to why an education does not matter.  But for each Jobs or Gates, there are about a million other not so talented teens that end up on the wrong side of the tracks as a result of this terrible mistake.

3.  Alter your long term plans to chase after a teen girl/boyfriend.   This mistake is a hard one not to make.  Usually your first 'love' happens in high school, and many of us marry our high school sweethearts, and believe that we will live happily ever after.  Not so much.  This almost is NEVER the case, although it does happen on rare occasion.  The first guy/gal we have feelings for is almost never a viable long term partner, since we as teenagers are far from developed in our personalities, and what seems like a good idea at the time is almost never a good idea in the long run.  Way more often than not, however, when little Johnnie chases cute little prom date Joanie from hometown of Dubuque, Iowa  across the country to the UCLA campus just to be with her, bad things are in store for naive but love stricken little Johnnie.  Cute little Joanie will be the one enrolled and taking classes with COLLEGE boys, while little Johnnie will be waiting outside of Calculus class for Joanie to finish up, and soon little Johnie will see Joanie hanging off of Biff the stud halfback's arm, leaving little Johnnie feeling like a stupid schmuck, which he was (is).  And there sits Johnnie, 1500 miles from Dubuque, heart broke and penniless.  Affairs of the teenage heart are the stuff that no amount of logic or reasoning can affect.  Still, a pretty bad mistake to make as a teenager.

2.  Start drinking/doing drugs.  Really bad mistake here.  Once a teenager starts down that path, it is one that is almost guaranteed to end up badly.  Needless to say, a drunk kid never finishes high school or college (see #4 above), which is not good.  And a primary reason for avoiding this behavior is due to one fact: teenagers can't wait to get their hands on a set of car keys.  Cars allow for freedom that they have never had before, and once they get used to it, things will never be the same.  Now as the old adage goes: mix teenagers, car keys and bottles of whiskey, and you have yourself a recipe for disaster, namely in the form of dead and broken teenagers.  Kids, listen to dumb ol' grown up Fredd when he tells you to stay away from these things.  But they won't.  Fredd is dumber than a crowbar, you know.  Just ask any teenager.

1.  Having children as a teenager.  Primarily owing to unprotected sex, this one is bad for everybody involved, to include the mother, father, child, and at times grand parents.   Either out of wedlock or married, this one is a game changer.  You now have a little crumb cruncher to deal with in raising, nurturing and protecting.  Something that the average teenager is completely ill equipped to do.  This will interrupt any schooling the teenager had in mind, as it is now time to hit the streets and get a job to support the family.  If things don't work out, then moving in with the parents or grand parents is a fall back position that changes the lives of everyone involved.  This now fairly common mistake is one of the worst that a teenager can make, since it not only affects their own lives, but lots of lives around them. 

Now that I have warned all teenagers everywhere not to make these FIVE HUGE MISTAKES, the world will be a better place, right?  Nope, since nobody who is between the ages of 13 and 19 believes a word that us idiot grown ups have to say, since we are out of it and don't even know the words to any popular songs.  If we don't know the lyrics of the latest Taylor Swift tune,  how could we know anything? 


innominatus said...

Couple of my stepkids are batting 5-for-5. :(

The Conservative Lady said...

This is a good list to show the kids before it's too late, but you're right...they wouldn't listen anyway.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Fredd said...


I made two of them myself, I'll let you guess which ones.

Fredd said...


I know there are lots of other mistakes to make, but these are the biggies.

Yes, my Christmas was pretty good, thanks for the sentiment.

Incognito said...

Guilty of the smoking and the drinking/drugs. Never did anything stronger than weed (though without my knowledge a few times it was cut with something else- not fun), but I am convinced it ruined my once photographic memory. And I have chunks of my life I have no recollection of. I try to tell this to kids I meet, but you're right they have to learn by their woeful selves. Gave up all of that in college. ciggies took a little longer to cut.

Great advice, though.

Fredd said...


Yeah, I wish I had taken my own advice, and that of my dad's back then. But, as I already mentioned, he was dumber than a bag of hammers compared to the teenage me.

Joe said...

It was Mark Twain who advocated that when a kid turns 13, parents should lock him in a refridgerator sized box with a hole in it and feed him through the hole.

When the kid turns 16, advised Mr. Twain, close the hole.

The teenage years are tough, and it might be well not to let teens make any decisions of any kind during that time.

But I wouldn't count on that happening.

Kid said...

Fredd, except for the part about the girl next door - THIS IS not ME

Fredd said...


Teenagers are much akin to Shelley's Frankenstein monster: full sized bodies full of raging hormones, but with a brain fetched by Igor from God knows where that seems to just have been recently stapled into them.

Fredd said...


Thought you'd catch me napping again, eh? Not so fast....

The third refrain of that Kink's 1965 ditty goes like this:

'And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
Cause he's better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his fathers loot,
When pater passes on.'

One of the few proper examples of the usage of 'fag' available in modern verse.

Good try, though, Kid. Keep 'em coming....

Kid said...

Can't get by you is right Fredd.

Well, Ok, Here is the theme song for 2013 thru at least 2016

On Smoking. I started at 10. Folks smoked, most people smoked. Everyone I saw on TV who was cool smoked. And I grew up in a steel mill town. The Whole Town Smoked!

I finally quit after 42 years. And it as simple. Used the patch for 6 weeks never looked back.

Now I wonder all the relationships that might have been if I weren't a smoker. That goes both ways of course, but as I pass people in the store or wherever now, I sure notice the unpleasant odor.

It's not worth anything and considering the expense these days, and you know obammycare is going to hit you up for smoking because the rest of the country on socialized medicine will demand it, (another thing to divide us btw) I can't imagine why anyone would be smoking these days. Free country tho. Yea right.

Kid said...

Ok Fredd, Dagnabit, I admit it.
I also dropped out of school in 9th grade.
I chased the wrong girls and wasted years and too much money in the process.
I smoked a lot of grass and popped a lot of pills but I never did nuthin that my spirit could kill.

But I did Not have a child as a teenager. Not that I know of anyway.

Embers Of Pain said...

I am a 17 year old teenager who happened upon this blog while looking for mistake for my charecters I write about to make. What made me want to post was the fact that you said teens don't listen to what the adults in their lives have to say, I disagree, though I do know where you are coming from. Alot of teens will only nod their heads to what their parents are saying to make them shut up (Most of my friends do this), but some of us do take what they have to say to heart. My mom and I are very close, and she talks to me all the time about this stuff. I think the difference is I respect my mother, we protect each other, and while I listen to what she says she also listens to me. It has to be a two way street.
Also I wanted to thank you for posting this it did bring something to my mind for writing that was complelety obvious, but I wouldn't have thought about it without reading this blog, so thanks. Happy new year!

(Also with my name, I swear I'm not emo or anything like that, it's just a pin name I've been writing under for 3 years now)

Fredd said...


Most of the stuff I write paints topics with a broad brush of truth. Of course there are exceptions to everything, and some teenagers have the maturity to know when to listen to advice.

Not many, but some. Keep listening to your mom, she's been around the block or two, made some mistakes and doesn't want you to repeat them. I did not listen to my parents as often as I should have, and made plenty of mistakes that, had I taken their advice, I could have avoided.