• Melissa Manente


Updated: Dec 1, 2021

I recently read an article on picking your battles with a teenager. Now that my oldest is a teenager - I felt this article in my soul.

I tell people, especially when discussing their children, is this the hill you chose to die on? Typically the answer is no. So why do we find it necessary to "momsplain."

Thanksgiving. Usually, people dread seeing certain relatives because of different political affiliations and what fights might ensure. I never have to worry about that with my immediate family. We are all on the same political spectrum. BUT boy, oh boy, did my son throw a doozy out this year. While enjoying dessert, the topic of baseball comes up ( because, why not), and my brilliant baseball-minded 13-year-old son says, "Derek Jeter was NOT a great fielder." My heart dropped, my mom fainted, both my fathers got up and left, my sister argued, and his father disowned him. Okay, not really, but a totally plausible situation. The table got heated.

Growing up in the 90s and living in Northern New Jersey - Jeter is GOD. END. OF. DISCUSSION. The Boy took out his phone and cited off a bunch of statistics. (shit, this kid is good). He compared Jeter to past and present shortstops- based only on statistics ( fuck!). My family was not using statics or logic. Nope, we were using the JETER IS GOD mentality. (crap, this kid is schooling six adults) ( The Girl was sitting there enjoying her ice cream, watching people finally argue with her brother ). The discussion continued on the car ride home - again using statistics. On the car ride home, I mumbled to myself, and this is the hill I die on, especially when he said, " he only had like three memorable plays." Once home, Boy texted his best friend, who also confirmed his belief. Clearly, Gen Z has its priorities wrong. I mean, what else could it be? The next day I talked to my mother and realized we were the wrong ones for not validating his feelings. Granted, I will never see it his way ( screw statistics), but why didn't we validate his feelings? Were we trying to take his voice away? No, but could another child who is not as mentally strong feel as if his voice was being taken away from him? Was this a perfect example of what the 30 something sits in my office discussing on " from a young age my parents never validated me?"

I have approximately 2031 days, or 290 weeks, or 66 months until he is graduated from high school and moves onto college. At this time, I have to decide what my battles are. I have to choose, so he knows mom isn't just momsplaining. She needs me to listen and understand.

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