Adolescent version of the seven deadly sins

If I had a nickel for everyone who has told me lately, “Your son isn’t a little boy anymore,” I would have enough money to pay someone else to put up with him. Or at least be able to afford replacements for the great number of pairs of pants and shirts he’s outgrown at a breakneck pace.

Most all of the clothing I had bought ahead for him last year, like I have been buying ahead for him annually since he hit school age, ended up being about three inches too short when I hauled it out of storage as the weather turned cold. I might as well dye his hair bright red, put rainbow suspenders on him and plop a propeller beanie on his head as make him go to school in the high-water pants created by his unprecedented growth spurt.

I’d like to report my son’s new height is helping us see more eye-to-eye, but the opposite is true. The closer our gazes approach meeting vertically, the more opposing our perspectives. But don’t feel sorry for me as a single-parent, trying to lion-tame her was through her children’s turbulent teen years. For alas, I am only reaping the bad Karma I sowed earlier in life through being a pain in the butt teenager, myself.

How bad is it with Connor? Well, not nearly as bad as some of my friends are having or have had with their children. My son is basically a good kid (yeah, I know all parents insist that, including those whose basically good kids just blew up something or shot down someone). But he’s become more sneakily defiant. Just the other day, I caught him changing out of the shirt I had grabbed for him to wear – because it wasn’t cool enough. Not cool.

While it’s not against the law to be a teenager, it surely feels like it’s against something. With hormones kicking in, everyone under the age of 18 is at least close to being in violation of something. While that something may not be illegal, it may be unethical or mean-spirited. Or, on a religious note, somewhat sinful.

I came across a workbook about the seven deadly sins, also known as cardinal sins or capital vices. At first I thought it was to help a person become better at wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony. As if we need the help! But it was actually to help eradicate them. It got me thinking about what I would classify as the seven deadly sins of adolescents. Here’s my list:

1. Sloth – This is one of the two carry-over deadly sins from the adult list. Laziness looms large in adolescent life, where helping others is in direct conflict with and takes away time from helping self.

2. Omniscience – Defined as having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things, this word is usually associated with God’s powers. It applies here, as many teenagers believe the world should pay homage to them, if not outright worship at their feet. After all, they’re smarter than the rest of us.

3. Entitlement –Mistaken belief that the world and especially their parents owe them something, including responsibility-free room and board.

4. Envy – Another carry-over. Constant monitoring of what others have, wear, or get to do, used for leverage in parent/child arguments to lobby for unearned privileges to become entitlements.

5. Moodiness – Ongoing personality fluctuations of greater disparity than the Dow-Jones average, but subject to periodic crashes every bit as dramatic as the 1929 stock market.

6. Obliviousness – Similar to “digital dementia,” a condition where a teenager cannot focus on anything except the electronic device in front of him/her, plus non-recognition and non-caring about the effect his/her behavior has on others. “It’s all about me.”

7. Blame – Surely none of these behaviors originate within the teenager. No, they are in reaction to living in an unfair world run by unreasonable adults who just don’t understand!

Maybe I should develop a workbook to address the seven deadly teenage sins. Trouble is, the people who most need it would never buy it. Well, maybe a digital version . . . .


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kileem Al Lishmiin
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 13:42:34

    Seven Generalities of Single Adults without dependents:

    1. Mortality Recognition
    2. Hedonism
    3. Apathy
    4. Restlessness
    5. Historic Amnesia
    6. Recklessness/Experimentation
    7. Meta-Identity


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