How many teens does it take to change a light bulb??

October 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Parenting, Teenagers/Tweens

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That was the question I posted on Facebook and Twitter. And what started out as a joke, turned into a very interesting set of responses and conversation.

Belinda’s response: One, he holds the light bulb and expects the world to revolve around him.

That was what I was going to say. So, then I offered these two: 12—they always travel in groups; and, “Huh?”

Levi’s idea: None they know if they wait someone else will do it.

My response to his response: Not in my house—no enabling here!

Tyrone popped in with: None; they never do what you say.

And, Mike had lots to say: • They may need to look it up on Google and think about it as they raid the fridge, yet again! • By the time you finish asking them to do it, (well you know that game….) • How many teens does it take to WATCH you do it? Too many! They still will not do it! • If they will not change a light bulb for you, here is my solution. Exchange it from one in their room (and remember to hide all the extra “good” bulbs) – see how long it takes them to notice. • Show up at their school dressed as a clown! They will jump the next time you ask them to do something as simple as changing a light bulb! • Go on a parent strike; make a sign and picket the outside of your house – better yet their school!!!! • Threaten to invite a teacher of theirs over for dinner – no light bulb in the house will ever be out of life – ever again! • When they have a wise crack come back to your simple question, go over and give them a big LONG hug – in front of their friends would make them even more embarrassed – most teens are not huggers. • Act like you did not hear them the next time they ask for money – tell them it went towards hiring someone on their behalf to change the light bulb • Ask a teacher of theirs to give an assignment, “how to video” on changing a light bulb – that must have you as the parent give your honest opinion for the conclusion of their assignment.

Clever, yes? My response: Love your ideas for how to get the teens to change a light bulb. The one suggestion that I will make is for parents to work hard NOT to embarrass their teen—it could really damage the relationship. Parents’ sensitivity to and respect for what might embarrass their kids is very important. That being said…I still need someone to change a light bulb 🙂

I knew Mike would have more to say: Good parents know their kids – pranking /embarrassment is all in how the teen sees it and communication is key from knowing what is considered healthy ways of embarrassment – parents who bully their kids should be the ones embarrassed by their actions – I completely agree with ALL you are saying and many lessons I have learned from what NOT to do by the actions of “others/parents. Changing a light bulb is not always high on every teen’s list with issues they are faced these days. Until I am in your situation, I prefer to have the correct type and watt in my lights by doing it myself. Teens also model their awesome parents when they grow into adulthood on some tasks – light bulbs will be one of those tasks. I just pray that there are not parents that actually go to their adult kids’ homes and still change their light bulbs!!!! As my mom always says – “I will only call you (my kids) when I know I can not do it (including changing a light bulb)” – most of the time it was to the fact that not even a step stool or ladder could make mom any taller!!!! 🙂 On going joke in our family!!!!

Last round: One of the most important ingredients in raising any child—A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR!

Speaking of sense of humor:  When I Googled images of  ‘teens changing a light bulb”… there weren’t any!

Thanks everyone for your comments. Do you have any others? Would love to hear them!

Enjoy your kids!

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