After many years of parenting I decided it was my duty to bring you, the reader, this very important information. If you are a parent of a pre-teen, or are in the proximity of children this age in any capacity for any extended periods of times you need to be aware of a phenomenon that is sweeping the nation. If you are parenting children who are younger, please be forewarned, this is a real phenomenon and it is not something to take lightly. It can strike at any time but is most commonly seen in children aged 10 to 13. Studies have shown that 1 out of every 1 teen is afflicted. It is called “Everybody Hates me-The world is against me-Nothing you do will make me feel better”(Otherwise known as EHMTWIAMNYDWMMFB).
The symptoms range from eye rolling, sudden irrational outbursts, slamming doors, laughter turning to crying, and frequent use of the word “unfair”. It is also characterized by feelings (as a parent) that no matter how nice you try to make life for your child you have somehow done it wrong. So very wrong. If you feel that you used to be a sane person but now feel that you are very much crazy, you may have a child with “Everybody hates me-The world is against me-Nothing you do will make me feel better”.
Parents with afflicted children have different ideas on how to approach EHMTWIAMNYDWMMFB but most agree that it is best to keep a safe distance, keep your voice low and steady and make no sudden or unexpected movements. It also seems best to avoid using trigger words like ‘should’ or ‘could’ or ‘why don’t you’ or anything starting with the letter A-Z.
Sadly many parents aren’t speaking up about this ailment, in part due to its extremely long name. Statistics have also shown that many parents are in denial. While their counterparts are actually on the Nile, taking a much need break from their afflicted teens. It’s believed that if more parents were to come forward and admit to having children with this affliction we would discover that there is in fact nothing any of us can do to cure this ailment and we all are very much screwed.
While there is no cure, parents have found ways of coping during the difficult years.
Parents with affected teens suggest the importance of having a sense of humor throughout the afflicted years (while of course never actually using humor on the teen themself.) It’s important to note that the part of the brain called the Laughatus (or sense of humor) isn’t fully developed in pre-teens and can cause comical words coming out of the mouth of an adult to be misinterpreted by the afflicted as a direct insult to their character. Parents also find solace in their friends, Ben, Jerry, Jameson, and Stella (Artois, that is.) On rare occasions parents have chosen to take the can’t beat ’em, join ’em approach and can be found sulking in their rooms.
The most important thing to remember during these critical years is that this too shall pass. The teen years are hard and have been known to wreak havoc on the best of us. Remind your pre-teen frequently that they are loved and accepted (then take a step back in case they misinterpret your words). Remind them that you’re there for them (even after they’ve slammed their door for the umpteenth time.) Take them out for a special treat on occasion (while keeping in mind that they’ll find something wrong with the outing and won’t actually appreciate what you’ve done for them until well into their 30’s.) Try to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing. And remember, you were a pre-teen once too. And were most likely afflicted with EHMTWIAMNYDWMMFB.