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Yes, it's normal: Slightly awkward things all kids do as teenagers

POSTED: June 30, 2014 3:00 p.m.
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Yes, it's normal: Slightly awkward things all kids do as teenagers

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Every one does awkward things, especially as a teen. Everyone. No one is exempt, so all you can do is laugh about it. Teens have an interesting perspective. They think since they got this far in life, they know how to handle the rest of life. But as experience shows them, they know very little which makes for some quite humorous stories.

Every parent of a teen knows this: Teenagers might look like adults in physical size but most of the time they are not fully developed in brain function or maturity. It’s that growth period, the growing up time into adulthood that is so embarrassing, even to the youth themselves, that we are blessed to only experience this once.

If you consider all that teens have to learn to get to adulthood, it is overwhelming. Categorizing these experiences seems to be the best way to share.

Clothing Malfunction
This is one of the most embarrassing experiences of being a teen. Bodies are not fully grown and teens with little experience will make decisions which might result in losing swim attire after a dive in the pool, water bras breaking at the most inopportune time, exercise clothes malfunctioning during a workout, pants ripping at the seam when sitting down and other awkward experiences prove that being a teen is only a testing ground.

One teen girl expressed embarrassment when she first had to start wearing a bra. Not only was it difficult to put on, but her mother made the whole experience worse by waving a better sized fit bra in the air at the store for all to see.

Dating, Dancing and Drama
Teens start to experience attraction for the opposite sex, and awkwardness knows no bounds. We do funny things when we like someone, from ignoring them to tackling them in the snow.

They step on feet while dancing, get nervously paired with a sibling's date instead of their own, or stammer, squeak or mumble unintentionally when asked a question. Dealing with emotional outbursts, braces locking together during an awkward first kiss or counting how many Twinkies they can fit in their mouth adds to memorable experiences.

One teen girl told of her first date with a guy she really liked — only she didn't tell her parents she was going on a date. Imagine her embarrassment when she walked into the same movie her parents went to on their date.

These embarrassing moments can really leave an emotional scar, never to be forgotten. The awkwardness is difficult to take.
Feasting on Food
Eating food is already a difficult feat to conquer gracefully, but teens can really take the cake on awkwardness in trying to be cool when they eat. Food slipping off the plate, fork or lips is very popular.

Accidentally snorting food which comes out their nose, spraying water unintentionally when taking a drink or just dropping a whole plate of food leaves parents scratching their heads. But these things happen. It’s normal.

At school, one teen told of missing getting the cup to his mouth and ending with a lap full of drink.

Physical Glitches
Growth spurts create awkwardness in both boys and girls. Tripping over stereo wires and falling off a stage, getting feet tangled up in a dog leash, smashing furniture when just getting into a seat, accidentally slamming the door on your head, walking into someone else without reason or passing gas in public.

One teen told of a sneeze slipping out right in front of a “crush of the century” and spraying snot everywhere. All anyone can do is laugh after the fact so just roll with the punches.


Peer Pressure and Choices
With the bravery, boldness and many times unwise choices of teens, destruction of property and accidents happen in very unusual places. The persistence of those teens who want to instigate trouble has an incredible effect on those who follow along. Getting into trouble might include hitting mailboxes with baseball bats, playing “Chicken” against an 18-wheeler truck, “borrowing” a local school bus for joy riding or tipping over a “port-a-potty.”

One teen from a farming community admitted he, “stole watermelons from a fruit farm and threw them out the back of a pick-up so my friends could play brake and slide behind us.”

These kinds of activities are dangerous and destructive, but somehow each generation of teens manages to find a way to incorporate them in their lives.

The transformation from child to adult definitely has its drawbacks but this is all normal in the life of a teen. Fortunately, those who are 13 to 18 years-old have youth on their side and bounce back regularly. Never fear, this too will pass and will only be remembered as something that happened a long time ago.

Valerie Steimle is the mother of nine children who lives happily on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. She is the author of five books, all about strengthening the family, including "Thoughts from the Heart." Email: valeriesteimle@yahoo.com

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