5 things teens might like to say to their parents

caution teen snarkLast night I had a brainstorm for a new YA book.  It’s a cross between paranormal and urban fantasy and my main character is this saucy, little smart-mouthed young lady who is unafraid to ‘give it back’ to her mom.

The following conversations popped out of me as I hunched over my computer at 3:30 a.m. and I realized how much she sounded like I wish I could have sounded when I was a teen.  Now, keep in mind.  I was a freaking goody two-shoes.  I NEVER did anything I wasn’t supposed to do.  I wouldn’t be alive today if I’d snuck out of the house or did drugs or drank.  My Army dad would have seen to that.  This didn’t mean I didn’t want to sass back with some quirky, disrespectful comments (and sadly, I did after my dad passed away).

Iris Ridley is that unabashed teen who readily speaks her mind and doesn’t care who’s in the line of fire, including her alcoholic mother.  As a parent, I want to strangle her. As a teen, I totally get her and almost applaud her.

What do you think?  Do you hear bits of you in Iris or Mom?  if you were/are a teen, how would you respond to Mom?


Mom:  “As long as you live in my house, you will live by my rules!”

Iris:  “Your house?  If that’s true, why is the bank taking it back?  Looks like we’re living by their rules, not yours, huh.”


Mom:  “You never lift a finger to help around this house.  You’re always out with your friends.  You just expect everything to be done and ready for you.”

Iris:  “Yeah, well at least I have friends.  You’re still searching for yours in a bottle and a glass.”


Mom:  “You’re the child and I’m the parent. What I say goes.”

Iris:  “Fine.  Then don’t ask for any money I make from my, what did you call it?  Oh yeah, my menial part-time job.  I mean, aren’t parents the ones who are supposed to provide for their kids, not the other way around?”


Mom:  “I know you are not leaving the house dressed like that.”

Iris:  “I can’t believe you’re staying in the house looking like that.”


Mom:  “You’ve got a bad attitude, young lady!”

Iris:  “You’d have one, too, if you didn’t have your hands wrapped around Captain Morgan all the time.”


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20 thoughts on “5 things teens might like to say to their parents

  1. Some of the mother’s comments came back to haunt me when I read them, but I never had the guts to sass my mom like that. I’d storm off to my room & slam the door, but that’s about it. Then again, Mom wasn’t a single, alcoholic mother. I had more respect for her – and a little fear for that wooden spoon! The last time she tried to use it on me, I was around 14. We played ‘ring around the bed’ with me out-running her. She finally gave up and used the ‘as long as you live under my roof…’ line. I then proceeded to look through the newspaper for apartment rentals, realized I didn’t have enough in my bank account to afford living on my own, and stuck it out until I went off to college. 🙂

    Good luck with your story. I think it has great promise. 🙂


  2. The main character in my series is quite the snarky teenager. I think many teenagers relate to this because they either are that way or wish they had the guts to be that way.
    I hope Iris will find a reason to respect her mom by the end of the book. I could never have sassed my alcoholic father without expecting a backhand across my face. I had plenty of rude thoughts, though. Just so your story doesn’t glorify the disrespectfulness – like there are adults she treats respectfully but her mother is a failure and thus gets only sass and snottiness.


    1. Oh, Sharon, no the story would not glorify the sass, and yes, there is a huge lesson for Iris as well as her mom. I still have a lot to work out but I’ve already got an idea for the ending.


      1. I figured the story wouldn’t glorify the lack of respect too common in our society (knowing your personal beliefs). I wanted to throw in a different perspective than your other commenters.


        1. I don’t think I’d be alive today if I talked to my parents the way some kids talk to theirs now. Nope. It wouldn’t have happened. Thanks for the new perspective. Always love looking at life from a gazillion angles. 🙂


  3. Those are priceless come-backs. I may have wanted to say things like that as a teen, but I knew better. We did not sass either of my parents and get away with it.


    1. Right? When I was growing up, I would Never think of talking to my mom or dad like this, however, I see it all the time nowadays. Some parents are even afraid of their kids. Times have changed.


    1. As I was mapping out Iris’ character this morning, this lack of respect will play a big part in her growth in the book. I still have to work out some plot lines, but I really love her anger and vulnerability.


    1. Thanks. it’s really hard in some ways to write Iris because I could never, ever be that disrespectful to my parents. Then again, it’s sort of freeing in a way, to be able to talk back and get away with it. Let’s face it. Just because we didn’t sass back as kids didn’t mean we weren’t thinking it.


  4. Iris has some great comebacks there! Those kind of tired cliched lines that the Mom says are things that all of us say in one form or other to our kids even if we swore we never would! I find teens can be quite sharp-witted in their comebacks like that; with my daughter (15), I sometimes forget to be cross with her because I am instead impressed with her sharp-witted comeback! You’re going to have fun writing this book 😉


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