My husband helped my 16-year-old nephew with some car trouble. The next day, he received this text from my sister:
“At 11:30 last night I heard you rescued my son.”
My nephew had only had his driver’s license for a few months when he called us in a panic. He had just noticed the flashing red light on the car’s dashboard; he was almost out of gas. He had no idea how long the gauge had been on empty and he was sitting in a parking lot, afraid to go anywhere.
My husband was sure the car could make it to the nearest gas station, which was just a quarter of a mile away. Nevertheless, he met him in the parking lot and followed him to make sure he got there okay.
At the station, it turned out my nephew didn’t have any money, so the greatest uncle in the world handed over his credit card. My nephew was relieved and grateful and offered copious thanks.
However, he didn’t tell his mother about the incident until 11:30 that night. I don’t think he waited because he was afraid of what she would say. Based on my experience raising three teenagers, I firmly believe most teenagers just don’t feel like talking to their parents until after 10 p.m.
It is partly due to the unique circadian rhythms of the teenage body. Circadian rhythms regulate sleep, and according to the Mayo Clinic, children’s circadian rhythms change when they enter puberty. This change means they naturally want to fall asleep later at night and wake up later in the morning.
I think it’s also because teenagers are more willing to let their “cool” guard down the later it gets. This makes it less embarrassing for them to open up to their parents.
Our oldest son — our first teenager — has a charming, easygoing personality but he spent a lot of time making dumb decisions during his teen years. I surveyed friends who had teenagers and discovered many of their sons had the same tendency to act impulsively before the logic and reasoning parts…