Friday, March 14, 2008

What I Don't Get About Teenagers Part II

Every morning, I look to see if my 14-year-old stepson is wearing a jacket or a coat. We leave the house at 7:15 a.m. for school and it's rather chilly outside. When there's snow outside and the temps are quite low, he'll wear a coat. But once we begin to get even a hint of warmth, the coat gets relegated to the back of the closet and more often than not, he doesn't have a jacket or coat or even a sweatshirt on.

This morning, after I dropped him off at his middle school, I had to drive by the high school. Lo and behold, I saw lots of kids with no jackets or coats. In fact, one kid was carrying his sweatshirt and was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt.

I don't get it. Is wearing a coat when it's cold outside not cool? I've stopped nagging him to wear a coat or jacket or at the very least, a sweatshirt because he just doesn't want to take my advice. So I figure, if he gets cold, it's his own fault. But then I also think that there are those that might believe I'm a bad parent for letting him out of the house without something to ward off the morning chill. Apparently this is a growing trend, however, as this video clip proves.

When I stretch my memory back to my teenage years, I'm pretty sure I didn't have a problem wearing a coat. But I do remember the boys not wearing one.

Maybe it's just a guy thing? Does it make you look tougher, more manly, more grown up if you don't wear a coat when it's cold?


  1. They don't wear them here either unless it's like below zero with a nasty wind blowing. I just don't get it. I've given up. At least it's not ME getting cold!

  2. Kacey, I was hoping you would chime in since you have all those boys! I really do not understand what it's so not COOL to be warm!

  3. WHY it's not cool to be warm. Sheesh. I hate it when I hit that "publish" button too soon!

  4. My stepson is 27 now and back in his day, wearing a coat was also just not done. I think it started sometime in middle school. I kind of figured I wouldn't hassle him over it since I don't believe there's any categorical evidence that being cold could kill you between the bus stop and school. Sort of puts them on the road to making their own (goofy) decisions. Much to many of my friends' horror, I also let him wear whatever he wanted to cut and color his hair however he wanted. I figured none of it was permanent and it was his appearance and not mine. I actually helped him bleach and dye his hair one year -- the interesting thing was that the wild looks didn't last and I'm sure it was because I let him do it, rather than fight with him about it.

  5. Yeah, I think it's definitely UNcool. Already the girls here are wearing flip flops and capris. I mean, it's warmer here than in Nebraska, but not THAT warm.

    On the flip side, I remember the "cool" girls when I was a teenager wearing their black leather jackets and jeans when it was +30º C (90s F) in the summer.

    Now, hats were a different matter, even for me (not very cool) - as soon as we were out of sight of our mum, off came the hats unless it was really, really, really cold *g*.

  6. Lisa, I agree - it's a battle I've given up on. And if he wants to freeze, well, guess that's his own fault. He'll learn sooner or later (I hope!)

    Tess - Flip flops and capris? Wow. I guess did see a guy in flip flops the other day, but it was a lot colder than it is now.

  7. They can only wear a coat of their friends are wearing coats. You do not wan to be the weakest link in a group of teenage boys.

    Yes it is dumb, but be the only boy to show up in a coat and you will hear, "your mommy make you wear that coat. Is witty bitty boy chilly."

    That's why we grow body hair to keep us warm naturally.

  8. Melissa, thank you so much for blogging about this. I am at my wits end with my own teenage son. What really gets me is when I hear him coughing and feeling ill with yet another virus, yet he refuses to acknowledge that by wearing a coat he could avoid it.

    Last year I even spent heaps on a coat that I thought he'd want to wear, along with badges and other paraphenalia for him to customise it and make it look 'cool' - I should have saved my money because it didn't change a thing.

    What really bugs me is that he won't even look after himself to help protect me. I'm now sitting here trying to fend off another head cold/virus that I'm sure is caused by DS leaving himself vulnerable to contracting them.

    With my daily battles with the MS it makes me so angry that people (especially my own son) choose to make themselves ill when it could so easily be avoided.

    Apologies for the rant.

    Sue xx

  9. Although I'm not a doctor, I've done some Googling around and there really is no evidence that supports the idea that being out in the cold will, in and of itself make a person catch cold or get sick. Cold and flu are spread by viruses. Although it's a stretch, prolonged exposure to cold that actually brings on shivering can potentially stress the body enough to lower the immune system and therefore make the person more susceptible to become ill after exposure to viruses or bacteria, but that's a bit of a stretch. Going out into the cold is no more likely to make a person sick than going out with wet hair is. Those are really just old wives tales.


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