With Apologies to Dr. Maslow

I don’t consider myself an “expert” in any way.  But with 45 years combined experience (19+16+10) parenting 3 boys, I have learned a thing or two.  And by today’s measurable standards I’ve done a decent job.  They make good grades.  They have reasonable standards of hygiene.  None of them has been to juvey.

So (after I pat myself on the back) let me share with you a little of the wisdom I’ve gained.

Teenage boys only give their undivided attention to one thing: video games.

When there’s a controller in their hands, they can block out anything.  Parents calling, little brothers screaming, phones ringing.  I pray the house never catches on fire while Slick is playing Call of Duty.  He’d be a goner.  I even saw The Trailblazer’s girlfriend on a Skype screen competing for his attention while he was playing FIFA.  She lost.  They get hypnotized by the pixels on the screen like deer staring into headlights.  (A few days ago I thought about throwing the main breaker and telling them there was a power outage just to get their attention.  But it was too hot to be without the A/C, so I had to shrug off that idea.)

Once you get past video games on the Needs pyramid, everything else comes with an underlying distraction: thinking about girls.  The chart is self-explanatory from that point forward.

The tiny space at the top of the pyramid is what remains of their former dependence on us.  As they rely less on mom and dad for other things, the remaining contact is only for the purposes of bonding (us) and asking for money (them).  They want to spend as little time with their parents as possible, preferably not in public.

So those of you with teenage boys in your life, study this chart carefully, and save yourself a lot of grief.  Don’t get your feelings hurt when they bail on having dinner at home in favor of hanging out with friends.  Don’t think you understand what motivates them.  Don’t speak to them in public.  And make sure the smoke alarms in your house are loud enough to be heard over COD.

I’m sure Dr. Maslow would agree with me.


16 thoughts on “With Apologies to Dr. Maslow

  1. sandra Tyler

    Well, this is good to know as I have a 7 and 8 year old. And the 8 year old is already a deer in the video game world headlights; I’ve finally made peace with it, with the fact that kids now outgrow toys far sooner. It’s hard to create a balance, though I work on it but the older the get, yes, it’s the screen stuff. Sigh.

  2. DRL

    You are SO right!! I’m sad to admit mine are 4 & 10 with video game issues. I limit their time but can barely get them to look at me when the games are on! LoL;)))

  3. Anonymous

    Have a seven year and looking forward to the trailblazing information from this blog. Hang in there ladies all of our men were once boys and they survived it thanks to great parenting.

  4. rhondashelley

    Going away to college increase their appreciation for parents. When they graduate and work for a living, you will hear the appreciation expressed in a superior way!

  5. Anonymous

    I guess the same goes for girls and I’m sure I will find out soon. BTW my husband plays that game….Call of duty and yes I know what ya mean while they are playing.

  6. Sandy

    You are SO right about the pyramid! I have been told not to cheer too loudly for him at his baseball games…it’s “embarassing”. It’s okay that the other Moms do, and that I cheer for other teammates…just not him. And I always seem to be walking “behind” him when we leave, as if he can’t be seen “with” his Mom in front of his teammates. That’s okay though because, as evident by my oldest who has surpassed those “embarassing” parental moments, it will one day be “cool” to be with Mom again! I can’t wait!!!!


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