The Constant Battle of Parenting Teens

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The Constant Battle of Parenting Teens Teenagers permanently attached to their cellular devices has become a naturally occurring phenomenon in today’s technologically advanced world. It almost seems impossible to separate teenagers from their phones, and these gadgets are not left idle either. It is a rare occurrence indeed for a teen to call another’s home phone for any reason. However, before texting was around, teenagers continually rang each other’s home lines, and parents frequently fumbled to take messages appropriately for their teenagers. In his essay “Handling Teen Calls”, Gary Lautens exposes the harsh realities associated with being a parent of a teenager in modern society through his recounts of fumbled attempts at taking phone messages for his son correctly. To be sure, cell phones have alleviated these phone message mishaps, but unfortunately, cell phones or not, parents are still often left overwhelmed and confused with the many unwritten rules and expectations of their teenaged children. Thus, throughout his essay, Lautens sarcastically illustrates the many challenges parents are faced with when trying to appease their teenagers’ unrealistic expectations using unity, consistent coherence, and a humorous style. One essential component of Lautens’ essay is unity, as he constantly introduces the topic and slips in catchy phrases to refer back to the heightened sense of failure associated with parenting teens. While grabbing the reader’s attention with the first sentence, he clearly establishes the topic when he begins with, “The other evening the telephone rang and a lovely female voice asked, ‘Is Stephen there?’” (301). Lautens informs the reader that the essay will likely be about phone calls, boy-girl relationships, and fathers answering their teens’ calls. Readers are also subtly introduced to Lautens’ sarcasm, as he describes the

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