Thursday, October 5, 2017

Parenting A Teenager

This Sunday will mark a major milestone in both me and my son's life, he is going to officially be a teenager, and yes that does terrify me a bit.

I remember the teenage years, the anxiety about peers, about boys, some of the really stupid choices I made.  Every once in a while I will recall a specific memory and how I felt, which as awful as it is, I am so grateful for.

Grateful that I have those little glimpses back into my teenage brain that definitely did not process, or reason through things like I do now.  That teenage brain where the bad moments truly can feel like the end of the world and everything is so much bigger and more important than it probably really is.

I am grateful for these glimpses so when my son does things that just baffle me, I can remember, and I can have compassion.  I still need to be his parent and try my best to knock some sense into him, but in a way filled with love and understanding.

These are a few things I hope I remember along the way:

--To really listen--
    We all want to be listened to, want our voices heard, so I need to listen, even if he is droning on about video games or something I have no interest in.  It matters to him, and he matters to me, so I try to listen.  That way, when it comes to the big things, he will know I listen to him, so he will hopefully come talk with me.

--To have some fun--
    The teenager years, as dreaded as they were, were also a lot of fun.  I need to try and enjoy these years now as a parent.  My mother-in-law always says the teenage years were her favorite and she loves teenagers.  I think she truly does, but I think she truly does and did because she told herself that so much until she believed it and lived it.  If we go into it thinking it is going to be awful, well it will.

--To Parent--
   While we have that fun, I still have to remember I am the parent, and yes I do reason and think differently now and have a greater perspective than my son does.  So it means setting limits, saying no at times, and probably having days where he just doesn't really like me very much.  But if I can guide him and direct him to good and growth, then we will all be better off in the end.

--It will Pass--
   Just like the terrible two's, or three's they always seemed worse than two with my kids, it is a phase and will pass.  On those days where I know we will butt heads and he will try my patience; I just have to remember who he truly is and that this phase will pass.  I just need to be there to help, guide, and love unconditionally.

So to my son- I am going to try! Let's stick together and make these the best years possible.

Parents of teens, do you have any tips or advice? 

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