About Teens 28 Jan
Chapter 27: ABOUT TEENS
I was talking to a good friend of mine who is a little further along in the parenting journey—hers in college, mine in high school—and we both admitted how few people we have to confide in about the struggles of raising teens.
I’m going to say something that might not be popular to say out loud, but it’s certainly true for me. And it was for her too.
Raising teenagers sometimes feels isolating.
First, their privacy becomes super important. They don’t want their business shared with others. It may be because it’s embarrassing, or they just consider it nobody else’s business. And that trust between you and your teen becomes sacred.
Next, teens are strangely complex humans. Most of them mess up (a lot). Not just in little ways, but in the kinds of ways that other parents at dinner parties whisper,
“Did you hear…? My kid would never…What those parents ought to do…”
The stakes are high. We are no longer sharing tips and tricks about how to potty train or what worked for naps. The teenage years bring you real life, BIG issues and concerns. Actions and consequences can have a profound impact.
And the truth is, no matter how good someone’s highlight reel on social media seems, there’s no way anyone is getting through these teenage years without being a little scathed.
I’m super grateful I have a few close friends I can confide in when one of my kids is struggling.
I can also admit to those confidantes when I have made a huge parenting blunder, whether it’s the amount of screen time (remember how we said our kids would never be on their devices that much?) or when I’ve lost my temper and made a bad situation so much worse.
Being a teenager is hard. I remember it. The moods, the social dynamics, the struggle to manage it all while sometimes feeling like an imposter or that you are moving along a thin sheet of ice, just waiting for it to crack and swallow you up.
That’s one thing I know we need during this season. We need it for our teens, and we also need it for ourselves and every dang parent who is doing the best they can.
And spread that grace generously around.
I’ve often said teenagers are unexpectedly amazing. I know this season will pass. As parents, we just have to hold on tight and lean on one another a little more—and judge each other a little less.
*this is an excerpt from my book,
“Through the Fog: Navigating life’s challenges while raising kids with hearing loss.”