We have 3 teenagers, so we never know what our house will be like and which kid might be in a good or bad mood. But, amidst all of the tiptoeing, to give everyone their space, we’ve learned a few lessons about these creatures we call teenagers.
Here are a few survival tips for raising teens:
You will feel like you live with Jekyll and Hyde
Hormones are cruel and normal. Your teen will have strong highs and lows. Their moods can change as quickly as the wind. You just need to understand that the emotions can be unpredictable for the better part of these teen years.
A few tips:
- Pick your battles
- Don’t approach serious topics when they are having a bad day unless it’s necessary
You need to remember your teen years
You’re going to want to yell about curfew, grades, and the fact that you can’t see one square foot of the carpet in their room because of all the clothes. But, it’s essential that you remember what it was like to be a teen.
Yeah, you might say that it was forever ago, but in reality – you remember. A little grace goes a long way. So, the next time they come home 15 minutes past curfew, try to remember how many times you snuck in late, too. That might make it a bit easier to look the other way every once in a while.
They still love you
Okay, I’ll admit that there are times I question if my teenagers even like me. But, I know deep down that even when they give me a look that should have killed me on the spot, they still love me. They are just trying to learn how to be independent and do things on their own, and in their own way.
You can be their friend
I know many experts would say that you can’t be a friend and a parent to your teenagers, but I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, always being their friend won’t work. But, always being a disciplinarian isn’t good either. Finding the right balance is critical.
They will experiment
This is scary, I know. And, you will probably need to refer back to number 2 often when the experimentation is happening. They go to a party, and someone cracks open a beer. Do they try it or be the only teen who passes?
I’ve learned that it isn’t whether or not they try it that is important. The most important part of these experimentation years is whether or not they feel comfortable enough to tell you what they did – or even talk about it before they try it.
We’ve always told our kids that they can tell us anything. They understand that there may still be consequences, but we want that open line of communication with them. Guess what? They believed us! Our kids have told us things that we didn’t really want to hear, but it gave us the opportunity to talk about things with them more and really dive deep into decision making and other skills.
Yelling doesn’t help
We learned early on in the teen years that shouting did nothing for our kids. They would look at us with contempt and then we walked away feeling guilty. We made the decision that we wouldn’t yell anymore.
Now, the give and take for us is that there are times we just simply aren’t ready to talk about some things. If we know that we are going to feel angry enough to want to yell – we make them wait it out. Which, isn’t a bad thing at all!
You will hate their room
Do you remember your mom telling you that you live in a pig sty? I certainly do! But, guess what? Today, my house is almost never dirty. So, the next time walk past their room and cringe at the dishes, dirty floors, and dust bunnies the size of tumbleweeds – just remember that this probably won’t be a forever thing.
It’s better than the toddler years
There will be times that you will wish they were fully grown and out of the house. But, there also those glorious times you watch a momma struggle with a toddler tantrum throw-down and secretly whisper to yourself, “I’m so glad that’s not me!”
You will miss the “little” years
You will wish you could turn back the hands of time and snuggle them once more or steal a few sweet little kisses. Even though you can’t, keep in mind that the closer they get to being grown the more human they will become. And, you can always secretly wish for the days of grandbabies.
This too shall pass
Your teen drive you crazy, rolls their eyes, eats everything in sight, and never puts a new roll of toilet paper on the toilet paper holder! But, someday, they will go off to college, and you will cry and wish they could be babies again.
I know, crazy, right? This momma thing is the most amazing job you will love and hate all in one breath! I just hope that this list helps you realize that your moody, weird teenagers are truly normal – even if that is really difficult to believe!
Hang in there mommas!