I thought I used to “worry” a lot when my kids were little. Then I had teenagers. You know what I would give right now to worry about sippy cups and naptime? EVERYTHING. 4Boys Mother
I know I’m supposed to be preparing my teenager for life and all, but it’s hard when they already know everything… Playdates on Fridays
As a mom of teenagers sometimes all I need is a hug and someone to tell me everything is going to be ok. Oh, and a million dollars, a week in the Bahamas and a bottle of wine would be nice too…
When your child is little, all you want is for them to play alone in their room for an hour so you can have some peace and quiet. Then they become teenagers, and all you want is for them to come out of their room for an hour and actually talk to you. I Might Be Funny
What it’s like to have a conversation with a teenager: Parent: “Have a nice day!” Teenager: “Don’t tell me how to live my life!” Her View From Home
These are humorous quotes that reflect some of the struggles parents feel when raising teenagers. As I speak to so many parents who are raising teens they often experience a lot of stress and anxiety. Teenagers enter a developmental phase of life that can be hard for them and for their parents.
They are not quite adults but no longer children, so they are unclear about their roles, identity and purpose. Their brain is in a surge of rapid development and rewiring which makes them very unpredictable in emotions and behaviors. They are in a place of striving for independence from their parents and starting to assert their lack of need for guidance and/or connection.
Yet they want to connect to their peers sometimes more than their parents. They are often locked into social media and streaming and spend inordinate amounts of time on-line. They seem to be less attuned to the values of their families and can even question or reject some of the most basic values. At times they can be withdrawn and not forthcoming as to why … and the list goes on.
These are just a few of the realities that parents of teenagers face. It is no wonder that parents find themselves in a lot of duress during this time of development. Sometimes it has impact on the emotional stability and relationships of parents. Other parents quietly endure all the insecurities and lack confidence in their parenting. Sometimes the confusion and/or frustration of dealing with the teenage brain can be emotionally debilitating. If there are more serious issues such as bullying, drug use, toxic relationships and mental instability this can be even more draining and destructive to the entire family.
I say all of this to recognize that parenting teenagers can be hard. We have so few supports for parents in our society. In many cases I find that parents of teenagers are emotionally charged and ready to process what they are facing. I think this is a time where parents should have peer support from other parents who are currently experiencing some of the same issues. It is also a time for parents who have experienced some of the same issues to share their wisdom.
Sometimes it is important to just hear that it will be OK in the future. With all the doubts and fears that emerge during this phase of life, our parents need support, resources and hope. That kind of encouragement and help can make a huge difference. After all we are paving the way for the future of our teenagers and our next generation. It should be filled with anticipation and joy in what our children will become if we persevere and care for their needs developmentally. Our parents are key to the successful growth of our teenagers! So, let’s encourage them with strong support wherever and whenever we can.