I don’t know what it is about this year, but I have started to feel kind of old. Perhaps that is because reality has hit me like a ton of bricks…my oldest child will be leaving home in just two years. That reality is difficult to grasp. He has been with me for 16 years now, and there are only two left to go. That will feel like two days for how fast it will escape my grasp. Not only that, but I know that once he leaves, the others will soon follow like a line of dominoes falling down. That is the blessing and the curse of having five kids who are so close in age. I am on the cusp of a whole new chapter in my life. On one hand, it is exciting to think about the amazing things that these kids of mine will accomplish on their own. On the other hand, it is terrifying. Plus, I feel old, and that brings a measure of terror all on its own…but I will leave that discussion for another day.
Right now I just want to make the most of life with my teenagers. I love who they are growing up to become, but there are still challenges. Many times I wonder if I am doing things all wrong, and if my blunders will damage the relationships that I have formed with each one of them. In that spirit, I have collected a few articles to help and encourage parents of teenagers. It can be a tricky stage to navigate, but has the potential to be vastly rewarding at the same time.
1. What a Teenage Boy Needs Most From His Mom – “So…I’ve been thinking a lot about these years–and how I can be the mom they need right now. God only knows I’ve messed up enough in every other stage, and I only hope they can forget about my mistakes. But these days…these teenage years: They’re short! Today my son becomes a teenager, and tomorrow he’ll be packing for college (God willing. :)) He won’t forget these years, and neither will I. So, what’s my role as Mom? How can I help the most? Between conversations with other moms, plenty of books on the subject, and talking to my boys directly, I have come up with what I think are the eleven most important things…”
2. Teenager Offense – “Now that we’ve broken into the barrier of teenager-hood around here, I have to say I’ve felt it coming for a while:
The moodiness, the sullen expressions, the completely irrational decisions…they’re inching in, little by little. The other day I caught a glimpse of teenager-hood in my eleven-year-old, and man alive, sometimes it seems that my eight-year-old is even closer than the others.
Don’t get me wrong, I have good kids. I trust them. I adore them. But I want to keep that relationship strong to help weather the storms that will most undoubtedly come. I want to be on the offensive rather than the defensive.”
3. This is Adolescence: 12 – “Twelve is both breaking my heart and healing it. After a colicky babyhood and a stubborn, incredibly willful toddlerhood, this child has blossomed into a full-grown person, someone who reads faster than I do, who has hopes and dreams and goals of his own, who enjoys electrical engineering and marine biology and makes his own literary allusions that delight me when I catch them. He is a promise fulfilled: everything I ever hoped for, better than I ever imagined…”
4. You Won’t Remember, But I Will – “You won’t remember the way I would hold your little feet in my hands, imagining how much bigger than my own feet they will one day grow, and how I will have to let you go.”
5. How To Build Your Teen’s Self Confidence – “Whether you are a parent, an aunt or uncle, a sibling, or a grandparent to teenagers, or even if you work with teenagers in another way, these are four things you can do to build up the teenagers in your life.”
Happy reading, and have a great weekend!