Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Misphah and Shen. He named it Ebenezar, saying , "Thus far the Lord has helped us." 1 Samuel 7:12

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Parenting Teens

Part of my job ends up being advice giving, and advice beyond what color bridesmaids dresses to wear or what veil to pair with the dress.
Especially when blended families come in and middle to high school age girls are required to wear a dress for a wedding.
While wearing a dress to some girls seems like a dream come true, to others it is a nightmare.

That is where I find advice giving and be at it's highest.

So based on an experience last night I've compiled a few tips I have on raising teenagers, and please by no means do I claim to "get" this whole parenting thing.

- let them vent, and by let I mean keep your mouth shut and don't argue back and by vent I mean say things that are completely crazy, make no sense and can be mean - teenagers are not in their right mind at times and I've learned if I've done a somewhat decent job at apologizing and taking responsibility for my own actions they will eventually come around and do the same, eventually

- take responsibility for your own actions, as a parent if I curse- catch my behavior, apologize, express the challenge of making good choices and move on. If we yell or gossip, lie or say something not nice- same thing: take responsibility for our own actions as parents. Perfect people, no- and our kids know that above anyone else what we struggle with, well that is if we live real and authentic in front of them.

- love them. It's sometimes the hardest thing to do but when they pull an attitude, say mean things about others, themselves, their situation or us: just love them, trust me loving and patience with them will pay off because as soon as their hormones get back into some sort of balance you'll recognize the child you once knew.

-Be there #1 fan, be on their team.

-Pick your battles. Is it worth a huge family argument to have a certain haircut? or wear a certain style of clothing? or a question I ask brides at work: "You have to decide if it's worth it to argue over what dress they wear. In 20 years will it even matter?""

-Love them how they are. For who they are. It may be different than you but it's them and embrace that, learn from that and above all enjoy that! We all are unique and learning to love and enjoy that uniqueness is part of life with others and life with the ones we call our children, even if they are hormonal teenagers who know everything, know you know nothing and all the while eat your food, use your gas and trample dirt all over your floors.

So there it is a few tips I have on parenting these people we call teens.I am by no means a parenting expert nor does my name sit on a top 10 parent list.
But I love my kids. Tons.
I have a 17 year old who I think enjoys my company and a 15 year old who recently named his father and I as the two people he loves and trusts the most in this world (parents of elementary kids may not get this but as a parent of a teen it speaks massive volumes to my heart)

So enjoy your teen, one day they'll be gone and you'll miss them.
I promise.


Rachelp said...

Oh, I needed to see that post! MY oldest will be 13 in a few months and I see the "teen Years" coming and I am scared. LOL...Thanks again for sharing with us..what you have learned. You can see here..why I need your advice.

Doris said...

Great advice Michelle! Those wise words can even be for those of us with kids way beyond their teens (I think my kids would hate that I said "way beyond"!) Even at 24 and 30, they're still "the kids"..Thanks for sharing :)


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