Welcome to Parenting Teens and Tweens
Parenting teens and tweens in today’s world is HARD. And unlike when our kids were little, it seems like no one wants to talk about the issues families face during the teen years. It can be so lonely, and we often wonder if we’re the only ones struggling with certain problems or just feeling lost and confused about how to handle this stage of parenting.
Even online, finding resources and support is much more difficult during the teen years. When we had small children, there were more articles, opinions and advice about sleep problems, potty training, and making our own baby food than we could ever read and communities for all types of parenting approaches. But when it comes to teenagers, that all seems to disappear or at least it becomes much harder to find.
We started parenting teens and tweens because, as moms with five tweens and teens between us, even though we often felt alone, we knew we couldn’t be the only ones struggling. The teen years are filled with drama, mood swings, dating, bullying, preparing them for college, friendship conflicts, questions about their sexuality, and so much more. It definitely seems like teenage problems today are bigger and much moreomplex. Navigating it all feels like a minefield. And it can be much harder to talk about because you want to protect your child’s privacy, but also because there is more embarrassment and shame around the challenges facing our big kids.
Our goal with the Parenting Teens and Tweens community is to create a safe space where you and other parents of tweens and teens can find the answers you need. We also hope we can create a sense of connection and bring together a group of parents who are all in the trenches of these teen years together. We want you to know you are not alone, you are not doing it wrong, and you and your teen will survive.
There’s no guidebook for parenting tweens and teens because there is no one size fits all approach for raising kids. Each parent/child dynamic is different, and each tween or teen has a personality and challenges all their own. It’s all about on-the-job training and learning as you go along. You’ll make mistakes, but they don’t have to define your relationship with your tween or teen. But the issues you’re facing now require knowledge, patience, and understanding. Hopefully, you will find all of that and more here with us.
Who Are We
I am the mother of a teenage son, who is about to head off to college (cue ugly crying) and a teenage daughter who is just finishing up middle school. I’m married to a patient and wonderful tech savvy man who loves boating, so that is how we ended up in Florida. We also have a 15 month old mini-bernedoodle named Rory (yes, inspired by Gillmore Girls) who we often refer to as “the floof”. She’s crazy, but she makes us laugh.
I am an entrepreneur at heart who started and has managed an online media business for the last ten years, including parentingteensandtweens.com and sunshineandhurricanes.com. I am also an award-winning free-lance writer and previously had monthly parenting columns in SWFL Parent, Child Magazine, and SpaceCoast Parent. Currently, in addition to running my business, I’m a full-time marketing professor at a public university here in southern Florida.
I’m 100% nerd and proud of it. I would spend all day talking about books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer if I could get away with it. I’m also slightly obsessed with Star Wars, All Marvel Movies, and Harry Potter. I’m definitely more of an introvert, even though I do like to talk a lot, and I would way rather stay home and read/binge Netflix than go to a party. One of my favorite places to go on a date before my husband and I had kids was the bookstore, and it’s still where I escape on those days when I need a little “me” time.
I’m Whitney, the mom of three teen girls and married to one of the most patient men on Earth. I am always under construction and trying to figure out who I want to be when I grow up. I love sharing stories that help other people feel less alone, so I made a career out of it. I believe that being vulnerable and sharing your story is the most powerful way we can help others, but I also love to find humor and gratitude in the little things.
It is important to me to bring an authentic and realistic voice to topics such as marriage, mid-life, and mental health. You may have seen my work on Today Parents, Good Morning America, Huffington Post, Yahoo!, Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, or Pop Sugar. You can find some of my personal writings and memes on my Facebook page at Whitney Fleming Writes, and I write many of the articles you’ll find on Parenting Teens & Tweens.
I recently launched a gratitude journal for teen girls and their moms, and my work is published in five anthologies (with another coming out in 2022).
I am a serial volunteer for my kids’ schools and athletic teams, I love fancy coffee with little hearts made from cinnamon and foam, and I never turn down long dinners with good friends. I binge-watch way too many Netflix series with my teenagers and crime dramas with my husband, and I rarely miss a walk with my extremely disobedient dog, Jax.
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