Are there things you wish you knew before having a teenager?
I wish someone would have told me what raising a teenager was like.
I wish someone told me there would be days my heart would break in half for them, that my soul would be crushed by the weight of their sorrow.
I wish someone told me that I would experience doubt at every parenting decision, confusion over choices, fear at every juncture.
I wish someone told me about the extreme highs they experience because of victories and achievements and simple pleasures, and also the extreme lows that come on like a slingshot in the opposite direction.
I wish someone would have told me how deeply teenagers feel, and that sometimes it can be terrifying to watch, so much so that you sleep next to them like you did when they were small just to get to the next sunrise.
I wish someone told me that there would be times when you didn’t like your child, when you wondered where you went wrong, when you sat up late into the night worrying about who they may become.
Related: Teen Anxiety – 5 Ways To Help Your Teen Cope
I wish someone told me the passion they can feel for their interests, their friendships, their life, and how important it is to help them find healthy pursuits so they don’t fill their time with drama or mindless tasks.
I didn’t know it would be this hard.
I wish someone told me that staying close means letting go and that teenagers need so much space to grow.
I wish someone told me how very smart, very funny, very enjoyable they can be–when they are in the mood and the stars are aligned.
I wish someone told me how forgiving they can be when their parents make mistakes, how compassionate they can be when you give them a chance.
I wish someone told me how much hope these teens would give me in the darkest of times.
I wish someone told me that despite their behavior and attitude, teenagers need structure and rules and discipline–they even want it so they know where they stand in this crazy world.
I wish someone told me that nobody knows what they are doing when parenting a teenager.
I wish someone told me how lonely it could be when facing problems with your teenager, how hard it is to respect their privacy, and how their stories are not yours to tell.
I wish someone told me that watching your teenagers chase–and if lucky–achieve their goals and dreams would be infinitely better than achieving yours.
I wish someone told me that you will get through the challenging times, and your relationship will be stronger because of it.
Related: Why You Won’t Regret Talking To Your Teens About Everything
I wish someone told me how much they eat, how much they sleep, how much they want to be driven to places at all hours of the day and night.
I wish someone told me how they will listen to other people more than their parents–and how hard it is not to say I told you so. I wish someone told me how hard it would be to bite my tongue at every juncture.
I wish someone told me the importance of choosing your battles–and that some battles aren’t worth fighting for.
I wish someone would have told me how much I would laugh and how much I would dance, how many videos I would watch and shoes I would buy, how I would go without sleep to pick them up and get up early to get a good-bye kiss, how I would suddenly look up into their eyes and they would be the one to comfort me, instead of the other way around
I wish someone would have told me what parenting a teenager would be like, but I probably wouldn’t have believed a word they said.
It’s so much harder, so much better, so much more beautiful and terrifying and love-filled than anything anyone could describe.
And I wouldn’t change a thing.
If you’re looking for another resource, the book Parenting Teens With Love & Logic is one of our favorites. This book helps parents to raise responsible tweens, teens, and young adults without anger, nagging, or power struggles. Learn to set healthy boundaries, encourage important skills, and foster effective decision-making with empathy and grace.
Raising teens and tweens is hard, but maybe we can make it a little bit easier with these other popular posts parents found helpful.
How to Meet Our Teens Where They’re At
How To Have A More Peaceful Relationship With Your Teen; Guaranteed
Give Yourself Grace Mama, You’re Doing The Best That You Can
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