Inside: You will often feel like you are doing it wrong when parenting teens
I know I give you a hard time about your room a lot. I know I get frustrated when you are on your phone. I know you feel overwhelmed with academics and service projects and sports.
And I keep saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Trust me, you aren’t a peach, either.
We are not aligned on how to approach certain things. I don’t need a snide remark after every interaction. I’m sure you are not always telling me the full story. I KNOW that spoon always in the sink with peanut butter on it is yours.
Maybe I should have let it go when I found out you didn’t do your chores like you promised.
Maybe you should have remembered before you left to go out with your friends.
But I said the wrong thing at the wrong time—and we drifted a little farther apart.
Parenting teens means what worked yesterday may not work today
What I’ve learned about raising three teenagers is there are seasons, just like anything else.
There are periods when I see that someday we will be the best of friends and times when you won’t let me anywhere near your world.
There are moments filled with so much love and laughter I know I’ll remember it for the rest of my days, and sometimes the words we say to each other bring me to my knees.
There are days we get along so well and I believe I’m getting this parenting thing right, and nights I can feel your wrath from three rooms away.
And here’s the thing, dear teenager, I’ll probably keep saying the wrong thing.
Teenagers are developing right before our eyes
Because you, dear teenager, are changing every day.
Sometimes you are so grown up it takes my breath away, and sometimes you show just how much you still need to learn.
There are times you leave our house so confident I think you are about to fly the nest that very day, and nights I sit in your bed while you shed some tears.
There are mornings I think you will take on the world, and evenings I worry about how you will get through the next day.
Sometimes it feels like I’m parenting a different kid, and what worked yesterday doesn’t apply today.
So I’ll keep stepping in it with you. I’ll keep parenting and guiding and yes, probably saying the wrong thing sometimes, I’ll probably say the wrong thing lots of times.
Because even though you change personalities throughout the day, my job is always the same—and despite the words we sometimes use and the mistakes we make and the periods of silence—I’ll love you through them all.
But even when I’m saying the wrong thing, at least we’re still talking.
And as long as we’re doing that, I know we’ll be OK on the other side.