Moms and Teens

Wednesday March 3, 2011

I sat with a dear friend the other day who said, “He is SUCH a preteen.”

She went on to say, “He rolls his eyes. At everything.”

I felt her pain. I’ve been there, oh so many times.

And I live to tell.

She’s doing so much right, though. Loving her boy, encouraging him, yet holding him accountable.

I thought of a few things that might help her – and you, if you find yourself in the same spot.

1. Pick your battles.
This is hard. But you have to remember, there will be bigger battles than whether or not he wears that today. Save your big guns for the big battles.

2. Say “yes” as much as you can. (Maybe not an enthusiastic yes, but at least not a “no.”)
Again, this is like picking your battles. You’ll have to concede some ground because he’s establishing himself. Yes, you’ll have to let go a bit. Loosen your grip. Instead of saying, “Do this” or “Wear this,” give him a range of acceptable choices and let him pick.

3. Keep, keep, keep on loving him – and let him know, even if you think he doesn’t care. A secret? He does. He wants to know if you’ll love him when he stinks, when he’s unlovely, when he rolls those eyes.

4. Know that this, too, will pass.

I read the post of another friend this week who told of her date with her 5 year old. It seems his younger sister requires a bit more of Mom, so she gets a bit more of Mom. I know that scenario, too. I’ve had to remind myself to praise the one who is always doing a good job because, well, he’s always doing a good job and doesn’t seem to need it. But he does.

Anyway, the story of this preschool mother and son reminded me of something very important, and it leads to #5.

5. Make deposits in the time bank now; you’ll draw on them later. If you have a child who’s years from a teen, do as my friend did – take him or her out for some special one-on-one time. Those times really do serve as deposits in your relationship; you’ll be drawing on those later, in harder times. The memories will be there for both of you, and they’ll draw you closer.

Mothers of teens and preteens, hang on. There are some great things about those times – look for them.

What about you? Do you remember wise things your parents did when you were teens or can you lend some advice to other mothers of teens out there? Chime in!


Unknown said...

we have two boys - 15 and 12. we haven't done everything right, and we struggle sometimes, but the one thing i know can't be wrong is that we eat together as much as possible. even if that means supper at 8:30 pm. or is a fast food meal between events. we eat and talk and listen. and my husband and i talk about punishments before we dole them out. even if that means telling a child he has to wait until we talk before we can tell him his punishment. talk. talk. talk.

Anonymous said...

So interesting -- I just published a post about parenting teens, too, last night, and yet I missed some of these. Good reminders, especially about loving them no matter what -- just as God loves us.

Victoria said...

LOL I was reading this and thinking, Wow, I don't even have a teen yet and this applies so well. Then again, she acts like a teen sometimes (she even rolled her eyes at me once!). This was a really great post. I totally second the time-bank statement.

Tracey said...

Great advice from someone who has been there. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I find it very encouraging. :)

The Farmer Files said...

My parents encouraged me and took an interest in the things outside of school that interested me. That filled my love tank.

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