I don’t know who needs to read this today, but here’s a reminder that raising teenagers is not for the faint of heart. What you are doing is hard. Some days, it’s really, really freaking hard.
Doing so will challenge you in ways you never expected, throw you curve balls you never saw coming, and leave you exhausted in a way that you couldn’t anticipate even during those sleepless nights when your teen was tiny.
Don’t be fooled by the other families who look like they have it all together and are sailing smoothly through the teen seas. They encounter rough patches, too. We all do. It’s part of helping someone transition from childhood to adulthood.
Trust me, their kids know how to push their buttons, too. They all know how to do that.
Parents have the job of establishing boundaries, and kids feel it’s their job to test them. While this is completely developmentally appropriate, it means that it is challenging by design. Parenting teens is inherently difficult.
Transitions are often challenging, but they’re also times of amazing growth. Keep your eyes on the prize – seeing the kid you are raising become a kind, functional, fabulous adult.
Remember that who your kid is becoming matters more than any award they could ever win.
Remember that you don’t have to teach them every single thing before they leave. It’s okay for them to learn some skills on their own, and you’ll only be a text or call away.
Know your mandate.
Keep your sense of humor if it is at all possible.
Reach out for help if you think there’s even a small possibility that you may need it.
Know that you are not alone.
Parenting a teen can be isolating and lonely. If you’re struggling, please know that you have companions along this difficult path.
There are others going through the same challenges, working just as hard not to lose their cool, worrying about the same things, and dreaming similar dreams for their kids and themselves.
You’re doing the best you can, and we’re all cheering you on.
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