A few months back I discussed raising small children, and last week’s post was on adulting. We cannot go from small children to adulting. In the middle we have teenagers. This is a very critical stage because so much happens during this time that will get them to the point of being the adult they should be. Raising teenagers can be one of the hardest part of parenting. You think that this is the easy part because when they are babies you want to protect them to ensure that they are fed,not hurt or crying. You worry when the baby start to crawl or walk and you do not want them to fall and hurt themselves. We worry about our small kids starting school and making friends. At school age they are so impressionable and they are having minds of their own. Now, when they get to the teenage stage, this is when some parents will say I love my kid, but I do not always like them.
My mother always said she did not like teens from the age of 14 up until they became an adult around 22. I did not understand that until my children became that age.My grandmother once said “When they are babies you carry them on your lap, when they are older you carry them in your heart.” Your teenager does not want to talk to you. They do not want be seen out with you, there are moments when you do not know who they are. This is the hardest part of parenting. We must trust our parenting skills and what we taught them. Your kids will not always make the right choices. Our kids will be influenced by their peers, and it is our job to instill many morals and values in them so that when they are influenced they will know to do the right thing. Your child should also have the understanding of right and wrong and if they choose the wrong thing they understand consequences to their actions.
Around Junior High School age (7 grade) they have these little attitude, smart mouth, laziness to them that starts the disliking stages. This is the age where their bodies are going through changes and they do not fully understand, therefore their emotions are all over the place. Our children will make new friends that either you will like or dislike. They want are interested in the oposite sex and are going through different feelings All these things are natural and we need to provide our children with the knowledge that we have to help sort out what they are going through. As a parent we need to show our children we have been there, and we understand. My daughter went through a stage in her teen life, where I had to say “I know you are changing and learning who you are, so introduce me to you.”
We must remember babies change, toddlers change, they become preschoolers and have these little personality you will see their growth and this is the stage where you want to make a good impression. Then we are entering grade school where they want to have some independence, learning how to solve problems. This is a good age where you can teach the child how to handle situations. And finally your teen. We watch our babies grow so we need to watch our teenagers grow. We need to help them find who they are. We assume once we instilled those values in them when they were younger, they just get it. Guess what? They don’t, because they are dealing with so many hormones and emotions, we need to be able to teach them how to deal with what is happening. This will also teach them how to handle stress. We as parents must also remember that there is some stress that our teens will go through. It may not be the type of stress that we endure, however they are also having stress, find out what that stress is to them. Remember their stress along with the hormone changes is a big deal in their world. Let’s understand our teens.