Parenting teenagers – You’re not on your own

October 3, 2019

Sadly there is no such magical handbook with every single answer to every single question or problem we have about our children. However, we manage and we learn through hints and tips from our own mothers and family or friends who have “been there and done that!”

Becoming a teenager

When our children hit their teens, we need help probably more than any other time in their lives. From birth to around 11 to 12 years of age, we the parents decide when they go to bed, get up, what they will and won’t eat, when they can go out to play, even who they play with, the list is endless! But from around the age of 12 things start to change, the boundaries you have set along with the rules, are starting to be questioned and pushed to see how far they can go.

A taste of freedom

Teenagers are full of contradictions. On the one hand, they want freedom and the right to make their own decisions and be treated as adults. And on the other hand, they want nothing more than to snuggle up on the sofa eating popcorn and watching a film with their parents. Little wonder that we as the parents get exasperated! One day they are almost childlike and the next they look at you in utter disgust at the mere mention of watching a film together!

Teenagers and clothes

What your teenager wears can be another minefield in which you are guaranteed to get it (according to your teenager) so wrong! Clothes, as we know, are a form of expression. How your teenager dresses is a serious matter to them.

Looking back when I was a teenager, how I dressed was very important to me and how I felt around my peers. Looking ridiculous was not an option, I thought I looked good! However, looking at the photos of myself as a teenager, there are many “what was I thinking wearing that?” moments.

And so, even though I don’t get the “jeans falling down so far that your underwear is showing fashion statement,” I won’t stop my son from wearing them. Although I would wonder how he and his friends manage to run to around without the jeans falling down around their feet!

Allow teens to express themselves freely, as long as the clothes they wear do not offend other people, clothes with Nazi slogans on them for example. I would let them enjoy experimenting with their clothes. Any comments made by you will usually be answered with ‘that was back then, everything is different now, you wouldn’t understand’ response.

Shifting power

Being the parent of a teenager is about changes and shifting power and responsibility from yourself to your teenager. With boundaries, guidance and consistency, but most importantly with love. Just like those dreaded night time feeds, the teething and the terrible tantrums you got through them, you’re still alive and you’re still a parent!


Photo Credit: unsplash-logoBlake Barlow unsplash-logoKendra Kamp unsplash-logoJulie Johnson unsplash-logoKevin Schmid

8 Comments

  • Brianne Tursi Manz October 3, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Having 3 children under 12, we’re a little ways a way from teen years. I appreciate this post as a sneak peek into the lives of teens!

  • Ali Rost October 4, 2019 at 4:27 am

    Oh gosh, I sure remember the teenage years with my kids. Harrowing is the word that comes to mind. The good news is they snap out of it somewhere in their 20s. Once they become parents, they’ll call to tell you that you actually did a good job. That’s the best part! xx

  • Rebecca Smith October 4, 2019 at 11:59 am

    I’m dreading the teenage years with my kids! We’re still five years away thankfully! I remember what I was like as a teen, my poor parents haha!

  • Kacie Morgan October 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    It can’t be easy raising a teenager. My mum always struggled because she didn’t earn much and yet I always wanted the most fashionable new clothes.

  • Rhian westbury October 4, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I was a pretty bad teenager and fought with my mum a lot so I don’t think I made her life easy. I don’t have kids (yet) but I don’t think I’d look forward to the teenage years x

  • Kim Carberry October 4, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Ahh! I have a 12 year old who is really pushing her luck and testing the boundries when it comes to going out with friends and not coming home on time and not being where she says she is. She grounded after tonight’s antics. lol Parenting teens and tweens is hard!

  • Lyanna Soria October 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve heard a lot about parents and the situations with their teenage kids and I must say I’m quite nervous. For now he is quite little and haven’t even started school yet but I know time passes by so fast, hopefully I’d have the strength for the incoming teenage phase.

  • Kara Guppy October 6, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I have got three through the teenage years and three more to go. I have to admit, I find it the toughest bit of parenting, give me toddlers anyday!

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