The Joys of Raising Teenagers!

What I've learnedHello Readers!

As most of you probably know I am a mental health therapist. I see a variety of clients, including the “dreaded teenager.” Now I have a degree on the wall that says I’m qualified to counsel a lot of people, but I can tell you what I really know is from raising 4 children of  my own! My 12 year old twins grandchildren are helping to keep me current!  Before we go anywhere here let me tell you…you WILL survive! If I did it you can do it!!! Come on, lets all say it together!! YES WE CAN!!!

I met with 4 different teenagers today. One looked at her mother like she was the stupidest creature on earth! One dared tell her mom that she didn’t have to follow ANY of their rules and would do what she wanted (mom took it rather well I think, child was able to walk out of the room!). One told me she knew she had an attitude but most times couldn’t control it. One “didn’t like her mom’s tone of voice!!” Now as the mother of 4 GROWN children I can laugh at some of this behavior, because I know there is an end. I know that its hard, but teenagers are a LOT like toddlers, they need rules and consistency. If my children were to read this they would laugh and say I was the worst disciplinarian! Seriously, I was on a first name basis with the assistant principle who called me almost every day regarding my son. Looking back…I probably should have controlled him!! Yeah, and I can  nail jello to a tree too!!! With my oldest I used to say she had PMS, DMS, and AMS (pre, during and after!! We couldn’t catch a break). Now some of the little darlings sail through without a problem, but face it…most teens kind of turn into evil creatures between the ages of 13 and 18!! Like I said…the good news is, if you can hang in there, you get your little babies back and they grow up and give you wonderful grandchildren that you can spoil and send back home!!

I want to share this list of quotes I found. I found them quite entertaining.

Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young. -Unknown

Heredity is what sets the parents of a teenager wondering about each other. -Laurence J. Peter

Adolescence is a period of rapid changes. Between the ages of 12 and 17, for example, a parent ages as much as 20 years. -Unknown

You can tell a child is growing up when he stops asking where he came from and starts refusing to tell where he is going. -Unknown

Adolescence is a new birth, for the higher and more completely human traits are now born. -G. Stanley Hall

If you want to recapture your youth, just cut off his allowance. – Al Bernstein

I tell my child, if I seem obsessed to always know where you’ve been, it is because my DNA will be found at the scene. – Robert Brault

Mother Nature is providential. She gives us twelve years to develop a love for our children before turning them into teenagers. -William Galvin

Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree. -Unknown

Finally, in honor of the upcoming prom season, here’s a quote to make you nervous:

Chaperons don’t enforce morality; they force immorality to be discreet. -Judith Martin

Hope you enjoyed a little teen humor! Hang in there parents! You can do this…remember….you aren’t alone!!




Hold My Hand


A couple of weeks ago in church, the pastor asked everyone to hold hands with the people next to them while we prayed.  It just so happened that Oldest Daughter was sitting next to me!  As she reluctantly put her hand in mine, my heart jumped a little in my chest as I realized it had been quite a few years since I had held her hand!  Sitting there with my eyes closed and feeling her hand in mine, I wondered where the years went!  In three years, she will graduate from high school and then she will be leaving home for college!  So as we sat there praying, I just enjoyed holding my “little” girl’s hand.

Thankfully, I have Little One who still loves to hold my hand.  Whenever we are out and about walking in a parking lot or a public place, we both instinctively reach for each other’s hand.  Her little hand tucks nicely into mine and all feels right with my world!  After the church hand holding, I cherish holding her hand even more and even though Oldest Daughter doesn’t hold my hand now, we have our special moments, they are just different than when she was a little girl.

We all get very busy in our day to day lives (myself included) and tend to go through the motions without always remembering to stop and live, like Jules said in her last post-with our eyes wide open.  I want to really take time to mindfully appreciate all of the people  in my life that are most important to me and not take anything for granted.

So friends, if you have little ones at home, cherish the moments when they still want to hold your hand.  Time slips away and all too soon they no longer need or want to hold your hand.  We want our children to grow and mature into responsible adults, so it isn’t a really a bad thing, it just leaves me feeling somewhat melancholy.  Looking at Jules and watching her enjoy her grandchildren, I realize that God is so good because just when we think our holding hand days are over, He gives us grandchildren to enjoy!

I encourage you to seek out a child in your life, take their hand in yours and feel your heart soar!