What to Look Forward to in the Teen Years


A mom eating with her teen.Mood swings, self-confidence, sass, peer pressure, distancing, and independence-seeking. What is the common denominator? The teen years.

In our second year of raising a teen, I cringe at how our teen reminds me of myself. Ouch! Sorry, Mom and Dad! However, the amazing thing, just as in any struggle, is finding the joy in the moments we didn’t anticipate.

Sometimes, you never know what version of your teen you will get after a long day of school and activities.

They have interacted with no less than ten adults and dozens of peers. They are navigating a world much different than my own teen years. The bonus is the access to information, but this information also tells them what to do, how to feel, and how to look like an ever-present 360-degree mirror.

I have written before about the struggles I have heard from other parents in getting their teen to open up. It sometimes can be a cascade of conversation and, other times, a straight-up drought! My husband commented recently that our kids “always open up to me.” While it may seem like that, it doesn’t come without working at it.

Ten attempts to communicate can equate to one successful outcome.

Outcomes that often materialize only with a few words exchanged. It’s tough. Remember when you started dating and were trying to figure out how to manage rejection? We have all been there. Well, it’s good training for having a teen!

When the conversations come, it can be downright cool. Recently, my son texted me about songs a teacher played during class during his school day.

It’s great to see him connecting to teachers. It’s important. It shows he feels seen, and that, in turn, creates an environment he wants to succeed in. Or his class, where he is building 3D models. He comes home and shares it with his younger brother.

What can I offer as advice? Keep trying. As my mom always says, keep the door open. Always reinforce that you are a vessel for listening and understanding.


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