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Raising A Teenager Is So Much Harder Than Raising A Toddler

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Teenagers? Are you even kidding me? I was in no way prepared for what it takes to be the mom of a teenager, and I had 13 years to prep for this. 

Side Note: My teenager walked in while I was reading this and said, “WHAT DID I DO?” Oh, kid… you don’t even know…

It all starts out sort of innocent with puberty and sleepovers, and then before you know it, it launches into wanting to go to the mall with friends unsupervised, hang out with boys at the pool, and also decide what the heck they want to do with the rest of their lives. 

I mean, are you kidding me with all of this?

The worst part is, there’s no set age to know when it’s okay for your kid to go and do things. Oh, and you might not be the one deciding. 

Kissing boys? When is that okay? I have no idea.

I mean teenagers are going to kiss. That’s a thing that is going to happen, and we don’t really have any say over it. But when should it happen? 

When can they go to things like football games and the mall unsupervised? When is it okay to leave them at home alone? 

How am I supposed to know the answers to this stuff, it doesn’t magically just appear in my brain.

Even though I was really hoping for that. 

And what is right for one kid might be completely wrong for another. All these kids mature at different times.

Sure we can let their maturity guide us to some extent, but if it were left up to me, I’d probably keep mine under lock and key until she was 30 or so. 

And that can’t be right. 

You just have to trust. Trust that you raised a good kid with good morals and good sense.

Trust that you knew what you knew what you were doing along the way, and trust in your kid. 

That all sounds good in theory, but in practice? I really just want to follow her around the mall like a creepy sneaky stalker person and just make sure she’s safe at all times. 

She would be okay with that, wouldn’t she?

(Side note: The teen read this post over my shoulder, and just let me know that, “No, no she would not be okay with me following her around like a creepy stalker person.” So I guess it’s back to the drawing board.)

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17 Comments

  1. you’ll get through it. I had 6 between the ages of 10 and 19 all at the same time. My hair absolutely turned white.. They are all now between the ages of 37 and 46 .They are all good citizens, have good jobs/professions, and are loving,
    caring individuals.

  2. Im a Mom of 4…… I have 3 girls and 1 boy I had my first 3 kids close so they Grew up together My last child is now 13 Let me tell you it’s been one heck of a time with her She’s done things that my other 2 girls never did Or that my son never tempt to do I got a divorce when my little one was a year and a 1/2 So it’s been a struggle Not to long ago I caught her with the little boy at the house And I was mad And let me tell you I let her have it I think she’s learned her lesson and I’ve talked to her I ran away from home at the age of 14 with my kids father and that’s one thing I always told my kids I don’t want you to do the same mistake I did dont get me wrong I dont regret my kids they are my blessing and what Iive for well including my grandchildren now yes I’m a grandma of 2 a boy and a girl
    Anyway my TEENAGER now has giving me more gray hair lol then my first 3 kids ever did and its even harder when your a single mom

    1. I hear you hun.Im a single mum.I have 3 kids,27,16 and 11, 1 boy and 2 girls.The youngest is hard work,11 going 25.Attitude.plus, the x is useless does nothing,I call him a sperm donor.Im always sick die to stress have Shingles again.

  3. So in our situation, we have a son on the autism spectrum who is 21. He acts and thinks like a teenager. The challenge is…he’s 21. Legally, he is allowed to go and do as he pleases but his decision-making skills and judgment are severely lacking. Talk about hard. Because, technically I can’t say “no you can’t go because I don’t know them.” If he walks out the door, there is not a thing I can do to stop him. Let me tell you, this is the most difficult stage we have been in!

  4. Well…

    My children’s are ten years apart and God knows I could not handle parenting otherwise. I have a 15 year old young man and I believe it to be harder than raining my young woman who’s the oldest. My daughter was very accepting of the expectations of no sleep overs unless I REALLY knew the parent from school or church, there are NO opportunities to go ANYWHERE unsupervised by me or a trusting adult, and there is no “hanging out” with a purpose or something constructive to do.

    My 15 year old accomplished swimmer who if I might add is VERY HANDSOME, smart, and socially POPULAR., pushes the envelope for EVERYTHING. I am raising him with the same expectations but again the debate and maturity level stumps me every time. I have to bring in the race relations as well. The majority, 95% of his friends are of other races while he is African. Of course we should ALL know that the expectations per culture are different. These dynamics make it more challenging. Each outing is a case by case basis and it will never ever change that I must know the parent and the outing has a purpose. I also have to continuously teach and remind him to step outside of his situation and see from another set of eyes and if it looks dangerous or has the potential to invoke negative race relations then he must immediately remove himself.

  5. Hello,
    I too have teenagers( two to be exact and one preteen all three are girls) and it is not easy to say yes when my oldest (14) asks to go places and it’s usually through a text message. My quick response is always “nope”. So what we have resorted to is having her whole crew at our house and that gets old real fast. It’s not that I don’t trust my teenager I just don’t trust the world. Lol! I know how that sounds but it’s really hard to not be “that” mom. I try my best and when I do let her go places it’s only for a few hours and no sleep overs unless I really know the parents. I am constantly worried or anxious when she does sleep over someone else’s house. I don’t think that worry will ever go away. Is there something wrong with me. Lol! But no seriously…… If only I could keep my girls in a protective bubble their whole lives but let’s be honest they are growing up and it’s so hard. Anyway, I love this topic.

  6. Hi Everyone ?I’m on my THIRD teenager, WHEW! lol And Definitely Each One Was Totally Different in Understanding & Boundaries. We Just Do The Best We Can With ALOT of all Listening to God Whispering in Our Ear! Happy to Have Come Across This Great Group To Ask Advice & Toss Out Ideas I May Have Come Across That May Offer Some Guidance ?! My Oldest Daughter is Turning 30 in January, My Son 27 I’m March, & My Baby Girl Just Turned Sweet 16 This Past July! Definitely a Generation Gap in Experience Right?? Lol Blessings to All!

  7. You can have a close relationship but your eally cannot be their friend. You have to monitor everything and confront them when necessary. And for goodness sakes they cannot be trusted. I thought I had raised mine really well. I thought she was a great kid. Turns out she was but she was also a teenager. She tested boundaries I had no idea she tested. And now that she is an adult with kids of her own she tells me about the hints she got me. I have been shocked. So gird Your loins! Being the mom of teenagers is not for sissies!

  8. We are working on giving them more independence and become more of an influencer than a controller. It is a tricky transition but we’re being reminded constantly that they are amazing young adults and it is a fun time to be enjoyed. I have two teenage girls so it can be a roller coaster but I genuinely feel we have a beautiful thing going with this balance. Do I stay awake some nights letting my imagination get the best of me…working to worst case scenario within a moment? Yes. But at the end of the day, I trust in God to protect them and to bring them the conviction they need to make good choices. When they mess up, we talk about it, learn, and move forward with grace. In a few short years they will be expected to live elsewhere and begin true adulthood, so don’t wait until the last minute to give them the ability to think and make choices for themselves.

    1. Could not agree more! Over sheltered and controlled teens seem likely to become co dependent adults. Either co dependent on mom and dad or worse, co dependent on a bsf or significant other that lets face it, may not have their best Interest at heart. The goal is independent , Strong, successful women in our house. Even if that means mom must let go a little.and let Jesus take the wheel. ❤️ It’s never easy but I have been amazed what I have seen from them when they think I’m not watching

    2. I couldn’t agree more and I am using a very similar parenting style. 2 girls 11&13 with both birthdays in the next three months. I honestly like this age the best so far. Minus their constant bickering about the most trivial and insignificant things

  9. You need to remember you aren’t your kids friend. Be a parent. Parents dont do, say or allow what friends do. Again…be a parent! Don’t be afraid to own your role! In the end, they will thank you for it.

    1. I don’t know. I think that you can be both. You can offer structure and guidance and still be a friend. I know this is a really common thing that a lot of people say, and it’s pretty widely accepted. Yea– be a mom, but don’t forget to be their friend, too. They will thank you for that as well.

      1. I agree that you should always be a parent first but you need to be their friend too. They need to be able to not be afraid to come to you.

    2. I feel this ‘you aren’t your kids friend’ line is an old-fashioned way of thinking. My kids respect me and still feel they can come to me with anything. I love that they are so open with me to discuss things I would have never imagined talking to my parents about. We are friends. That is a relationship I want to establish with them for life. It isn’t just a switch that happens at some point. It is ok to have fun and be fun with your kids — but show there are still underlying rules that are understood. I am so much more than a disciplinarian.

      1. The friend idea with your teen depends on how Friend is defined. If it’s defined as the one you do everything with, tell all you’re secrets to and won’t offer reality to situations (which is how most teens would define it), then you have taken it too far as an adult in their life. If you go with the adult friend idea, of being one they can turn to and confide in for boundaries, reality check and empathy while understanding their need to be heard, they will know they are not always going to be right, but that you will always love them, even if you may not like the choices they make. It I should important to let them know that as a parent and an adult friend!