Just when you think you’ve got parenting all figured out Life throws you a curveball.

Teenagers

How hard can it be? I was one not that long ago right? Right?

Sorry mom.

I mean, I became a pro! I can change a bum with them standing up. Probably blindfolded, hopping on one foot. I know what they eat, why they won’t, what battles to pick, sleep stuff, play stuff, homeschooling stuff, mom stuff. I GOT THIS! They make sense!

And then they don’t.

One minute we’re having a conversation – I’m relaxed thinking – I’ve got this. The next minute they are screeching that I said something wrong, turned my eyes the wrong way, Moved.

I then spend the rest of the day trying to figure out what went wrong and how I can repair our relationship. Until they walk into the room laughing, showing you something on their phone and you wonder what the hell just happened.

Right now I have 4 of these wonderful rollercoasters in my house.

I have learned two very important lessons during this time.

  1. As soon as you think you understand them something immediately corrects your foolishness.

2. I am not going to figure them out and that is ok. (They are still figuring themselves out. Hell! *I* am still trying to figure MYSELF out!

Just because I don’t understand them it doesn’t mean I can’t connect with them.

Let me say that again.

JUST BECAUSE I DON’T UNDERSTAND THEM IT DOESN’T MEAN I CAN’T CONNECT WITH THEM.

This isn’t about where we are at. It is about where they are at.

Meet them there.

I have learned over the years that they don’t speak with you openly in their rooms. I have had one of my teens tell me that she doesn’t like it when I come to her room to talk. It is HER space.

We need to listen to them. Respect them.

If they don’t tell you that watch their body language. Do they look uncomfortable? Closed?

I find usually the best time to talk is in the car. Probably because you aren’t looking at each other. I have no idea but some of our best conversations have been while driving. One on one. If they come to my room with something then they are ready to talk. No eggshells.

I have one teen that likes to go out to eat to talk

It isn’t about our comfort level. It is about theirs.

They Need connection even if they act like they don’t.

Our almost adults are amazing!

As much as I want to scream at them, kick them, swear at them, hit them, say mean things (Let’s be real. They feel the same about us and much more often.)

I also want to embrace them, take away their hurts, listen, comfort, be the one they run to. Connect.

Oh they days when we could just kiss their knees and make life better.

Now it would just be weird.

Neely

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Ann Phelps
Ann Phelps
1 year ago

I’m so there right now!

Rachel Waechtler
Rachel Waechtler
1 year ago

Love this advice! Connecting is the most important