Parenting Teens and Letting Them Spread Their Wings

The rules for parents are but three… love, limit, and let them be. ~Elaine M. Ward

Let’s face it… parenting is tough. The newborn adds new excitement, feelings of a love you have never known, exhaustion from a different element of sleep deprivation, and the joy of new life. Toddlers bring on adventure and discovery of the world around us in a whole new way. The preschool years bring forth more learning and the never-ending loop of “Why?” questions. Elementary age means learning how mean kids can be to each other, how caring others become, and how much homework you will be looking forward to in the near future. You then hit the tween years and the transition begins. Appearance matters like never before. There is this whole new life you forgot existed in the years since you walked through them yourself. And no matter how hard you try, you fly right into the teen years.

Parenting Teens

We have hit the teenage years running recently and parenting teens is no walk in the park. My oldest {Pepper} is 16 and started driving a few months ago. She also decided she wanted to accelerate her Junior and Senior year so that she could graduate this year. Therefore, we prepped her for all she needed to know to graduate as well as pass the ACT. This past November she took that test and scored well enough to get into a college or two she was looking at. We are now trying to decide the best course of action for her to take as she prepares to spread her wings and take flight… a little bit anyways.

Parenting Teens

I have watched Pepper grow by leaps and bounds over the past 2 years. It seems as though just yesterday she was this little girl in my lap nodding off as I sang, “You Are My Sunshine.” Now there are boyfriends, cars, clothes, mission trips, and so much more involved. Now things are more difficult. And, for me, I am trying to figure out just how much am I supposed to let her spread her wings. How far do I let her go in making certain decisions? She is only 16 but she has a myriad of adult decisions to make that impact her future. Realizing this, I am trying to maintain my parenting hat but this is all so new. I always tell her that we are both learning as we go. Since she is my oldest I am treading on undiscovered waters and everything is new to me.

I may not always say the right words or take the appropriate action but it is all a learning process. I do try but sometimes I feel beat down at the end of the day. And it is not that she is a bad kid, I simply worry that I am leading in her in the wrong direction and must learn to not question my every thought. As I guide her through this crazy thing called life I pray that she is able to pick up on the lessons I am trying to teach her and keeps them with her always.

Parenting Teens

I still have 4 more coming up after her. Our only son is 14 years old and hot on her trails. In fact, in just 3 short months he will be 15 and that time is approaching so quickly. He has already begun asking when we can start teaching him to drive and he is usually busy on the weekend with his sister and their friends. We have 2 and a half years before he graduates and I just know that time will fly by so quickly. Ugh! And then there are still 3 more to go…

divas

Are you the parent of teens? Or are you prepping for when that day finally arrives?

Perhaps it is just me and how I cope with these things but, again, I am learning as I go and I am sure it gets easier with each kid. Right? Please tell I am right!

365 Days of Gratitude
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