Raising Teens and Tweens: Do Not Listen to the Hype

 

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Moms of teens, do not listen.

Do not listen to all the well-meaning folks who tell you that your kids will be selfish, will be reckless, will be mean.

Do not listen to the people who hint at or boldly declare that the future is dim and your life will be troubled and your kids will be lost and you will wish it all over, day-after-live-long-day.

Moms of teens or tweens or toddlers who will one day be 13, do not listen to all that awful news because for some it may be true but for you it does not have to be.  

It really doesn’t.

Here is what I know for sure:

Three of our babies have crossed that threshold.  Three of my sweet boys live life with the title of teen as part of their identity. And yes, things are different and they are taller and they desire independence and I have to find a way to dig down deep and open my hands and offer it up at the very moment when I want to hold on tight.

But they are still my boys. My beloved littles that aren’t little anymore…

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And sometimes, when they turn their face toward me, I can see the same smile they offered as they climbed onto the kindergarten bus.

And sometimes, when we are just messing around, their laugh flies free and light and I am lost in the very sound that can move me to happy tears.

And sometimes, they will put their head on my shoulder or throw me an unexpected hug and I won’t tell them but they have made my day. 

And still, after all these years, I will reach out my hand and ruffle their hair or cup their face in my hands and tell them that I love them… and oh, how I do…

And they let me.

Still. 

Mommas, do not believe what you are told.  What do you want it to look like?  How do you want them to be?  How can you fan the fire of their little persons so that they flourish and grow into their best selves, even during those tumultuous teen times?

Challenge them, mommas.  Raise the bar.  It can be done, I promise.

Love them freely.

Banish selfishness.

Express your adoration and pride.

Expect respect.

Talk. And listen (especially that).

And cherish it.

EVERY. LAST. SECOND.

The teen years can be tricky but they do not have to be what you are told they must.  These are last years we know we are able to live side by side with our sweet kids.  It is the potential end of a beautiful ride.  It is the perfect time to fight for good and soak up days and relish the way they tilt their heads or speak of passion or challenge your political beliefs.  It is the absolute right time to choose to see them become the people they were created to be.

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Funny.

Athletic.

Serious.

Artistic. Brilliant. Real.

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Moms of teens, open your arms and pull them in.  Choose not to listen to all the nay-sayers that speak poorly of this time.  You know better.  You are the expert on your own child and you have a say in the season at hand.

The tween or teen before you is still your baby.

Even when you stand eye-to-eye.

Friesens at Camp

Blessings on your day…

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