The Truth about Parenting Teenagers
by Grace For Moms
June 16th, 2016

Teenagers. One word with unicorn-magic can strike fear in grown men and women and cause any senior citizen to extend a hug and their heartwarming condolences. Moms, understand this: as soon as the first pimple pops in on the scene life at home will change. A lot.

Parents once cool and quite awesome are now pathetic and sadly embarrassing.

That same child who held your hand and paraded you proudly in preschool now publicly shuns you like a forest troll and asks you to walk ten paces behind her at the grocery store.

Hormones rage and bodies blossom into youthful adulthood. We’re tricked to believe they are grown adults who can be reasoned with. This is a sinister trick. Don’t fall for it.

Their bodies are big but their brains are still small. {It’s been scientifically proven, I’m sure of it.} A big body does not equal an adult mind. Using logic to explain why your son or daughter needs to be home before 11pm on a school night is like trying to explain to a banana why it should stay out of the sun.

Even if your teen understands things like curfews on school nights or how getting a job during the summer is a great idea, it doesn’t mean they’re going to like it. Why?Because teenagers don’t have eyes to see the big picture. They just aren’t wired that way. Small brain, remember?

As the mom of four children, by the time my youngest is grown I’ll have experienced FIFTEEN long years of teenagedom. One year, THREE of our four were teenagers at the same time. That I’m not medicated is a miracle of Holy Spirit proportions.


You won’t like your teenager. There are days you flat out won’t like your teenager. Period. End of story. Sure, you’ll still love them, but you won’t like them. I believe this is God’s way of helping you clip the wings to be okay when they fly the coop. I find it no surprise that God told Abraham to slay Isaac his son. After all, Isaac was a teenager at the time. It was probably an answer to prayer.

You will say things you don’t mean. As much as I’d love to share that my prayer life has kept me grounded, I can’t. There have been moments that the only thing I wanted to do in my prayer closet was drag my teenagers into it and choke them to death. Try to remember, your teen knows you very well. Don’t let them push your buttons. If you do lose your cool, asking forgiveness goes a long, long way.

You must go with your gut. So often, moms just “have a feeling” and later learn that “feeling” was right. Feelings prompt thoughts like, is my daughter really at her friend’s house spending the night or that party she said she wasn’t interested in going to? Or, did he actually go to the PG movie or the rated R movie I told him “no” to last week? God gives mothers a holy gift of discernment. I like to tell my mom-friends “If you get that ‘feeling’ go with it.”

You have to be mean There will be times when you’re going to have to take a stand and stick with it. So, please, please, please don’t make empty threats. When you say something—do it. I call this “Shock and Awe Parenting” because every once in a while you have to shock your teen and follow through with what you threatened. Why? Because the next time you say something your son/daughter needs to think, My mom just may be crazy enough to do this. Mean things I’ve done? Taken away cell phones, car privileges, concerts with friends {even after non-refundable tickets were purchased.} Oh, my sweet mom-friend the opportunities to be mean are endless.Bottom line—don’t make a threat, instead, keep your word.

Your teenager will not like you. There will be lots of days…maybe even years your tall child will not enjoy you very much. You’re not going to win any popularity contests for awhile. You are the parent and they are still the child {no matter how tall they are or how much hair is sprouting under their arms}.

You can see the big picture. You know the boundaries you make and keep will make them better people in the end. The better you are at sticking to your word, the more you won’t be liked very much. It’s the nature of the job. Working in such a hostile environment, moms should be paid teenager-differential.

There is a happily ever after to the fairy tale called motherhood. It’s that moment when your child’s eyesight for the big picture matures. They remember all you did and appreciate you for it. When will this be? When he pays his own bills, experiences roommates in college who eat all his food, and realizes toilet paper-fairies don’t exist to replace the empty roll like they thought. Look for these tell-tale signs my friend, because your happily ever after is on its way.

Do you have {or have you had} teenagers? What hard truths about parenting have you learned during this season?

This was written by Joanne Kraft and first appeared here. It is shared with permission.


Motherhood is not one size fits all.

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This post was originally published for Grace For Moms and is used here with permission.

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