Help, I Have a Teenager
by Stephanie Pletka
What happened to my sweet, precious child? You know, the one that was fun, lovable, a conversationalist and a friend.
It’s a phase, just like everything else. Seasons of life come and go; it’s their right of passage. And it too, shall pass. You survived it, and so will they.
kids actually like discipline, margin, and guidance. It’s the world’s best-kept secret. They’re trained as teenagers to roll their eyes, cop an attitude, sigh loud enough to break the sound barrier, but it’s all smoke and mirrors.
Their hormones are a mess, as they transition from children to adulthood. I know how they feel. They’ve got the case of the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s but I can’t, going on; testing the waters on every front.
Notice during game night, they act too old and cool to play, but they hover close enough, as to not miss out on the action.
It’s their job to test the boundaries, as they grow up, seek independence and figure out who they are in this world.
Don’t you remember what you were like, growing up? 3 times worse. Oh dear God, I can hear the prayers now: please don’t let them be near as bad as I was, you know- you already have a story in your head; and it probably includes the word jail. You’re already calling your parents to say you’re sorry.
By testing the boundaries, they’re walking up to the Electric Fence of life to make sure it’s still there, making them feel safe, secure and cared for.
Guide them now, like bumper cars hitting the rails. Parental Guidance is a safe place for kids to bump life, test drive what works and what doesn’t, take notes and move towards success in a safe, secure area; before they enter harsh reality and life offers fewer soft places to land.
When they act unlovable, lean in, love harder, chase often and pray like there’s no tomorrow.
Like the Olympic sport, Curling, we’re whisking the broom left and right: love, lean in, hug, repeat. Hey, they gotta know we’re either crazy (highly probable) or care about them too much to let them veer off into the ways of the world.
They are your future. Their kids will be your grandkids. You have to fight for the goodness. No one will love, guide and care for your kids like you will. Stay the course, parents. You got this! Don’t let them fool ya. They love the guidance and margin. Those rolling of the eyes is just code word for ‘I love you too.’
Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a Father, the son he delights in. Prov 3:12
Stephanie Pletka created the parenting blog SpitupandHeels.com to encourage other moms from toddlers to teenagers to find humor in the ordinary. From carpool to counseling hearts, every season of life (good or bad) will not last forever. She’s written for various online magazines, blogs and newspapers, encouraging parents to create a slow down button to design the life you’ve always dreamed. When not traveling with her family, she resides in Scottsdale, AZ with her software designer husband and 4 children