Navigating the Teenage Years


teenagerI’m not really sure how I ended up here or why I thought it was a good idea to space my children four years apart exactly. I’m pretty sure at the time I thought I didn’t want to have children back to back but in hindsight that may have been more ideal (laugh out loud) because now I’m navigating the teenage years and have a child in every stage of adolescence/education. There’s the 9-year-old in elementary school, the 13-year-old in middle school, and the 17-year-old in high school. As you can imagine the moods that I deal with from one day to the next are unpredictable and at times very intense. Wine anyone? 

My son is the oldest and it’s definitely been a journey to get to senior year but here we are, and the countdown to 18 has begun. Oddly enough while the rough part of the teenage years are over, approaching 18 brings on a new attitude because there’s this grey area where they “think” they are grown but as we all know, adulthood really doesn’t start to set in until what, age 25? If I can offer any advice at this stage it would be, to pick your battles. I promise it’s not worth the headache. You’ve done a good job raising them and they know right from wrong…or at least you hope.

But who knew middle school with a 13-year-old girl would be so intense?! You’ve got the mean girls at school, trying to fit in, all of a sudden there’s boy trouble (what boys?!), cheerleading, student council, art club, and Tik Tok. Never a dull moment. Being the mom of a strong-willed teen as she begins to navigate becoming a young woman is interesting. A lot of reflection happens here; you remember how you were at this age, what you wish you knew, and maybe even the support you wish you’d had, and then you try to be that for her. It’s fun because you start to develop a different type of relationship and in some ways your daughter becomes your best friend. However, I can’t give you much advice on the mood swings, other than just know they happen monthly! 

I’ll have to talk about how to navigate the 9-year-old who’s going on 40 another time. Quite honestly, I’m still trying to figure this one out myself and it’s definitely becoming a journey. Normally by the time you get to the last child, you’ve thrown caution to the wind are just winging it. At least, that’s how it is on television. I will tell you this, the baby sibling of two older teens will be your most challenging. She’s wise beyond her years and makes you second guess yourself at times because it’s like trying to reason with Spock after you’ve come back from exploring space when her mind is made up. Let’s face it, you’re tired, you’re knocking on the door of your forties, and well, you’ve done teenage years twice back to back at this point. The third time is definitely the charm. So if you’ve reached this point in your navigation, congratulations, you’re doing a great job!