I started this blog with my mom and sister in June of 2008. I simply can’t believe that we’re going to be celebrating our 11th “birthday” this June. It’s crazy to me! I guess what’s even crazier is that 2 years before that we were blogging on our very first blog PinksandBlues.com. It was (for us) the beginning of the beginning. We started to see the wild west of the internet become this THING that we just couldn’t ignore. The blog for me started as a way to share my life about raising babies and today… well, it’s evolved into Raising Teenagers.
There’s not that much content out there about raising teenagers. It’s actually the opposite about how I started. I mean – all you need to do is a quick search on this site and you will see posts about the best strollers, the best crib, the best diaper, the bottle, the best baby clothes, how to travel with babies and toddlers, etc. My blog has truly documented MY personal motherhood journey and I’ve loved sharing my hits and my misses along the way. But now? Now it’s not just about toddlers and elementary school (thank goodness I still have my Victoria!). Not it’s about RAISING TEENAGERS and there’s not that much “out” there about the raising of them, at least not on personal blogs.
My oldest son William is 14 years old. He’s my trailblazer on the teenage front when it comes to parenting for me. All the mistakes that I make as a mom to a teenager will be made on him first, it’s just semantics. This is all new territory for me right now. Dating. Teenage freedom. Teenage moodiness. High school next year. Texting like crazy. SnapChat and Instagram use non-stop. Checking on friends that they’re hanging out with. Knowing the parents of friends. There’s also all the outside pressures of life – drugs, alcohol, social media. There’s a lot that goes into raising teenagers, it’s a beautiful time and it’s a scary time.
I’ve talked to so many of my friends about the whole topic, the one common denominator is that we don’t want to share intimate details about teenagers because – well, they’re online! Talking about things would be airing information that they have access to read and see and not just them. It’s a tough line to walk and it’s one thing that I won’t do… I will not violate the trust of my child. If he asks me NOT to talk about something, I won’t. I would never go behind his back and post a photo or a story or a situation that happened.
But here’s the thing… I need other moms of teenagers. I need to know I’m not alone. I need to know that I have other moms and dads out there navigating through the same waters and looking for rafts to hold onto as we go along. It’s not easy raising teenagers today. I have 4 sons back to back and I know that my journey is just beginning. Dare I say it – as much as I love having “older kids” I miss the days of snuggling on the couch with my 4 year old son! I miss the days of him needing me to tie shoes or pack a backpack. It’s a whole new parenting thing for me with “big” guys. Maybe it’s more obvious to me since I have a 5 year old, but it’s really different parenting and it’s something that I’m just beginning and wish I had a handbook on.
But there’s no handbook and everyone’s teenage experience is different from the next. There’s not one the same. Everyone wants it to be smooth sailing, but the reality is – it never always is. You want to be prepared and ready and open to everything. You want to be in the know and feel that you’re (at least) as informed as you possibly could be.
Here are my hopes as a teenage parent right now:
I hope that they always know I’m there for them.
I hope they feel comfortable to talk to me about things.
I hope they feel safe to tell me things.
I hope they know that I will trust them until that trust is broken.
I hope they know making tough decisions for them isn’t easy.
I hope they see that I’m trying my hardest every single day.
I hope know that they know that I love them to the moon and back.
I’ve always joked that the toddler years were the easy years. It’s not true. I know that with each stage there comes it’s challenges and difficulties. I personally love having older kids now because I feel like I’m really getting to know them. I love their personalities. I love their humors. I love how they interact with each other. Being a mom of teenager isn’t for the faint of heart… but isn’t each stage? You need to be strong and rely on your gut and your heart.
Let me ask you these questions:
If you have teenagers – when was the last time you sat down and really talked with them?
If you have teenagers – when was the last time you did something fun together?
If you have teenagers – what are they’re favorite activities to do?
If you have teenagers – when was the last time you drove together without the radio on or a phone to distract them?
If you have teenagers – what are they working on in school right now?
Think about these questions. Think about your answers. It’s important to make sure you stay in check with your kids. You don’t want them to be like little tech zombies. You don’t want them to feel that they don’t have YOU in their corner. I’m just at the beginning (I know), but it’s something I think about and something I’m trying to be aware of more and more. I want them to know me, just as much as I want to know them as they grow. I hope that make sense!
See Perfect Family Beach Day with Teenagers with us!