You say the word teen to a parent of a young child and their heart skips a beat. You mean my little chunky boo bear is going to be a TEENAGER soon? There goes my nightly snuggles and being your best friend, soon you will hate me. Maybe those were just MY thoughts…I have been told I am a little dramatic!
Although, parenting a teen is different. I am here to say that it is a lot of fun. My son turned 13 a few months ago. I think pre-teen life was way harder. For us, 11 and 12 were rough. The attitude, entitlement and rough social scenarios ran throughout our home. We talked, hugged and processed a lot together. At this stage, I was thankful for the outbursts. I find that my bigger concern comes when our kids AREN’T talking or expressing themselves to us.
Over the past few months, Micah has gotten over the extreme attitude issues (for the most part, no one is perfect), he has learned to laugh at himself and can attempt teach me all the latest dance moves.
Our relationship has developed into having real life discussions about race, politics and religion during our car rides. This, my friends, makes this mama happy. I want to raise independent thinkers. The thought of my children growing up and saying “I think this way because that is what my parents said” makes me cringe! I present Micah with all scenarios and he then draws his own conclusions about situations and how HE feels about them regardless of how I feel.
Our favorite activities are card games, making fun of me dance, and attempting to teach me video games (this mama STRUGGLES). I can see him coming into who he will be as a grown man, and I enjoy watching him hang out with his friends. Watching my son play sports, shows me that he is learning discipline and commitment while still having fun with is peers.
Loving a teenager is different. When I hear “I love you, Mom,” his voice is a lot deeper. I hug his neck and have to get on my tippy toes to kiss his cheek but deep down in there is the little boy I have raised. Now, I am praying that he is becoming a man that will fight for justice and share love with everyone he meets.