Raising Teens :: Not For The Weak

Raising Teens :: Not For The Weak

“As much as I love raising my big kid I still long for the days that his hands were encapsulated in mine.”

Raising teenagers is not for the weak. When our children are younger we think those are the hardest days. Sleepless nights, temper tantrums, the works. Y’all know how it is. We’re often met with the sly comments of parents more experienced than us saying “just you wait” and we shrug it off. Caught up in the days we never think we’ll get past. The truth is though, all of those well-meaning naysayers were right. As I enter my third year of raising a teenager, I’ve indeed looked back on parents with toddlers and thought to myself, “just you wait.”

Parenting teens is HARD. It comes with a different set of rules, not to mention a whole different, teenage made, lingo.

While there are many, many books and blogs about parenting newborns, those tools become fewer once you get to those teen years. I guess we’re expected to know it all by then. When in reality, I don’t know a single parent of a teen who is not hanging on by a thread, waiting for another ball to drop.

That’s what parenting teens is. Waiting for significant things to happen to them, and having their back through it all. The tricky part is, we’re trying to raise them up to be independent, successful adults but we must realize that we have to stay back and let them learn these things from a distance. We can’t be too intrusive, we can’t be too much of a helicopter parent. It’s tough but they have to learn how to handle their own mistakes and frustrations.

My oldest is 15. He’s closing out his freshman year of high school and he’s a good kid. Like a really good kid. He still comes in my room every night and talks to me about his day. He makes excellent grades. He’s athletic. He’s popular. I thought those things alone would mean I’m not constantly worrying about him. Joke’s on me though because I worry more about him now than I ever did when he was younger.

I worry that he’s consistently making good choices and not giving in to peer pressure (I don’t even want to talk about what I was doing at his age!). I worry more than ever about his future, and in turn, my parenting. Am I raising him up to live a successful, fulfilled, HAPPY life? I worry about his mental health, and praying to God that I don’t miss any red flags. This stage is so full of worrying, sometimes it feels like I’m going to implode.

I know deep down that worrying will get me nowhere. That doesn’t stop my brain from going a mile a minute though. I try my hardest to just trust that everything will work out for the best, and it will… right?

If you’re parenting a teenager or have already done so, what’s your best piece of advice?

Sara Hodge
Sara is the proud mother of four children and 3 cats. Born in Baton Rouge, she grew up in Ascension and decided to settle down in her hometown of Gonzales. As the mom of two children with congenital heart disease, she's passionate about raising awareness for the cause. In her rare moments of spare time, she enjoys reading Stephen King novels, spending all her money on Amazon, and scrolling through TikTok. You can usually find her cruising the streets listening to 2000's emo, being her children's personal chauffeur.


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