Skip to main content

Teenagers in Little Bodies - Day 7

I love, love, love parenting teenagers.
Currently  having 6 bonafide teenagers calling me Mom right now, cements my right to make that claim. 

Each stage of life has been one I can't imagine leaving because I love it so much and can't fathom the next one being as good.  I felt that way in high school and then loved college more.  I felt that way about my babies but it was so fun to watch them learn to walk and talk.  Having preschoolers go off to school is bittersweet yet awesome.  Now I'm finding out that having teenagers in my house is a super cool way to be a Mom.

I can't count how many times people in the grocery store would respond to my cart overflowing with toddlers and babies and say something tongue in cheek about how great my life will be when they're teenagers.  Those comments always made me fume a little inside.  They felt stupid and now I have proof that they were wrong.

For me, somewhere during middle school, a shift occurred in each of my kids and they became more than kids.  They became real people, with glimmers of adult shining out of them, that I really like.  I'm still Mom and there are times that I have to lay down the law, but we've also turned the corner towards handing over responsibility to them. There's intoxicating freedom in that.  We laugh together a lot and talk about just about everything under the sun.....maybe that's because 4 of my teens are daughters!!

So why am I talking about teenagers to a bunch of moms of preschoolers?  Because your teenagers of tomorrow are inside those preschool bodies today.  You are parenting the teenagers they will become and it helps to have that end in mind.  Dream a little about how you hope it will be.  Pay attention to families around you that have teens and pick one or two to watch extra closely as a model.  Look for the character traits that seem of the highest value for that stage of life.....and get cracking on those things right now!

*Do you want to have easy conversations with your teens about sensitive topics like sex and their bodies?  Then start talking now so they can never remember a time when it wasn't just done. (Click here for a link to a book series we used.)

*Do you hope that your kids will trust you with their feelings?  Build that trust now by learning to listen well.

*Do you desperately want teens with strong character that can stand against peer pressure?  Start praying about that and giving your children opportunities to practice being different than the crowd.

You are creating in them, right now, the feelings of normal that they will carry with them into their teen years.  Your ways of relating, the things you talk about, how you express confidence in them or concern, the character lessons that you teach now, are all slowly hardening into habits that will define them in 10 years.  Right now you have the power of incremental change on your side as you look toward the future.  When you realize a deficiency or an oversight in the things you want to teach, you can make a 1-degree shift to the right or left that will slowly result in a monumental shift over the years.  Incremental adjustment is much easier to make than a 180 when they hit middle school and you freak out over the things still undone.

I'm not saying you won't have to make a few 180's.....everybody does because life is messy.  But, if you parent those little bodies now like they're teenagers in training, you'll end up with fewer of them to make, and more time to laugh!


  1. You're SO right! Those little changes make all the difference in the world and add up over time. And I've found that your children often are trying to tell you what they need but they don't know how to articulate it. It's up to us to listen and help them find their footing.
    Good stuff!

    1. That's what makes parenting such a daily thing.....and so much work!!!


Post a Comment

I'd love to hear what you think!

Popular posts from this blog

What You Need, When You Need It - The Glorious Table

We ate steak at the fanciest place in town, me and my sister, our husbands, and our parents. Around the table, we joined Mom’s reminiscing. We retold our favorite stories of family vacations and holidays. We revealed some silly childhood secrets. And we listened to Mom’s stories from fifty years she and Dad spent together. One of our favorite stories is of the birthday Mom expected a diamond ring but went home from their swanky dinner with a shiny new set of hot rollers. Whenever Mom tells that story, instead of making fun of Dad for his slow-moving ways, she praises his serious, methodical decision making. She points to it as proof of his dependability. My mom told stories. I told stories. My sister told stories. Even our husbands had memories to share. We retold some of the stories Dad put on paper in his journal for us. The thing we missed most was Dad’s voice in the storytelling. Rather than telling the stories himself, he locked eyes on the teller and responded, “By golly, that ha

How to Be OK When You’re in a Funk - The Glorious Table

My favorite jeans are starting to cut into my waist in an uncomfortable way. The grocery order keeps getting delayed when we’re already out of milk. The dog has gotten into the trash again. My kids carry individual sadnesses I can’t fix for them. It’s rainy and cold. My hip aches at night sometimes. People I thought were dependable turn out not to be. I’ve turned out to be not as dependable as I thought I was. My dad is sick. I suddenly need reading glasses for the fine print. It’s impossible to predict which of these disappointments will have the power to push me into a full-on funk. I have days that feel so full of hope and possibility that I have the juice to face the big stuff with faith and trust. Other days start out already negative, so even good things feel bad. Funks and feelings don’t submit to the scientific method. They often multiply uncertainties and disappointments until the weight of dark clouds feels too heavy for my one set of shoulders to bear. I have a feeling that

Fear - You're Not the Boss of Me Anymore! - Part 1

I had a recurring nightmare as a child. It woke me in the middle of the night and kept me awake worrying about whether it would fill my mind as soon as I closed my eyes. I thought I would outgrow it. I hoped my adult brain would be able to see things my child’s brain couldn’t and I would be free. Instead, a panicky fear of my Dad dying followed me into marriage and parenting. I’m 49 years old and until recently, the nightmare still showed up in various forms. This year my beloved Daddy died. I watched him take his last breath in front of me and imagined him arriving with the next in heaven. My whole life I’ve been clenched up around the fear that watching him die might break something inside of me and I couldn’t survive.  It didn’t happen. I’m more okay than I ever thought possible. My dad isn’t living anymore, he’s not here on earth for me to talk to or touch and I’m sitting upright and in my right mind. Today I’m amazed at my okayness. Finally being free of this fear I’ve lived with