You hear so many horror stories about parenting a teenage daughter.
Honestly, I’ve been scared. Having worked with elementary-school-aged children for years, I felt fairly comfortable when our girls were going through that stage. Now that they’re 13 and 11, I feel as though I’m entering a whole new territory.
However, I’m here to say that ten months into having a teenager, I’m finding moments to enjoy.
On the way home from school one day last week, my older daughter was telling me about her day. She described a situation involving a classmate and told me how she had responded. Then she asked, “Do you think that was the right thing to do?”
Pick jaw up off floor. This is a special moment. Don’t lecture. All of these thoughts flooded my mind as we began our discussion.
This conversation with her really encouraged me. Yes, I have and will deal with attitude and a messy room and raging emotions. I know there are challenges ahead that will find me seeking God’s wisdom at a whole new level.
But I hope we get the chance to have this same conversation over and over. I know there will be times when she makes the right decision…and other times when she won’t. But with much prayer and God’s grace, my goal is to keep the lines of communication open so that learning and teaching can take place.
Thank you, Lord, for these moments that remind me how blessed I am to parent a teenage girl.
[I did have my daughter preview this post; I know they can be sensitive about what’s said about them in a public forum at this age! 🙂 ]
Do you have a teenage daughter? What are some of the best moments you’ve shared with her?
What a sweet interaction! I'm sure that it touched your heart immensely.
As parents, we hear all the time about how the "terrible twos" and then the awful teenage years. Well, I don't buy it. We didn't have any "terrible twos" here, and we have four children. And I think that if you have a good relationship with your children going into the teen years, then you can continue having a good relationship. I refuse to worry about the teenage years at this point, no matter what any "expert" might say. What do you think?
Tracey Brewer says
Yes – it did touch my heart!! Another thing you hear about this age group is how important their peers are to them – and while I know that young teens do become more aware of their friends' opinions, thoughts, etc., I believe that if we keep our relationship with them open and the communication flowing, they will still value their parents' thoughts and opinions as well.
One of our daughters was more difficult during that 18-months to 3-years-old time period; she was extremely strong willed and required more discipline and correction (multiple episodes daily!) than our other daughter did. That's just how their personalities are. I agree with you that the important thing is to be mindful of your relationship with them and then – no matter what their age – you can, with God's help, navigate whatever challenges any age brings!
I agree with the above comments. We never had the terrible twos. We've had our moments with every age group. And I don't buy into the teenage problem either – I think that is an attitude and way of thinking that is foistered on both young people and their parents by modern society, and is part of the dumbing down of society. These days society in general has decided that teenagers are (basically) delinquents and we can't expect anything much of them. As I said, I don't buy into that at all. In other times in history, kings and queens have started reigning during those "teenage" years, people have gotten married and started families and made huge decisions at that age. Young people are only simple minded if we allow or encourage them to be so! I think it's great that your daughters accept responsibility (like your daughter asking your advice for what she said – she obviously knows she is responsible for what she said to her classmate). 🙂
I was reading recently about the modern "teenage" phenomena. It is a very modern idea – I can't remember when it was introduced, but I'm not sure it's even 70 years old yet!. In previous eras, people at that age were called either adults (12 is the age of responsibility, traditionally speaking from Bible eras and other ancient civilisations), or, in the not too distant past, it was called "Girlhood" and "Boyhood" from the age of 10 – 18 years (think of the Elsie Dinsmore books!). And so, at the current age of 10, my daughter has entered Girlhood. She will carry a serious & increasing amount of responsibility each year until she is formally an adult, while still being allow to enjoy her growing up. This is what I have read helps young people to avoid the "silly" years of being a "teenager". 🙂 I certainly won't be encouraging her to have "silly" friends, either! 😛 God willing and with His help, we will come through it and all have learnt something and matured from our experiences – both the young people and ourselves as parents.
Tracey Brewer says
Yes – there are certainly periods where I feel I'm growing spiritually and learning life lessons right along with my daughters!!
Annelise is 8 1/2, and you all give me such positive reassurance!!! 🙂
aurie good says
How encouraging! My girls are not teens yet, but it seems that everyone tells me how horrible the teen years will be. So grateful to read your words!