Raising Teens

United States
August 10, 2009 11:58am CST
I am a mother of three, and although my children won't be teenagers for a years to come, I have watched my other parent friends deal with hardhips with their teens, and have even been warned, "You just wait...." I love my children, as I would imagine every parent does, but raising teens must be harder than any other age! What is the hardest (or worst) part of raising a teenager? Did you teen choose a life that you didn't particularly like or make choices that made them grow up too soon?
2 people like this
12 responses
@kykidd (6819)
• United States
10 Aug 09
I don't have any children of my own, but I have watched my sisters, brothers and friends struggle with their teenage children. The biggest thing that I have noticed, is the fact that they want to be treated like an adult, but yet they go and do things that they shouldn't be doing...and then they need their parents help to get them out of trouble. I have also noticed some dishonest periods through some of the teenagers lives, but luckily they usually grow out of these stages, and become very responsible adults. Good luck to you and your teens!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 09
That does seem to be quite a common trait with teens-they want to act all grown-up and be "bigger" than the rules, but if they get in a bind or need help, who do they call? Mom or dad. It usually seems that they think they can do everything on their own (I know I did) but then when it doesn't work out the way they thought, they end up back at square one, but still refusing to hear "I told you so."
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 09
I think maybe they eventually become the responsible adults by making a mistake or two along the way. Hopefully the mistakes don't jepordize their futures. These are hard years for the teenager as well as for the parent. They're no longer a child, but not quite yet an adult either. They want to have the freedom of an adult without being ready for the responsability that comes with it. Again, eventually they figure out that you can't have it both ways. I have to admit I have a harder time understanding and dealing with my step-kids than I do with my own children. But I think that goes both ways. I have a very close relationship with my daughter, where my husband only notices her not so positive traits.
@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
10 Aug 09
Unfortunately, due to circumstances, I had very little to do with my children's teen years. I do believe though preparing them starts well before they turn thirteen, well prepared, and loved chindren will handle the many new challenges that teen years bring. Fortunately, my two are well past that now, and are preparing for their own challenges as their children head toward teen years. One already turns fourteen this month, and as he lives the other end of Australia, I don't know how he is handling the task.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
11 Aug 09
Teen can cause hardships for sure. I have a daughter that is 15. The biggest thing that bugs me is that they act like you have no clue..lol. They start that younger but it's worse as they get older. I think that I worry most about her choice of friends but the minute you tell them that you are concerned they will kill theirself to keep them. I have learned a trick about buying clothes though. If I see something I really like while we're shopping and would like to see her wear, I say..oh my ..I can't stand that shirt..LOL..she'll grab it right away..if not she'll come back to it.
• United States
11 Aug 09
LOL I like your shopping trick. OPf course your parents are never cool, and for what reasosn I don't know. My oldest son is 9 and when I drop him and his little sister off to school, he bolts to the school gate and merely waves to me. I used to get a kiss and a hug! But I remember when it was embarassing for me to kiss my dad goodbye. I actually told my dad and he got very upset with me. I asked my son why he doesn't kiss me anymore and he said because he didn't want anyone to see him. It's all about other kids making fun of him or him feeling uncomfortbale, and I appreciated his honesty, especially since I remember feeling that way myself.
• Canada
11 Aug 09
I am a teen myself. and I don't think it's as bad as people say. I think the hardship comes because begin our independance and the parents want their babies back. the two worlds clash.
• United States
11 Aug 09
That seems like a fairly simple yet great way to put it. There are in fact two worlds clashing. It isn't so bad, I mean we have all been there. But being a teenager and raising one are two totally seperate things. Some people will admit to have been a bad teen to their parents, but some won't. I guess it just depends.
@jimntam (93)
• United States
10 Aug 09
When our kids were younger I worried about the teen-age years myself. We now have five teenagers in our household. They are all wonderful kids. I think the best thing to do is set your guidelines, rules, expectations early. An out of control child will just become an even more out of control teen-ager. If they don't respect you now they won't respect you then. Don't be a hypocrit with the mistakes you've made as teen. I'm not saying blurt out all of your wrong doings, but don't say that you've "never", if you have. I know a parent that did this. It just made her child lose respect. I guess all you can do is guide them and hope for the best. I can say that the teen-age years are the most fun we've had with our children.
• United States
10 Aug 09
That is rare to hear a parent say that the best years are the teenage years, and I surely hope I can the same in a few years! Five teenagers-wow! I can't imagine. I would guess you have an outrageous food bill though! Yes, setting the rules early is hugely important, I would have to agree. My kids have their tempers and definitely their moments with being the unruly child, but my kids are fairly well behaved, and I notice other kids sometimes act completely different (in an unacceptable way, I mean) and I realize that my kids never do some things I see others kids doing, and I am made aware that my kids are pretty decent kids./
@dbabcook (390)
• United States
10 Aug 09
WOW! I am a mother on a 10-1/2 year old daughter who seems to be growing up VERY fast. I am also in a relationship with a man who has a 13-1/2 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. Let me tell you, I think from the age of 13 on up is probably the most trying time in any parents life. This boy has soooo many issues and pent up anger it is unreal. He can be a very angry boy as well. He has been raised from about 1-1/2 years of age on up by his father as his mother walked out on them. He has alot of pent up anger towards women and goes out of his way to be as angry and hateful to women as possible. Making it almost unbearable to deal with. There have been a few women in his fathers life since the end of the marriage and this boy, as well as, the ex-inlaws have done everything possible to get these women out of the picture. And they have all succeeded in doing just that. I have been in this little boys life for over 3 years now and been with his father for 2 years. He has pushed and pushed, trying to get me out. The ex-inlaws have assisted him as best they can while living in another state. None of that has worked. Now for his daughter. Well, her mother is just as bad. She didn't want me anywhere near my boyfriend or their daughter. She stated that I had no business with her daughter as we were not married, as she told the judge in court. The judge finally informed her that she had no control over who her ex was with and her was tending to her daughter while she was in his custody. That didn't set well. Well, after she was charged with contempt of court and put on 1 year probation things have suddenly changed. She has asked for my assistance in providing daycare for their daughter. I did agree to do so as this would allow for my boyfriend to have more time with his daughter than the court order allows. I also agreed to provide this daycare for them at no cost as I know how expensive daycare is and no that since my boyfriend takes care of all of our finances on his own while I stay at home with his 2 children and my 1 that it would save him atleast an additional $250.00 per month. Therefore, leaving that money in our household. His ex has had a tremendous lifechanging experience or something as she brings her to me each day that she works and is extremely friendly to me. Either that or she is plotting something against me. I hate to be so skeptical and untrusting but after everything she has put my boyfriend through I find it very difficult to have any trust in her whatsoever.
• United States
10 Aug 09
Isn't it amazing when peopel are kind to you you have no choice sometimes but to expect them to pounce on you again? People can be very vindicitive sometimes. What a story you have there. Does your boyfriend's son look up to at all after all this time, or is he still a handful? I hate when people meddle in other's business. I was married to my 2 oldest kids dad, but have eben divorced for 5 years now, and I would say for the sake of being exes, we get along great. He lives my life, I live mine, and our children are not caught up in the drama of hate. I am very lucky! It wasn't always this peachy, but we've come along way. I have a fiance and he has a great woman in his life-my faince is good to the kids, and his lady is better to the kids than he is at times!!
• China
11 Aug 09
I am also a mother,my son was six years old,but he was very thoughtful and would help me wash the dishes,mopping......I think to let children develop the habit of selfrestraint is the most difficult thing,because kids do is the most difficult to restrain himself.
@webearn99 (1744)
• India
11 Aug 09
It's no big deal. Teenage throes are rather overrated. I am sure it will not be Horrible, it will border on it though. Since there is time prepare well. The smarty pants attitude should be starting any time now. Recognize and learn to repel it with utter disdain or great mirth. Alternate methods and variations or they will get used to it. Display a savvy new you. Let it come as a surprise. Read and keep yourself update on teenage trends both good and bad. Such a drag isn't it? Just play it off the cuff! You will get it right! You know them don't you?
• India
11 Aug 09
Well, my son has just crossed 10 so he’s at a threshold which I am dreading more and more with every passing day. While not fully teen as yet, he’s showing signs of maturity and independence which I am having difficulty to adjust. While on one hand he’s too good and sweet and flexible, at other times I just cant read him…he’s quite stubborn, has his own ideas (which he expects me to follow), his own pace of doing things. Now as you can understand, all these years I was the one who usually determined most things for him…now overnight we are clashing on a host of issues. I am taking it as slow as I possibly can…you know letting him take minor decisions and then when they fail, he learns his own lesson. Major decisions are of course taken by me, but gradually I am making it a joint effort…reminding him of times when his decision did not work! (though again that sounds preachy and he doesn’t like). Main thing is (and remembering my own teen years)…teens just don’t like most things parents say and parents don’t approve of most things teens do…its like walking on eggshells but I am sure we’ll pull thru.
@dlr297 (5418)
• United States
11 Aug 09
I have raised 8 children, the oldest will be 37 in Sept, and my baby is 19, and boy could i tell you some stories.. but that's another discussion... The best advice i could give you is to keep the lines of communication open, don't jump to conclusions, try to keep you temper in check. and listen to them when they are talking, i mean really listen, put down what your doing and give them your full attention. Try not to give them orders, or ultimatums, talk to them, and guide them with reason. All kids and teenagers are going to make some mistakes, and the way that you handle it will make all the difference in the way that they deal with it and maybe not repeat it, or make them think twice before they do something they know that they should not do.
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
10 Aug 09
princess I think for me the hardest part was knowing when to step in when to leave well enough alone, and when to be the stern parent. but I found love and understanding went a long way. For me the key was not to be sitting on his wings too much, to trust him to use our teachings to live by. he turned out really well so must have done something right. He said once when I wanted to step about some abusive kid giving him a bad time.mom let me handle it please. and he did, and it turned out fine although I was filled with trepidations for sure. i think boys are easier than girls in the teen ages.
@thea09 (18327)
• Greece
10 Aug 09
Hi princess, they always say the teen years will be hard and I've only got a couple of years to find out. However I'm not expecting a personality change or anything. The teenagers here seem amazingly mature and well mannered, I think this is because of the big family bonds here, plus the way that all different ages mix anyway, they don't feel the need to shun the younger ones as a nuisance. Certainly the teenagers here listen to and respect their elders and are often seen helping out in the family business. So all I can say is I'll let you know in a couple of years but I'm hoping that there'll be no change and I'll see a confident young man who has time for others, like the teenagers he has as examples now.