Monday, August 23, 2010

Lessons Learned Parenting Teens

Parenting teens is a whole different ballgame. Now that we have three in our house, time has come to share what little bits of wisdom we have garnered. For every lesson Wingnut and I have learned there are corresponding lessons that we hope and pray have made impressions upon the teens.

1) What we've learned: Teens are very tech savvy and it takes no time at all for them to master the new media.

What the teens have learned: Wingnut is even more tech savvy. There is nothing we can do using technology that he is not able to track.

2) What we have learned: Teens need to be trusted to choose and do the right thing.

What the teens have learned: Trust needs to be earned.

3) What we have learned: Teens really can't be trusted to always choose and do the right thing. They still need our guidance.

What the teens have learned: It's pretty dang easy to lose the parents' trust.

4) What we've learned: Teens need to be given more freedom.

What the teens have learned: Wow, we really do have more freedom and it really stinks when those freedoms are taken away.

5) What we have learned: No matter how much we protect our children, they will always learn things we wish they hadn't from their peers, and sometimes those things are learned from their equally protected Catholic homeschooled friends.

What we hope the teens have learned: Knowledge of the world is one thing, being entrenched in the world is a whole other thing.

6) What we've learned: We sure have made a lot of mistakes along the way.

What the teens have learned: Man, mom and dad are far from perfect!

7) What we've learned: Confession is an absolute necessary for both parents and teens.

What we hope the teens have learned: Confession is an absolute necessary for our parents and for us.

8) What we have learned: Our teens are becoming really unique and wonderful young adults.

What we hope the teens have learned: Our parents aren't "over" protective, they love us and want the absolute best for us.

As much as I've prayed over all my children over the years, those prayers become more fervent and frequent as our children approach adulthood. In such a short time they will no longer be our young fledglings taking short flights on their own from the protective nest we have provided, but will be full grown adults with the world at their feet. Letting them go has to be the most difficult challenge a mother will ever face. At some point all we can do is pray their feet will choose the narrow rocky path leading toward heaven and offer our guidance only when sought.

So, parents of teenagers and young adults, what jewels of parenting wisdom have you learned on your journey?
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Walt said...

Hey Mau,

Wanna hear what I have learned from my one teenager and Jaylee? (who qualifies as a dozen teenagers) may laugh but you know it's true!

Whether you want to or not your going to hear my thoughts anyways...
1. What we've learned: Using logic with them is an exercise in futility...what they've learned: why use logic when going the emotional gets me nowhere so much faster!
2. What we've learned: There is a huge gap between telling them what to do and actually getting the job done...what they've learned: Did you say something?
3. Our son is constantly getting lost because he is always leaving a trail of "stuff" behind him...what they've learned: the whole house is not my personal storage shed?
4. What we've learned: There is no set way to parent; it is work that is constantly in motion...what they've learned: there is no motion sickness medicine that helps with that constant movement.
5. What we've learned: We are far from perfect parents...what they've learned: constantly try to exploit the fact we are far from perfect parents.
6. What we've learned: Our kids love to be as independent as possible...what they've learned: their independence is great until they want something then we are the only distributors of oxygen on this planet.
7 What we've learned: our kids have an inate ability to master technology at any age...what they've learned: with all of their tech savvy abilities they are always one step behind when it comes to being able to outsmart old pops!

Love ya Mau!

Tonya said...

I was reading in Philippians the other day. As I read the verse about God completing the work HE began in us, it gave me such comfort, hope and assurance. HE is doing the work in my children's lives. And HE will finish it. Ahhh, relief! Thanks for your great list. I'll want to reread that in a few years!!!