The teenage years can be difficult, not only for the teens themselves, but for the parents. Even children who have been easy to raise can begin to push against their parents in those years. Many discussions, often heated, occur as parents and teens work out new guidelines for responsibilities and freedoms.
At times, I find myself very discouraged when it seems as much of my time is spent in disciplining my teens as it is my toddlers. When they are angry with me, or pushing against one of our boundaries, I often feel rejected and as if I'm failing. This isn't true, but it is how I feel.
But the blessing still lies in the fact that teens do open their hearts up to their parents. I've had many heart-to-heart talks about their feelings, their dreams, the Bible, our faith, and politics. Sometimes these discussions come when I'm ready for bed. Sometimes I don't handle that well and tell them to talk to me in the morning. But other times, I let them talk.
I'm thankful that even though the process of learning how to relate as parent and teen (as opposed to parent and child) is often rocky, my teens still open up to me. They do still seek my guidance and opinions. I need to set aside my own agenda more often when their mood to talk arises. I love my teens.
(Now, in a few years I'm going to be learning how to raise a teen boy. Hopefully some of what I'm learning with the girls will carry over to boys, as well.)
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