WT 008: What Do I Need to Know About Raising a Teenager?
Over the last couple of weeks, Karen has tackled the toddler years (listen here) and how to make the right decisions for a newborn (listen here). Today, Karen is answering your questions on the phase of life that many parents fear: What Do I Need to Know About Raising a Teenager?
Question 1: “What is the role of a mom in a teenager’s life? Did you find that your role was different for your daughters vs your son?”
Karen’s Answer: My role with daughters vs. my son was the same. I am a little old school and even though I do loosen the reins with teens, I don’t let go of the reins. I am a firm believer that they are not “on their own” until they are paying all the bills. Teens like to think they are on their own, so every so often we need to remind them how good they have it.
I loved the teen years. If you are a younger mom listening, don’t be terrified of the teen years, because they are great years. Boundaries are essential though, and keep everyone on the same playing field. It gets all squirrely when the teens “think” they are the rulers of the house and the parent of course thinks they are still in charge.
Question 2: “My 14-year-old son has a big problem with taking responsibility for his actions, he is always blaming someone or something else. How do you teach character traits? I want to make sure we are raising a man who will be able to lead a family one day”
Karen’s Answer: The only way we learn responsibility is to learn the hard truth that our actions have consequences. So, when your son starts to blame the teacher for his bad grade, your response should be, “son, I’m sorry you see it that way, but it’s not the teacher’s fault that you failed the test. You are responsible for studying and learning. So you will have to suffer the consequences of pulling your grade up.”
As much as it hurts you, don’t rescue your child. You are only hurting them more when they become adults. Emily ended up becoming very responsible, was an RA in college, started a sorority at Auburn University and was a huge leader on campus. But, I truly believe it was because we didn’t rescue her when she was in high school She would have been my easiest one to rescue, because she was a crier, and I felt so bad for her. But, I loved her and pushed her.
Question 3: “How to I help reignite hunger for the Lord in my teenage girl. In the mornings, she spends more time fixing her hair than fixing her heart with Jesus.”
Karen’s Answer: It is so wonderful that you are thinking about your daughter’s spiritual life in this way, however you need to know that this is completely normal. All we can do is pray for our children and ask that the Lord would open up their eyes to His amazing love for them! There is really nothing you can do to reignite her hunger for the Lord. That is all on her.
If you have a question about motherhood, we want to talk about it on Wire Talk with Karen Stubbs! Visit birdsonawiremoms.com/askkaren and tune in each week to see if we cover your question. You can also find on us on Facebook, Facebook.com/BirdsOnAWire to like our page and ask us a question there too.
Thank you moms, have a great day!