I used to hate it when people would say, “Just wait til your kids are teenagers!”
What a negative outlook! There was no way I was taking that on board. Teenage Years are the hardest? Pffffft. Not in our family!
I was confident we had done our best with raising our kids: plenty of hugs, home cooked meals, stories read aloud, holidays and adventures, discipline when required, help with homework, swimming lessons, encouragement, and most of all, parents who loved them to bits.
We had great relationships with each of our children. In fact, watching home movies recently, Miss 19 commented: “Gee you guys handled us well!” (They got a good giggle out of watching their younger selves being grumpy or naughty!)
We were set to sail through the Teenage years!
Or so I thought …
Why are the Teenage Years So Hard?
I think the reason that the teenage years are the hardest, boils down to one thing: control.
When our children are tiny, Mum and Dad are EVERYTHING to them. With teenagers, it’s the opposite. Friends, TV, computer, teachers – in fact, anything and everything – has more influence over them than we do as parents.
Teenagers tend to snatch the reins of their own lives out of parental hands – and usually long before we are ready for it! Around 14 or 15 seems to be the worst time, when we are relegated to the back seat of the sleigh, dragged along in their wake, to watch with dismay as they race into the future, helter skelter, taking wrong turns.
One moment we are besties; the next, we are the enemy (although one good thing came of this; having their parents as a common enemy brought our kids together as friends!).
And yet – our kids are pretty good – and I think we got off lightly!
Mind Games vs Busy Little People
There is no doubt babies are hard work, and sleep deprivation takes its toll.
Toddlers are such busy little people, and don’t forget the tantrums – it can be quite a tough time in the parenting journey!
If you are lucky, you might have a few years of respite – although homework can be a bit of a nightmare once you have a child at school.
With teenagers, it’s all mind games. They will do your head in.
There will also be times when they break your heart.
Now that we’ve been through it, I understand why people say that the teenage years are the hardest.
It’s because they are.
I’m here to tell you: This too shall pass. Even the hardest teenager will eventually grow up! And you know what? They turn into human beings again .
Why do you think the teenage years are the hardest for parents?!
Linking up with Kylie Purtell because I Blog On Tuesdays.