I remember when my children were little, and the warnings that I used to hear from other Moms to enjoy that time because they would “grow up so fast”. When you are in the midst of constant feedings, diaper changes, and waking up a 100 times in the middle of the night, it is hard to believe that this phase in your life will actually ever end.
I am here to tell you that it does end, and that time really does go by so quickly!
Fast forward 10 years and these days I am greeted with dangly arms and legs from my daughter, and I have to settle for a stiff upper-torso type of embrace from my oldest son. Let’s not forget the “Oh Mom!” or the “Good”, “Fine” – limited conversation I get these days.
Moms know it’s never been a tougher time to be the parent of a tween or teenager. Cell phones and Facebook. Slammed doors and mood swings. Somehow, your sweet little child has changed into a baffling bunch of hormones that you barely recognize. You love your teen but worry about being the Mom you need to be. They are growing up and I realize that although I love my children even more than the day they were born, the “way” I show them my love has to change.
Here are just a few ideas on how to love your tweens and teens:
1. Say “YES!” A lot!
2. Tell them that their feelings are Okay
3. Set boundaries that keep them safe
4. Discuss their dreams or what scares them
5. Laugh at their jokes
6. Tell them how terrific they are
7. Create a tradition with them and keep it
8. Show up at their games and events
9. Listen to their favourite music with them
10. Keep the promises you make
11. Clip pictures and articles, or email them links of things that interest them
12. Ask for their opinion
13. Follow them when they lead
14. Do what they like to do
15. Let them solve most of their problems on their own
16. Tell them how proud you are of them
17. Be flexible
18. Let them make mistakes
19. Expect their best; don’t expect perfection
20. Love them, no matter what!