What Makes Parenting Teens the Most Challenging?

What makes parenting teens so challenging?
The emotion involved!!! End post.

…seriously though, that’s what it comes down to for me. Take the emotion away and it’d be a breeze! It’s easier to see the solution to other people’s parenting issues than our own because there’s that degree of separation. I think that’s why the term “it’s easier said than done” is used so often by us (parents). Emotion gets in the damn way!

Emotion is attached to every part of parenting. And the intensity is magnified when your teen is struggling with life or mental health issues.

As a teen I didn’t ever consider what I put my parents through. Because of that, I had no idea what to expect. Besides, in my mind, I was going to blitz parenting through these teenage years. Blitz it! 
There are times in life you have to laugh at yourself…

In regards to parenting, in ‘The Birthday Book’, my day says, and I quote, “August 24 people can make good parents, so great is their interest they show in their children’s development. They must make an effort, however, to allow for the privacy and living space that every individual needs. This means that they must curb their tendency to over-analyse their children’s behaviour and perhaps over-structure their lives.”
I’d agree with all of that except the over-structuring of Jessie’s life. She’s too hard headed for any structuring full stop that she’s not happy with! It’s exhausting being so involved and stressful when it feels like there’s no development!

With Jessie being 16, and at the age where she is finding her own independence, I’m feeling the loss of control over her and her life choices. And when things go wrong for Jessie I feel it intensely, so having to step back causes extreme worry. And omg there are so many things to worry about. Some are like big hanging signs blowing in the wind, continually bashing against my skull, bang, bang, bang, making them impossible to forget.

breathe 2I worry about her self harming, I worry about her in her room, I worry about her future, her present, her happiness, her confidence, her thinking on some things, her social life – you get the idea – everything!!

Is she going find within herself what it takes to do the best she can? Is she going to make the right choices? Are the not so good choices she makes going to have life long effects? Is she going to have the better life I’ve always hoped for her? And the most frightening – is she going to end up like me? All these thoughts come with a myriad of emotions that can become all consuming at times.

To add, teenage attitude and moods evoke frustration, anger, sadness and quite a lot of WTF. As parent’s we’re to remain calm and unaffected by the “raahh” that gets thrown our way, but that’s sometimes easier said than done ⇐ being human and all.

The heart gets a real workout during the teen years with the good, the bad, and everything in between. It’s not something you can possibly prepare for, no matter how prepared you think are!


26 thoughts on “What Makes Parenting Teens the Most Challenging?

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                1. Pinched nerve is so painful. I hope they can do something to relieve it for you.
                  Yes, she should’ve taken her charger with her. We’re going to get a new battery put in her phone as well as it’s not lasting as long as it used to.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Maybe a new phone might be in order. I have a cheap phone with a pretty long battery life, but it is just a basic phone nothing fancy about it. makes and receives calls, makes and receives texts called a Doro.


                    Middle one of the top row. Not sure if you can get them in Australia, but there must be a smiliar model. Mine is a pay as you go, or rather l have a pay as you go contract which costs me £3 pcm. But then l don’t really use a mobile phone as a prime communication device, l supposed it is reflective upon what the phone is used for. Suze has a fancy Smartphone but she uses her phone for everything and would be quite lost without it, whereas l would be lost without my computer.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. She has an iPhone 6 at the moment and she uses it for everything! It’s a good phone but the battery is old now and not holding it’s charge. Apple will just put a new battery in it for her. It doesn’t cost much and then she’ll have long battery life again.

                      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ahhh yes… the teenage years are…. interesting. Each one of my kids is SO different and they handle emotions quite differently. Strategies that work for one are useless for another and then they do things that remind you of what you hate about/ regret about yourself and that’s the hardest thing to deal with! You got this Kat, you’re an awesome Mum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting is definitely one way to describe it 😂 There’s never one clear solution is there! Something that works one time doesn’t always work the next. Yes, that direct link back to what we don’t like about ourselves is something I wasn’t prepared for and something I struggle with too! It can be hard to separate during these times.
      Thanks Kate, words from an awesome Mum yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think, after reading your post Kat, is that all you can do is the best you can do. That you cannot be with Jessie every step of the way, and there will come a point when she will have to start making her decisions and then living with them, because you will not always be around to supervise.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well let’s hope she does Kat, she needs positivity and as we both know positivity breeds positivity 🙂

        But also, she needs to concentrate on that so as to cut you some slack, otherwise you will go nuts with worry.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. That fear and anxiety are more real than any you’ve ever felt or will feel, amirite?
    Looking back on the teen years of my girls, I see the moments when I couldn’t do anything but fret. There was self harm, there was a suicide attempt. I could only ‘be there’ waiting until she asked for help. And when she asked, I helped x infinity!
    What I knew instinctively then, and see in reality now is that I gave my girls the best possible foundation. They built on it then, sometimes shakily, and they’re building on it now. Not remotely shakily. They know how to be women in this world because I knew when it was time to take a deep breath and step back to let them make their own decisions, make their own mistakes, make their own successful choices.
    I see two strong women that can handle what the world throws at them. And when they feel as though they can’t they call their Momma for help.
    You’ve got this. And your Jessie’s got this. I promise!
    It just feels so out of control and chaotic because that’s what the teen years are like. It’s a re-do of toddlerhood. All testing boundaries and tantrums. But there’s great stuff in there too. Because just as they do as toddlers learn independence and the beginnings of self care, and the terrible lesson that the world does not actually revolve around them, these lessons are built upon in the teen years.
    The exact same things happen in brain development in these two times of life. Of course as teens you’ve got angst, and hormones, and peer influences that are lacking during toddlerhood.
    This comment when on longer than I intended, so I’ll wrap it up with this.
    Breathe. Love. provide a safe haven. Step back and trust the work you’ve done. Let her fall on her face. Prove to her you’re there to love and help without judgement. Show her you trust her to make her own decisions however they turn out.
    You’ve got this. You’ve done the hard work. Trust that. Trust her.
    And I’ll be sending lots of positive parenting love your way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and I really appreciate your encouragement, advice, and kind words. Your daughters sound like amazing women and it’s so relieving to hear they can come through these really tough days. Thank you for sharing 😊
      The fear and anxiety are like nothing I’ve experienced, you’re so right! Emotions on steroids!!
      I’ve been feeling like I haven’t got this lately, so I appreciate your reminder that I do.
      Your advice is so right and exactly what I needed to hear. Now’s the time to take a step back and trust in the process, so to speak. Jessie is a smart girl and has aspirations which I think will see her through.
      I’ve definitely received your positive parenting love and taken your words on board. Thank you so, so much! I feel so much lighter and am backing myself again. x

      Liked by 1 person

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