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Friday, February 13, 2015

Loving Courageously Through the Teen Years (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 14)



I am delighted today to have Casey O'Roarty, author at Joyful Courage, join us to discuss loving your teen courageously.

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A Note to My Inner Mama of a Teen

Remember Mama, you were a teenager…

I am not a mother of a teenager… Yet. My daughter turned 12 in January, but I see it coming. Or rather, I can feel it coming.

I feel it in my belly when I walk in her room and the floor is covered with clothes…

I feel it in my chest when she snaps a hurtful response at me or rolls her eyes…

I feel it in my shoulders as I listen to her stomping her feet upstairs before slamming the door…

Yes, soon I will join the ranks of parents of teens. I feel it coming.

There are many things I expect for this time ahead. I expect there to be unbelievable highs and devastating lows. I expect to be fiercely proud and profoundly disappointed, to be overflowing with love and doubled over by pain…

Geesh, and I’m not even the teenager in the situation.

So what can I do? How can I remember that all the ups and downs, the cheers and the hurts, are all a part of the process of raising a human?

I think I will start by writing myself a letter…

Dear Mama,

Remember when you were a teenager and all you wanted to do was hang out with your friends? Remember that it didn’t have anything to do with NOT wanting to be around your parents, just more about wanting to be with your peers?

And Mama, remember how difficult it was when you were a teenager and your parents wanted to tell you exactly how things would turn out if you made certain decisions? Remember that you felt small and unseen as the individual that you were?

And mama, remember how misunderstood you felt when rules were placed on you without any space for negotiation? Remember what it was like to want to push the boundaries and try and get away with just a little bit more?

You were a teenager once, mama, remember? You made loads of mistakes, got into plenty of mischief, and lived your own life. You went through periods of feeling alone, supported, angry, defeated, exhilarated, joyful and you made it through to the other side.

You were a teenager and you wanted to be seen, appreciated, loved, trusted, celebrated, left alone, taken seriously. You wanted it to be understood that you were living your own life, having your own experiences, and feeling valid emotions.
You needed your parents to love you as much when you showed up as your worst as when you showed up as your best. You needed you parents to listen to you without trying to fix your problems, letting you know that maybe everything wouldn’t be alright, but they would be there no matter what.

Remember, mama? You were a teenager, this is a part of your story. You had so many experiences, dodged many bullets, and all of it is a part of the fabric of your life.

As you re-live the teen years, from the perspective of a parent, remember this...

Be gentle with your child, and yourself. Love her courageously as you witness her navigating this awesome time of transition. Be available. Listen. Bite your tongue. Appreciate that the themes may be similar, she really is having her own experience and you just might not know how she feels.

Recognize when fear is driving you. Recognize it as an opportunity to be curious and brave, a chance to reflect on the skills your teen has begun to embody, and will continue to embody as she lives through the challenges of life.

And even when you are angry, and are ready to throw in the towel, she needs you to be there. She needs you, mama.

Remember, love her courageously.


Remember.


What specific ways can you show courageous love to your teen? If you would like to, write a letter to your inner teen mama, just like Casey did.





Casey O'Roarty is a wife, mother, parent educator and life coach living and loving in Washington State.  She has worked with families for the past 15 years and continues to learn her biggest lessons from her children.  To read her blog or check out her online and live offers, visit her website www.joyfulcourage.com .






Join me tomorrow for Loving Courageously Through Whining.





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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

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2 comments:

  1. I love this! I have two teens and constantly remind myself that I was once a teenager. It helps me to be more patient and understanding. I also try not to take everything they say/do so personally.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am teen. But my mom was not like that I am now. So she will get shocked if I will tell her something.

    ReplyDelete

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