Here is a running list of what I have learned so far on this journey of raising teens:
- They hoard cups in their rooms. I don’t know why. But I do know if there are suddenly ZERO cups in the cabinet, I know exactly where they have gone to die.
- Teaching them to drive is one of the scariest things I have ever experienced as a parent. I feel like we as a society need to talk about this more. Why don’t they invent a car that has a wheel and a brake on the passenger side? I honestly can’t wait to have another driver in my house but at the same time it feels like there should be another way than this gray hair inducing utterly terrifying way. Even though it has gotten much better, every single time still feels like a test of how much I love my child and how much I want us all to survive. I thought I would be good at this part of parenting. I am not. 0 out of 5 do not recommend.
- They skipped over the awkward years. I’m pretty convinced that this mom jean trend and bringing back the ‘90s fashion is just to give us SOMETHING as parents to make fun of them later for because this generation has completely fast forwarded through any mortifying life stages. Oh you breezed through not taking one bad photo in middle school? Fashion designers: hold my beer.
- They are unable to feel cold. I am pretty sure 22 degrees is not shorts weather but there’s my son, staying loyal to never covering his knees. Does he even own pants? I don’t know y’all. In this pandemic- virtual learning- not leaving the house winter, there are battles to just let go. Just keep the chrome book centered on your face please.
- They still need us. And not just for all of the ubering them around every single day (my poor car). They really need us. We are the compass and we need to show up and we need to say no and we sometimes need to say yes and they need to see us love them fiercely. My dear friend Carrie has this great analogy that raising teenagers is like when you get on a roller coaster and they lower the safety bar and you know that bar is going to keep you safe but you test it anyway. You need to make sure that it will protect you as much as you test it, through the whole wild ride. Teenagers will constantly check and test and challenge us and repeat and make mistakes and say things they don’t mean and feel pressure from every avenue of life that they will take out on us. We are the bar. We need to be their constant.
- They are going to change the world. With every single thing that this generation has already lived through and with the bold confidence that they already possess, there is not a doubt in mind that they are going to shake and make this world a more beautiful and compassionate place to live. No doubt.
I remember being a teenager in high school and in one of my classes the teacher asked what we were really passionate about and how we wanted to make a difference and the whole class was silent. Not because we didn’t have big dreams and ideas, but because we were too scared to speak up.
This generation is one that will speak and make necessary changes to pave the way for future generations. They have strength in volumes. They are not afraid to use their voices. They know more already about technology than I will know in my lifetime. They know how to reach huge audiences. They see problems and they want to change them. They see bigger. They want more. And they are more than capable. And I am here for it.
Here’s to the teenagers. May we guide them, may we know them, may we survive them.
And here’s to even being in a bit of awe of them for pulling off the mom jeans.
The future is bright.
Read more blogs by Katie Moore here.
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.