Tuesday, January 4, 2011

raising teenagers

dear emily,

i have touched briefly, because NO one wants to spend much
time here, on the teenage years.   when my crew were little,
people used to say, "oh, enjoy them while they're so precious.
when they turn 13, you won't like them anymore."

how terrifying is that?  and untrue . . . mostly.

if you have established a foundation of respect and love with
your youngsters, you will survive their rough patches at 15.   if,
however, you allow disrespectful, selfish behavior when they are
young and compliant, they will most likely turn into two-headed
monsters.  at this point, you will be forced to hire an exorcist.

google images


just kidding . . . mostly.  

so, the moral of the story is to plan for the future.  you cannot
control the unfolding events , but your relationship with your
future teenager begins right now.

1.  from the age of two, your child should be able to look you
     in the eye when you speak to him.

2.  there is no need to yell at him.  speak as respectfully to him,
     as you would your husband.   (ahem, are you speaking
     respectfully to your husband?)

3.  do NOT ask your toddler to do anything, unless you are
     willing to back up the request.   if you let these requests
      slip by without response,  your darling will quickly tune
      you out.

4.  spend more time snuggling, reading, and playing, than
      bossing and disciplining.  "all work and no play, makes
      mom a big BORE."

5.  keep pappy, happy.

this is just the beginning, and after much prayer and reflection,
i have lots more to share.

love,
lea

"so in everything, do to others what you would have them do
to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets."  mt. 7:12

27 comments:

JMW said...

All great points. I really need to not sweat the small stuff and spend more time cuddling with them and laughing. It goes by so quickly!

Beansieleigh said...

Oh, I am WITH YA on this! Great post! I have a 17 year old son, and while he has his moments, even then nothing too bad.. for the most part, he is still far more a joy, than at all rebellious or disrespectful! (I look to God as I say this, and I thank Him!)... Happy New Year to you! ~tina

Vee said...

Oh I agree with you...mostly. :D

Darcie said...

I completely agree. I think you reap what you sow in the teenage years. I have 2 out of my four that are in the teenage years, and though it may be more challenging, over all there is a whole lot of joy too!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Good points...19 was our hard year, not 15...LOL
It is also is a good reminder for my almost 5 year old!

Thanks woman of wisdom

Sonja said...

I think you've got it!

Excellent points, every one of them. Of course, my hindsight is always crystal clear!

You are a wise mom, and you are raising good kids, and keeping pappy happy is all part of it. :)

Lisa said...

So true, Friend! Respect and discipline are key.
PS Hope your Christmas and New Year were wonderful!

Debbie said...

Having raised 4 children (3 of them boys) I am going just come right out and say it...."the teen-aged years were rough." Some of them morphed into people I didn't even recognize for a while, and yet a couple of them soared right through it with hardly a cross word or look exchanged. Bottom line? They are ALL different. And yet you have given some wonderful advice...Love them NO MATTER WHAT...Be tough when you have to be rather they seem to "hate" you or not....ENJOY every minute of it as if flys by as fast as the younger years...and trust this verse in proverbs...Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. It REALLY was true for every one of mine ~ and it looked bleak there for a while with a couple of them, haha

Cinnamon said...

I love it..."keep pappy happy" too cute. I think that needs to get painted onto one of my walls here at home :-)

You are so right, listening to the worlds version of "teens" is down right scary! But the Lord is good and full of grace and 15 is a very lovely age to enjoy the youth in your home, only now also as your friend :-)

We have a a few about that stage I enjoy them so much...most of the time :-) hee hee

~Cinnamon

Joan Elizabeth said...

Love your wisdom.

Farm Girl said...

Very nice reminders. I never had one single kid out of six ever rebel, nor even be disrespectful. I have enjoyed my children and now adults and they are a blessing to my life. It was work in the beginning, but by the time they were 6 or 7 most of the hard work was finished and by the time they turned 11 they had rough places but with love it was soon remedied. One thing I would add, I never raised teenagers, I raised adults.
Now I see them raising my grandchildren, and my grandchildren are just as much as a blessing. So every thing you said is true, and we never put or allowed them in youth group. Fools beget fools.

Sandy said...

Seth's teen years were fairly
easy compared to a lot of kids.
I find now, the 20's, to be the
toughest because he has suffered
a broken heart twice already over
girls. When his heart breaks, so does mine.Shaun...well, all of his
years have been hard. But, I love
my boys so much and am so thankful
the Lord gave both of them to me.
My puppy was born day before
yesterday, Lea!
Love,
Sandy

Girl Meets Paris said...

I am having a blast with my 16 yr.old daughter. One of the secrets? Laughter! But she hasn't started driving alone yet!

Vickie said...

Howdy-do! After raising 3 kids into their 20's, these parenting rules are spot on, Leah.

However, I will interject that sometimes it has to do with the child's personality, too. My kids were pretty good, and mostly a joy - especially my oldest. But sometimes that little two-headed monster would surface and had to be squashed promptly! As they've matured into young adults, the monsters have all been put away. But we had our moments while they were gaining more independence that I wasn't sure which way to go!

The Lord helped us through much prayer, too!

High Heeled Life said...

loved this post!!! Hi there my friend.. hello from the heart of Buenos Aires!! I have missed your wondeful posts... I am finally at a hotel with great WIFI and no voltage converter for my lap top...but the hotel business centre is a little less busy today ..and so I don´´t feel guilty taking up computer time...Hope the new year has gotten off to a great start.. will catch up when I am back on North American soil... XO HHL

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

Dear Lea, Thank you for another wise post. Yes, what you have said is all true. I think the "Keep Pappy Happy" rule may be one of the most important. I wish as a young mommy that I had realized how important each one of these basic "rules" are.
I also want to tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog this year, and all of your sweet comments on mine. i am looking forward to another Blog Year with all of my new Bloggy Fiends.
Have a Bright and Hopeful start to this new year!
Love & Prayers, Joyce

Southern Lady said...

Great advice. I have two teenagers of my own...most days are very good. I still give advice to those with small children...enjoy the time while they are young. It goes by too fast. Carla

Town and Country Mom said...

Good advice. I have loved having teenagers--mostly! Fourteen seems to be a tough year for boys; our youngest is only 11, so I haven't experienced a girl teen yet, but I'm optimistic. I know I'm their mother, but I just enjoy talking to the boys now and hearing what they think on a wide-range of topics. Not to mention, they are willing to be my tech advisers (up to a point!). Looking forward to the rest of your advice, Lea!

koralee said...

Such a great post my sweet friend...I have been blessed with 3 girls....who have all been through those teen years{well one is 15} and they have been nothing but a JOY to us...we count our blessings every single day.

Hugs my sweet friend. xoxo

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I have to say that I know a little boy who will not look you in the eye when you speak to him because his parents allow it. When he is in my home, I explain to him that we always look each other in the eye when someone is speaking to us. He has no problem listening to me, but I'm not his parents and I set the rules in my house.

I agree with you mostly too, Lea, but life has shown me that hormonal sullenness, eye rolling, slumping in chairs with crossed arms while being spoken to....these types of things crop up with most teenagers. They should be addressed, but few kids skip this stage completely.

The reason so many people say things like, "Wait 'til they hit their teen years...you may not like them very much" is because part of parental hazing is having to deal with teenage 'attitude' as it rears its ugly head now and again. There are exceptions, of course, but....

Cheri Bunch said...

Yes, yes, yes! Very good! I enjoyed the teen years with my kids! We had the best time!!! Happy New Year, Lea!

His Song to Sing said...

Great, great advice, Lea! I couldn't help but quietly laugh (what's the computer symbol for that as opposed to LOL?) at your use of the word "mostly." The best advice I got once I was dealing with teenagers was to "choose your battles" but then you are so right that many battles will be eliminated if these early guidelines are followed.

I've said it before ... Emily and her family is so blessed to have you in their lives!

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

I agree with you, Lea. My eldest has just turned 13. I let everyone know, in her presence, that I was looking forward to this day because this is when she becomes a half-adult and can help me out more.

She knows I now expect more. Kids do what you expect them to do. If they hear you saying, 'Oh, terrible teenagers!' they give you just that. I let her know that I think it's fantastic she's now a teenager.

I couldn't really understand what you meant in number 3.

Just Be Real said...

Lea, appreciate you sharing. Blessings.

Kate said...

I think maybe I should print this off and frame it :)

Love,
Kate

emily said...

True, true words! Good reminder about eye contact...so crucial. And well, ahem, speaking respectfully to my sweet husband. :) love love

Melissa~ said...

I really loved reading this Lea, especially #2. I have always believed that our children are also our brothers and sisters in Christ, and as such, deserve to be "one-anothered" in the same ways as any believer (respect, love, serving, grace, forgiveness).

Not that I always make that goal, but I strive for it. :)

♥ Melissa~
Pink Paper Peppermints