Parenting teens can be lonely.
It isn’t like when they were little and you could go to all the chat boards and mommy groups and talk about all the things.
Tantrums and sleep schedules and potty training and teaching them how to share and what to do when they aren’t feeling well felt acceptable for big group conversations. We could talk about those things and not feel like we were infringing on their privacy.
When they get older, the challenges shift from much of the physical to the emotional.
How are they doing? I mean really doing?
What are they engaging on with social media?
What’s going on with their friends?
Are they making good choices?
Are they prepared to go off and live on their own?
Are they struggling?
Are they okay?
I’m not saying the stage of raising littles isn’t hard, because it most definitely is.
Raising teenagers is just a new kind of hard.
And sometimes, it’s a little lonely.
Even with our family and our closest friends and our spouse to confide in.
Because we want to respect their privacy.
We know their stories aren’t ours to share.
The things they are going through are theirs to go through.
So we walk beside them and encourage them and pray for them and hug them and ask if they want to talk.
And sometimes they do.
And sometimes they don’t.
And we want to take the pain away when it comes, but we can’t.
Because it is theirs to walk through and learn from.
We know we grow in the hard places and the same is true for our kids.
But sometimes, it’s hard isn’t it?
It’s hard to watch them struggle.
Right now, things are going well, but we’ve had plenty of moments like this over the years. And it has opened my eyes to the uniqueness of this season of raising teens.
For those of you who are parenting teens and feeling uncertain of what to do and a little bit lonely and all you know to do is pray – know you aren’t alone. I have to imagine most, if not all, of us who have raised teens can say we empathize with what you are feeling.