Moms are the ultimate quick-change artists, aren’t they? They can go from story time with a toddler to crisis management faster than the blink of an eye. It can be a beautiful miracle to watch a woman be all the things her children need her to be.
As children age and progress into their teen years, our parenting must change and grow with them – individually. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to mothering. Every child needs a different mother is some respects – specialized attention, a different spoken love language, learning needs, and encouragement.
Cookie Cutters And Snowflakes
Every child is unique as we all know. But so often, parents attempt to rear their children all under the same umbrella of wants and needs. With younger children, milestones follow a near universal track. With teens, especially once hormones kick in, they do not follow the same predictable patterns. The differences between boys and girls also increase the level of parenting difficulty. No matter the teenager, make sure you adjust your parenting style to meet the needs of your individual teen.
Cookie cutter parenting is only going to lead to frustration for you and your teens. Many parents generalize what it is like to raise teen boys versus teen girls but really, teens are more like snowflakes: very unique. As you adjust your parenting style for what they need in the moment, your teens will learn to build confidence and autonomy.
It Is A Time Of Change
Every parent knows the teen years are a time of change but not every parent understands how they are also changing. Especially for mothers, the sense that their children are growing up too fast is very real so as children transition to teenagers the way a mother looks at her children has to change too. The teen years are about making sure they are safe and making good choices but also about letting go. It can be tough to balance those emotions because many moms do not allow themselves space to grieve. There is a real sense of loss as our children start taking their first steps toward adulthood. Some moms cannot name these feelings so they cannot possibly address them or fully respond to their teens’ changing needs.
Seeing Your Way Through
Take time to really recognizing what’s working when you’re parenting your children. Are they responding well to your parenting or not? Write down what’s working and what isn’t. Look for new ways to approach parenting situations via books, online parenting sites, and a trusted circle of family and friends. The old saying “It takes a village…” still applies. But it can be challenging to find the right village.
Raising children is a life changing experience. Each child brings new challenges and opportunities for growth and the most successful outcomes are realized when parents remain willing to grow right along with their children. There is no such thing as having the secret to parenting. The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is remain open to change.