Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WFMW: Celebrating The Teen Years

As the mother of three teenagers, I am often asked for advice about the "dreaded teen years." I personally don't think we as parents should be dreading these years, but we should welcome and yes, even celebrate them! It's an exciting time for the kids, and it can be an exciting (not to mention exhausting) time for us as parents too.

Our oldest turned 13 over five years ago. At the time, we were trying to decide on something to do for him that would make this birthday special. We settled on a surprise father-son weekend trip. My husband took him to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio. Sixteen months later, my daughter had her 13th birthday (by now the trip wasn't a surprise) She wanted to go to a beach and go shopping. So that's what we did. We took a mother-daughter trip to Florida and stayed on the beach and went shopping. Last year my 2nd son turned 13. My husband took him to Arizona to go to Cubs and Brewers spring training camps. We have really enjoyed this tradition, and the kids still talk about what great memories they have of their trip.

So that's one way our family celebrates the teen years, and it Works for Me. Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more great WFMW tips!


Earthmommy said...

This was an inspirational post! I have 2 teens, ages 18 and 15 and lots of times I do forget that these are special years.

Mom2fur said...

I have 4 kids, the youngest of whom is 17. His older siblings are in their 20s now, but there was a time that I had 3 teens in the house and an adolescent. We had our tough times, and our tears and arguments. But there was a lot of love and laughter, too! I think people tend to expect teenagers to be surly and annoying. Yeah, sometimes they are...but that doesn't necessarily define them. There is good at every age of a child's development, if only we are willing to see it! How wonderful that you see the teen years as something to celebrate rather than something to dread. I bet you have terrific kids.
I would give one big piece of advice to any parent facing these years: start every day fresh and new. Never bring up past misbehavior. The past is the past! But if you were to keep saying to your daughter, "oh, it figures you're dressed like that" or say of your son (to a neighbor, for ex.), "well, he's always been the lazy one," then your kids will live up to your expectations. But expect them to be the best they can be...and they will!

Sophia said...

My oldest is only 4, but I know we'll be at 13 before we know it. What a wonderful idea about the 13th birthday trip! I'll be filing that one away for future use.