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parenting tweens and teens

Raising tweens and teens – this is what it looks like…

(Inside: Parenting tweens and teens carries so many unique emotions, moments, and experiences. This is what raising tweens and teens looks like…)

Raising tweens and teens looks like your stomach flip-flopping all day at work because your child has her absolute-whole-being set on getting The Part, and in the next 8 hours, she finds out.

It looks like catching a glimpse of your tween curled up under blankets on the couch and your heart melting because he reminds you of a decade ago. When he was a baby, you thought it wasn’t possible to love him more – but it turns out that you absolutely do.
 
And discovering that the creak of the garage door signaling your young driver safely pulled in is one of the best sounds ever.

Raising tweens and teens looks like sometimes finding it hard to relax in your own home because your teen is pushing all of your buttons.

It looks like daydreaming about tossing your kids’ devices (phone, iPad, video game consoles) out the window and driving over the tangled electronic heap multiple times.
 
And emotional exhaustion from the normal adult responsibilities plus trying to figure out what’s going on with your moody tween and discerning if you should help with a solution or let them figure it out.

Raising tweens and teens looks like spending crazy amounts of time in the community from church to school events to Target.

It looks like not realizing that it meant so much to you that your kid’s team gets that last basket in – your tense body clasps its hands together as you hope big for a buzzer-beater.
 
And gathering bonus kids and other parents into your circle, enriching your life more than you could’ve ever imagined.

Raising tweens and teens looks like finding a wrinkled English paper in the depths of your teen’s backpack. You flatten it with a stroke of your hand and read the words your tween wove together to be stunned by the amazing person that she is becoming.

It also looks like being frustrated by your child’s choices, setting boundaries, and holding the line. It’s knowing that if your big kids sometimes don’t like you, you’re probably doing a great job as a parent.
 
And finally understanding what grace means and how to wholeheartedly give it to your family and, most importantly, yourself.
parenting tweens and teens
Do you want to better connect with your teens? Download these 400+ conversations here.

Raising tweens and teens looks like a jammed packet schedule with the magician parent(s) getting everyone to and from where they have to be (mostly) on time with (hopefully) what they need to bring/wear.

It looks like trying to squeeze in conversations (because you so want to get to know your child) in the car, around the dinner table, while waiting for password reset emails.
 
And watching family movies, going on road trips, checking grades, ordering pizza, sifting through laundry, collecting dishes from the bedrooms, tripping over shoes piled in front of the door, and hoping someone will carry the piles on the stairs up.
 
Parenting tweens and teens is busy – it’s 8 pm feeling like midnight.
 
Parenting tweens and teens takes brain power – it’s saying a lot of prayers.
 
But it’s also –
 
Stopping.
 
And peering out the window to see your teen shoveling piles of snow off the driveway while wearing shorts and a hoodie.
 
And laughing out loud.

Because the most random of moments slow your whole world down and help you see – really see – your beautiful humans.

Their faces. Their smiles.
 
Hearing their laugher. And the sound of their voices.
 
And then feeling with every bone in your body how rich and full your ordinary life is.
 
Parenting tweens and teens.
 
It’s a gift.

Shopping for families?

Best Booklist for High School Teenagers

Best Booklist for Middle School Tweens

Inspirational Books Moms Will Love to Read

Gift Ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

45+ Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers for Tweens and Teens

Easter Baskets Stuffer Ideas for Big Kids

And so many more great lists of must-haves built just for families of big kids on Empowered Moms and Kid’s specialized Amazon Affiliate Storefront…

Read the full Parenting Tweens and Teens Series

My two oldest sons are in high school now, and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but not parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

TEACHING GRIT
The Pandemic is Shaping Kids in These 6 Powerful Ways

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You
*400+ Conversation Starters for Families of Teens

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman
Your Teen’s Maddening Behavior is Age-Appropriate and Here’s Hope

HEARTWARMING STORIES IN RAISING OLDER KIDS
I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

Do you want to better connect with your teens? Download these 400+ conversations here.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens…

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

raising teens

I Will Miss These Years of Raising Tweens and Teens

(Inside: Raising teens and parenting tweens can be hard, but also so fun. Someday, I will look back at these years through rose-colored glasses and miss it all.)

“Mom, why are you hugging me so long? I’m just walking one house down to the bus stop, like normal.”

“Because…” I squeaked out. “You’re only wearing a hoodie. And it’s snowing – hard. And we live in Minnesota. I JUST DON’T KNOW IF I’LL EVER SEE YOU AGAIN.”

Wiggle out of my arms. Eye roll, then smile. “Bye, mom.”

Teens are exasperating.

In raising older kids, there are times you wonder when that infamous frontal lobe will fire up. There are big emotions, doing the minimum, and “I raised you better” moments. Because of that, I think we’re supposed to hate these parenting years.

But I don’t know…

So far, they’re kind of my favorite. And someday, when I’m way past this season, I will miss these years.

Yes, the hoodies make me crazy, but then that same son walks back through the door (alive!), plops down on the kitchen stool, and pours out words – the class-clown-did-this and the teacher-said-that… He laughs; I laugh. It’s intriguing to watch how our teens process their worlds.

Then, there’s watching my tween son (I have 3 boys) power kick the offense’s soccer ball across the field shutting the other team out. He pumps his arm quietly by his side. I love how these raising-older-kids years hold lots of small moments that piece-by-piece build our kids’ confidence.

Or when my kid texts me that he aced his math test. It’s rewarding for me to see my kid learn that hard work does pay off.

I’ll miss piling into our car and driving to Nana and Papa’s house in a small town, USA.

My sons hunt for frogs, fish at the pond, and run around with their cousins like little kids again. No peer pressure – just a safe place to be themselves. I love these sacred family moments.

After a long day of school and work, my family crams into a booth at Culvers. We order burgers and fries and the food tastes so good because I didn’t have to cook it. The conversation doesn’t have to be perfect; I just like being surrounded by my people at the end of the day.

I will miss the hugs and kisses and prayers before bed.

 

family at dinner table
Connect with your growing kids over these 400+ Conversation Starters. My favorite way to use them? Go out to dinner, and go through a couple while you wait for your food.

I love it when our house is filled with friends.

There is eating pizza and bantering over video games and playing pool and shooting hoops in our driveway. I will miss the energy.

And I like going to all of their concerts, games, and school functions – we enjoy how regularly seeing our community is weaved into the everyday fabric of these years.

Or it’s fun to read my son’s English paper and think: Huh – so that’s how his brain works. I love getting to know my son better.

Or when we’re watching a family movie and my tween rests his head on my shoulder. I freeze, not wanting to wreck the sweet moment. I like that they still need me.

I will miss the gangly arms and legs around the Christmas tree, their excitement in front of our traditional chocolate mint birthday cake, their voices at our Thanksgiving table.

 

raising teens
Bring your family closer together in 30 days – check out the Family Prayer Journal Here.

Yes, there’s also attitude, disgusting rooms, missing school work, broken rules, conflict (wear a coat!), and standing firm as a parent when it’s no fun, but I won’t remember any of that.

It’s like giving birth, I remember the baby more than the pain.

I won’t recall how daily annoyed I was at the shoes and hoodies and backpacks and band instruments and sports equipment piled in a tangled heap on the entryway floor – I’ll just remember that I was glad my three boys were all home, safe under one roof.

I will remember these parenting years all through rose-colored glasses.

I will miss having a house full of tweens and teens.

Shopping for your family?

Best Booklist for High School Teenagers

Best Booklist for Middle School Tweens

Inspirational Books Moms Will Love to Read

Gift Ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

45+ Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers for Tweens and Teens

Easter Baskets Stuffer Ideas for Big Kids

And so many more great lists of must-haves built just for families of big kids on Empowered Moms and Kid’s specialized Amazon Affiliate Storefront…

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped one kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life-phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life-chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community here or below. 

Read the full parenting tweens and raising teens series

My oldest son started high school last week and I’m still in a coma because of it. Even though I’ve taught high school for over two decades, I’m confused as to how I’m actually old enough to be a parent of a high schooler. 

Teaching high schoolers has always been a passion of mine, but now parenting them is as well. I could research, write, and talk about this topic until eternity. I hope you are encouraged by some of my articles.

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TEENS
A Simple and Effective Way to Encourage Your Teen

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR TWEEN/TEEN
How to Get Your Teen/Teen to Their “Aha Moment”
How to Get Your Tween/Teenage Son to Open Up to You

PARENTING
Parenting is Hard: This One Thought Can Help You Better Thrive
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best
Dear Kids – Know the Difference Between “Chores” and “Maintenance”
To the Mom of a High School Freshman

BOOK IDEAS
Book Ideas for High School Teenagers
Book Ideas for Middle School Tweens

GIFT IDEAS
Gifts for Teen Boys
Gifts for Teen Girls
Stocking Filler Ideas for Teenagers

 

raising teens
parenting teens

7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

(Inside: Why I love parenting tweens and teens. Raising teens is fun and parenting tweens can be some of the best years of your life. Here’s why…)

This summer, when we explored Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, we accidentally hiked 11 miles in one day. 

It was amazing.

Rushing water danced down steep slopes, deer bounded between the brush, and the world’s biggest trees towered above us with authority and beauty. We had no strollers, baby Bjorn, or tired little legs. Instead, we explored with three boys who loved the adventure and couldn’t wait to find what breathtaking waterfall/overlook/tree the next hiking path held. Our sons kept the energy upbeat, so we kept going….for 11 miles.

 

Raising teens and tweens is a fun phase of life.

Later that night, as I collapsed (literally) into our hotel bed, my heart beamed.  I thought: Today was spectacular. These boys made this experience ten times better. Omgosh I love parenting tweens and teens.

Why raising tweens and teens is the best.

Before I go on, let me clarify one thing: I don’t live in some elusive land of sunshine and roses. Of course, raising older kids presents unique challenges. We all know that every chapter in life holds beat-your-head-against-the-wall moments. But I’ve found that in raising teens, the good vastly outweighs the bad. Parenting tweens and teens can be a fantastic season of your life. Here’s why…

1. More me-time

Let’s just start right out of the gate here with a selfish thought: parenting older kids gifts moms with more me-time. We are raising our kids to be independent, which means, it’s good for them to hang out with friends, work hard at practice, spend time studying, work that job…etc. This important growing process gifts moms with more time. Beautiful, beautiful time… So we can use it how we want – guilt-free!

Related article: Why Alone Time for You is Good for Your Kids

2. Watching kids grow is amazing

Watching kids discover who they are, unearth their gifts, and learn how to use their talents – there’s nothing like it.

I’ve witnessed a parent bounce shamelessly like a 48-year-old cheerleader when her son broke away and scored that goal. (He’d finally gained the confidence to move!) And a mom-friend who posts a thousand dance pictures. (Her daughter overcame huge health issues to make it onto that stage!) Or the mom who tells the story with tears in her eyes how her struggling middle schooler has transformed into a happy high school kid – he’s found a group he loves, band, and her heart couldn’t be more full.

Then sometimes I become the cheerleading mom or picture-posting-over-sharer or storyteller because it’s addicting to witness our kids discover who they are and learn what they can do. The teaching and learning that accompanies raising older kids are very special.

raising teens
Are you raising teens and tweens? Join this community of moms HERE.

3. Teens sometimes decide they love your hobbies too

Sometimes all the stars align just right and your kid ends up loving the same things you do.

My middle son plays guitar with his dad. He also jogs with me. Our oldest son and I discuss the interesting ways a story unravels in books and movies. Then my husband and son watch hours of basketball. Our youngest loves fishing with his grandpa, sitting on the lake beach with me, and letting his dad coach him in soccer.

Your kids deciding they love your hobbies too is one of life’s sweetest gifts. 

raising tweens teens

4. Intelligent conversations

That kid who munched on dog food when he was a toddler now actually has interesting things to say. It’s weird. Am I living in a parallel universe? Did my son just have an actual good opinion about politics? Did my other child say something wise about faith? Who are these little adults and what’d they do with my tweens and teens? 

Go ahead, momma, and pat yourself on the back. You made these human beings and you’re teaching them to mature in this awesome way. Dinner time just became fun. 

Connect with your big kids over these 400+ conversation starters.

5. Family connection activities are way more fun

We used to watch Little Einstein and now we watch the Avengers movies. (Multiple times and then discuss how they all connect.) And with that example, I think I’ve swiftly made my point. The older the kids get, the more fun it is for adults. So, plan that family activity – it’s no longer just for the kids, you will enjoy it too.

6. Parenting tweens/teens means your kids are still in your home

I asked my empty-nester friend what her favorite life chapters have been and she said, “I loved the years when my kids were older but still in my home.”

I get you, dear friend – there’s something sacred about raising teens and tweens. Our kids are old enough to enjoy them more, but they’re still young enough to live with you. Your home might be messy and imperfect, but it’s full of life and love and joy. 

 

7. Your older kids still want your hugs and attention

In my twenty-plus years of teaching diverse students in a large public high school, I can say this with authority: all teens crave positive attention from their parents. (Or loved ones.)

Don’t buy their apathy and attitude. Tweens and teens want your encouraging words, hugs, and quality time. They need you in their lives. You make them happier, healthier, more well-adjusted human beings. 

So when those moments come and they ask you for a Starbucks date, just take them. Pay the $35.99 for two cups of the campfire mocha special and one scone. Then wrap your arm around your teen as you walk back to the car. They’ll soak it in and remember forever that they grew up loved.

Your Turn

What about you? If you are past this season, what did you love best about raising tweens and teens? If you are in the parenting tweens/teens chapter, what are you enjoying right now? Leave your thoughts in the comments (or email me); I can’t wait to read them.

Shopping for your family?

Best Booklist for High School Teenagers

Best Booklist for Middle School Tweens

Inspirational Books Moms Will Love to Read

Gift Ideas for Moms of Tweens and Teens

Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls

45+ Inexpensive Stocking Stuffers for Tweens and Teens

Easter Baskets Stuffer Ideas for Big Kids

And so many more great lists of must-haves built just for families of big kids on Empowered Moms and Kid’s specialized Amazon Affiliate Storefront…

If you’re raising tweens and/or parenting tweens, be encouraged by reading the full “Create Family Connection” series.

We all want to feel connected to our family. I know, I do. 

One of my favorite things to do with my family is to create family time. Yes, life gets busy, and no I don’t do this all perfectly (who actually does!?!), but it sure is fun to try.

I hope you enjoy these family connection articles and ideas too…

Creat Family Connection Series

FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Know Your Child: One Way to Learn How Your Kid Feels Loved

INSPIRATIONAL STORIES
One Easy Way to Get to Know Your Kid
Parenting Tweens: Annoying Ways Tweens Show Their Parents They Love Them
7 Reasons Why Raising Tweens & Teens is the Best

CELEBRATING HOLIDAYS
Celebrating Real Love This Valentine’s Day With My Family

raising teens
Are you raising teens and tweens? Join this community of moms HERE.

Join this community of moms raising tweens and teens

You just dropped your kid off at practice, picked up another, and are trying to decide what to make for dinner. Your days are filled with work, parenting, and waiting for password reset emails.

You are parenting tweens and teens.

It’s an amazing life phase, but also challenging in unique ways. In it all, you’d love a little encouragement to help you laugh, grow in faith, see parenting hacks, get ideas to connect with your kid, and celebrate the awesome momma you are. 

I got you, friend. Sign up for Empowered Moms and Kids monthly emails and get encouragement in your inbox geared for someone exactly in your life chapter. It’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time. 

Plus, you’ll get instant access to all the great resources in the freebie library. Join our community below.