One Tough Job

I’m not talking about teaching 8th grade – I’m talking about parenting a teenager!

Remember when they were 3 years old and were unhappy?  You could usually cheer them up with a hug and a cookie.  It’s waaay more complicated now, isn’t it?  You ask, “What’s wrong?”  And you get “Nuthin” or “Stop bugging me all the time!”  Or a defeated shrug.  Any further attempts on your part to communicate are either ignored or greeted with an outburst that lets you know your efforts aren’t appreciated.

And yet – when I shared this reality with my 8th graders a couple of years ago, there was a thoughtful pause and then one student said, “I’d still like that cookie!”  And from the corner of the room a soft voice said, “And I’d kinda like that hug.”

Parents tell me their teens don’t talk to them anymore.  Teens tell me their parents won’t listen.  Obviously, the desire to communicate is there on both parts, but it seems like you no longer speak the same language.  It’s my goal to provide a place to share advice and experiences in this blog.  Teens tell me I “get” them, and every year I hear, “I wish you’d tell my parents that!”  But I don’t have all the answers, so I’m hoping this can be a dialogue.  Please use the comment section to share your advice and your questions – and even your frustrations – and let’s make living with teens more meaningful and enjoyable than you thought it could be!