Prone to Wander: Bringing your teen life back to life
Here’s my heart little one. We hold that tiny hand in ours and walk the path to adventures. Toddlers have no choice but to follow. Hey, we’re bigger than them and make ALL the rules. Conquering the toddler days have nothing to compare to the teenager trials. Moms laugh about the “terrible twos” because they haven’t experienced the “tantrum teens.” Boys have testosterone rages. Girls have emotional meltdowns. Hold on, there is victory ahead!
When our children are small, we’re their entire world. My husband and I agree that age seven is the age of perfection. They’re potty trained, they can hold a conversation and think you’re the best thing in the entire world. We have wisdom beyond compare when they’re seven years old. We’ve developed gelatin brains as they approach graduating high school. Now I may be exaggerating because my children truly have had their moments but looking at the big picture, they’re super great kids. How, you may ask? Start early with laying down the rules and stick to them when they’re tough. Don’t cave for convenience. No means no and not go ask your dad behind my back. Also, dating creates conversation. Conversation creates connection. Connection creates a oneness.
Dating your teen doesn’t have to be expensive or even extremely creative. Ideas do include, exploring new coffee shops or enjoying a mani/pedi together (even if your teen is a boy.) The one on one time with your teen is the non-compromising factor. Just the two of you together on an adventure has memory making all over it. “I’m bored” may be a constant mantra for your teen or quite the opposite of “I’m overwhelmed!” Either way the escape from business as usual breaks the barrier.
There’s no secret to making it work. It starts with asking or even a text. Work with them, not against them. Kids text. Moms call. Either way be kind and make the conversation about them. Ask open ended questions which makes chatting easier. Let them talk. Be ready to listen and not always fix.
We took an adventure to try an introductory Pilates Reformer class. “Mom, we’ll try this for you,” Abby grinned. “It looks like a Medieval torture device we’d find in a dungeon,” Rosey laughed. But nevertheless, they tried. We laughed and made memories. Once a month we try to be one on one, but sometimes a group party makes its way into our lives.
Each child wants to feel special. By setting aside a certain time, you’re making them the focus. “I love to just talk to you about weird things and we laugh!”- Abby our 16-year-old. Also, don’t think Dads are out of the picture. They’re on the radar as well. Dad dates in our house usually involve ice cream, every time.
Victory comes in unusual forms. I’m honored when suddenly the tables are turned and my kids ask me out. It’s not because I’m the one paying, because they have money too. Be that blessing and that blessing abounds back in more than you can hope, wish or imagine. Those teens become grown-ups, then hopefully when you’re in your 90’s (and we all hope we get there) they’ll ask you out again on that weekly date with their teens in tow. Be that example, so they build upon your wisdom. Open conversations and open your heart. “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.” – Albert Einstein
Why are you waiting? Text your teen right now, because you know they’re on their phone.