Without Saying a Word

A lady standing next to me asked if I knew who "such-n-such" was. They are "such-n-such's" sibling. My shoulder nearly touching hers enough to hear over the loud fans, whistleblowing, hightops screeching, coaches hauler, teammates calling for teammates and other parents talking.

We stood in the awkward position pushed against the wall out of harm's way, the ball. "No", I replied. "When my oldest daughter graduated a few years ago, it was the best release not keeping up with everyone." Our shoulders separated. She slid back into her upright standing position while I did the same.

It's important to know people, I get that, especially kids and families our own children are involved with. Also, I am a believer in going with what feels natural. Meaning where the Holy Spirit leads me in my demeanor as a mother. And this is feeling pretty awesome. Free. From. Highschool. Life.

My second child is only in middle school. So, I've enjoyed the break from high school life. A momma deserves a break, right. This time around starting the teen years, I am one of the few who already raised a teen. Eyeballs are on me, "give us advice".

That's cool with me. I'll start by saying "every child is different". I see it with the very two I am raising, and I saw it first hand up close with my oldest daughter and her friends. Let's just say it was a beautiful process to watch those kids grow up. More importantly, watch the other parents. Back then I was the mom who didn't have an older child. So, I did a lot of evaluating and watching of parenting skills. Then there were things behind closed doors, I had to tackle on my own as a mother. Today, I want to share those with you. Because I've been there. I've raised a daughter. Who is now 20. Which is another set of parenting challenges. Your time will come with those years too. I promise. Just like you got through infant, toddler, terrible two's, you will get past the teen years. I'll get past the 20's and teen's again.

When one is in the heat of the moment raising a teen, it can be hard. We can tend to forget what it was like for us personally when we were a teen.

If words fly off the handle.
The door gets slammed.
If mumbles form under the breath getting out of the car at practice.

Let it go!

Yes, I said it. Let it go.

Exodus 14:14 The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still. 

The harder we push, the harder they push the other way.

Think back to when you were a teen.

The pressure:

fitting in
performing the way a certain coach requires
adjusting to being around young and older girls/boys
longer practices
body changes

Be the mushy comfort your teen needs without saying a word, for now at least. [Click here to tweet].

Plan a time to watch a movie or tv show with just them. Make a movie ticket. Write it on a notecard. You can even schedule it verbally. This may require staying up later. Or asking your spouse to hang with the rest of the crew while you get this special time.

Write a note of encouragement. Post the note to their mirror, closet door, back of bathroom door or inside a cabinet. Leave it for a few days. Depending on your child's personality you may need to take it down before company, better yet leave it for the company to see, they might need encouragement too. Add a Bible verse. Not sure which verse. Find one here. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage each other and build each other up. 

Do a chore. One they are normally responsible for. No one wants to add more to their momma/dad list. I get it. Really, I do. Trust me on this one. You may not hear a response back on this one from your child. There's no need.

Speak kindly to them. Even if not spoken to kindly first. Proverbs 16:24 Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. 

Ask for a hug. Not everyone is a hugger. If you are unsure test the waters and see if yours is. Can't get a hug in aim for a high-five. Or watching the movie snuggle next to them. Even if it's only touching shoulders.

Pray. Ask the Lord to reveal things He might be communicating to you about your personal self through this time. We are always growing. He is always talking to us. I know raising my oldest I grew mentally and spiritually. How do you feel about yourself? Are you jam up okay with the way things are? Do you love your job, hair, looks, etc? If you do not read anything else I've written, read this. You are jam up. You are a cool parent. You are a child of Gods. That's what matters. That's what makes you cool. You are loved. You are awesome. You matter. When we are busy loving God, others and our life there is no room for drama, worry, fear or regrets. Ephesians 2:19-22 When you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure remember to whom you belong. 

Leave a gift. We all like surprises. If the teen needs something like a new toothbrush, socks, a pencil pouch or something for school, use this item as the gift. Leave a small note with the item stating, "I got this just for you." Don't go out breaking the bank to gift something in hopes the teen will never be grumbly again. A small gesture is all that's needed. Even baking a favorite meal or treat of theirs would be awesome.

Share what it was like when you were a teen. Teens love to hear stories about when we were kids. They want to know we screwed up, talked back to our parents, ran into a door in front of everyone, struggled with our appearance, and we saw the need for a daily relationship with Christ. Most get saved moving on never developing a relationship. This may be something you need to pray about personally for yourself. If so, that is perfectly okay.

While praying ask the Lord to show you which of these above would be good for you and your teen. All of them are not meant to be tackled. One. Few. Couple. Be the comfort your teen needs from the outside world. Be the hands and feet of Jesus.

You will make it through this.
You can handle this.
You can put the wooden spoon away.
You will see the sassy leave.

You are a great parent.

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