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Why teens need parental love more than ever

Newborn days are hard. Terrible twos are tough. Primary school is difficult. Teenagers are a whiole other parental minefield.
I have been invigilating exams this week and last, and have been reminding myself of how awful I found my own teenage years. the nightmare of friendships, the hormones, the self doubt and even hatred.

My own eldest is now 13. I have always told him how awful I was so he was worried that he would turn into Kevin the Teenager the second he turned 13.


But he hasn’t. He’s lovely and he would hate me saying that. I am super proud of him and have had emails from his teachers several weeks in a row about his exemplary behaviour, effort and work.
I’ll be honest. Matt is like me, desperate to please and frantic to follow the rules. Anya is a whole different ball game. Just 11 but she has very different ideads about being her own idividual self. She wear make up to school. She wants to know when she can get a piercing. Apparently she wants a £50 moisturiser for Christmas!
Annie has a confidence that I never had or will have and I hope like hell that she keeps it! Parenting her as she becomes a teen should be fun but she knows that there are boundaries she cannot cross and I will be the mean mum in an instant if needed.
Zach is another whole different ball game. He is a cheeky chappy and almost relentlessly cheerful. I have a feeling that he will breeze through his hormonal years.

The poor kids that I have met this week at work do not have mean mums like me. They do not have someone nagging them and challenging them to be the best. They don’t have someone insisting they revise or even making sure they turn up to their exams on time.
The problem with teens is that just as they are getting too big to hold in your arms it’s the time that they really need you. When they are least easy to love is also when they need the most love. They need someone to say ‘no’.

Love isn’t letting them get away with anything, it is setting rules and sticking to them. It is being a parent not a friend. I am a big believer in consequences for actions and raising awareness that making good choices is so important for ourselves and others. I just reread a blog post I wrote 6 years ago with advice for teens, and goodness me it still rings true!
We need to mould decent people that we would want to be friends with when they are adults. I was a hideous teen but always respected my parents and am so grateful that they held firm. We are so close and I hope to replicate this with my own children as they grow up but hopefully not away…

1 comment

  1. Parenting teenagers is something completely different to anything before. I am that mean mum, my eldest used to hate me for it but now she’s 21 she knows I was only being “mean” for her own good.
    It sounds like Anya is going to keep you on your toes, I have a teen who wants expensive moisturiser for Christmas and a £37 lipstick. Eek!

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