Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me Having a Teenager Was Hard?

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As a teenager, I remember my friends would go do so many fun things, like having sleepovers, going to school dances, or just hanging out at the mall. I wanted to do the same things as them. I remember asking my mom if I could have a sleepover at a friend’s house and she responded, “no, because I don’t know their parents” or “what if something happens to you.” My parents were very cautious and they always had a reason for me or my sister not to go out. I can say that I was lucky; I went to my senior prom and that’s because I really had to beg my father if I could go. In my teenage years, I would tell you that life was UNFAIR. As a parent of a 14-year old, I can now say my parents were strict is because they were looking out for us.

When I became a parent for the first time 14 years ago, I had the image of my baby boy being little forever, and then, just like that, it happened. He became a teenager.

Do you know what happens when you have a teenager? They want to date, go to the mall with their friends, and have sleepovers or stay after school for school events.

The first time my 14-year-old asked me to go out on his own, he was in Junior High. He asked me if he could stay after school to watch a basketball game. I thought to myself, “ok, not a big deal, it’s just a basketball game,” but before giving the “yes” to him, I had to set the rules. I sat him down in the living room and we talked about how school was going and if he liked his teachers and friends. I remember the look on his face. He looked at me so confused. I made sure he knew that if something was bothering him that he could always count on me or tell me and I would be there to guide him.

Why didn’t someone tell me that it would be hard raising a teenager? Even though I talk to my teenager and I tell him to trust me, there are things that sometimes they don’t feel they want to share with their parents. I occasionally get the, “I hate living in this house”, or “it’s not fair”, or my favorite one, “why do you hate me so much?” I remember when I was his age and I slammed the door on my mom’s face and she told me. “one day you are going to have a child that is just like you!” Trust me, listen to your mothers because it’s true. You know that saying “what comes around goes around”? Yeah! I truly believe in it.

As parents, I believe that we need to have our kids trust us. They need to be able to tell us their problems and their struggles. If we can’t do that then they are willing to do things that they are not supposed to or they will disobey you. I can’t say they will obey you 100%, but they are more likely to listen to you 85% of the time. I am by no means an expert in parenting advice, but I do believe that your kids have to trust you in order to have a good relationship. I know that for me, as a parent, it is hard to say no when my teenager asks to go out or asks for something, but we also have to learn to say no to them. Setting the rules and trust with your teenager is the way to a successful relationship.

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Julia Escareno was born in Mexico City, Mexico but raised in Idaho Falls, Idaho. She has 5 kids - all boys, ages 14, 7, 4 and 2 (and 1 husband). She is a full-time working mother and part-time student who loves to read, run, and spend time with her kids. When Julia is not working, you will find her shopping for a good deal at any thrift store, attending her kids track/cross country meets, or training for her next Spartan Race. Julia also has a small side business making girl headbands and bows, and one day when her kids are all grown up, she hopes to open her own headband boutique. In the meantime, she is enjoying this time in her life with her crazy kiddos.