The Secret I Learned About Raising Teenagers

Here is another secret about raising teenagers. Listen closely.

Turning 18 isn’t magic. They are not suddenly these amazing mature adults who can do all the things.

We may send them into the world right around this time and expect them to figure out how to hold and job and go to school and live on their own and pay their bills and manage their money and check their email and eat healthily and take their medicine and exercise some and make good choices and basically do all the things in the land for themselves all on their own or they are failing thank you very much.

This is what we prepared you for kids, now go fly!

Then, inevitably, they fall.

Because they are human people.

And when you look at that list of all the things life expects and seriously and think about your own life…are you as a seasoned adult always managing all the things perfectly and without flaw?

I actually have a good amount of emails waiting for me each day that should have been answered yesterday and I rewashed the same load of laundry three times this week and I still haven’t called the doctor about the incorrect bill I received and sometimes I just can’t get my butt out of bed for yoga and I have to confess I spend way too much time playing Hay Day on my phone.

I give myself grace, I give my family and friends and coworkers grace.

Don’t our kids deserve this and more? Don’t they still deserve our support?

If our kids need our help it doesn’t mean they are failing. It means they are human. Full stop.

Our human children might leave our nest and still need our help registering for classes or finding an apartment or figuring out how to get to the doctor. And this is OK. We should still be helping them.

I am 40-something and my parents still help me on the regular.

Because we are family. We are a community. We are here for each other.

Our kids might still need our support to fly. You haven’t failed. Neither have they.

They are learning. And so are you.

So next time you think you need to take all the hands off the parenting steering wheel remember, your kids are simply human beings that you love and cherish. And helping those you love and cherish is perfectly fine.

Kids will succeed where they can. If they are failing somewhere it is because they don’t have the skills, not that they don’t want to be successful.

So we help them. And maybe throw in a hug and some encouragement and some reminders of all the ways we goofed up when we were their age. And when we were the age we are now.

So they know they can be human too. And they know they have someone in their corner. And they know they are never alone. And they know it is perfectly acceptable to rewash laundry for 3 weeks in a row and that the consequences of not paying your rent on time stink but also help you remember to pay it on time the next time.

And those lessons learned together are the best ones yet.

The end.

Amy Betters-Midtvedt
Amy Betters-Midtvedt
I'm Amy Betters-Midtvedt and I write along with my friend Erin over at We write to help find our sanity and our joy and sometimes joy is found hiding out in the closet with our coffee, come and join us!

Related Posts


Recent Stories