Last week, Dearly took to its Facebook pages to ask the community what is the hardest part about raising a teenager.
Over a hundred moms and dads responded:
Here are just a few of the most honest answers.
Many of the parents revealed their fears:
I’m most afraid of being broke and the hardest part(s) for me, raising my teenagers, is raising them in a culture where there are no absolutes anymore, no accountability for wrong behavior, and men and women want to be the opposite sex, and transgenderism is considered a normal lifestyle. People have asked me if I would still have kids if I had known the changes that have taken place in our culture over the last 20 years? Probably not.
The hardest part.....letting go....hoping you did all the right things and taught them well....hoping they make the right decisions....but at some point you have to let them go so they can grow up.
Oh gosh. Knowing what pain and hardships are out there, and that it is not something I can protect them from. Knowing they have to experience all of life to learn and grow. Most of which, i can only be a bystander. Any suffering they feel, I will feel. Only that pain somehow feels worse than my own experiences. At the same time, their success and accomplishments feel better than my own. It really is your heart walking around outside of your body. Constantly reminding myself that you can't have one without the other. I thought twin babies, than toddlers were challenging. Knowing they will soon be going out into the world without my protection is even more so. That feeling of being both excited for them and terrified for them at the same time.
I worry more now than I did when they were teens,this world is getting crazier by the week..they are all young adults now 29,27,25,21,20..I continue to pray for their safety and well being
Not known what they were doing when with friends! No matter how well you raise them kids can do wrong things parents can only do so much. Kids think they know everything and parents know nothing.
I had 5 kids and they were all teenagers at the same time. I was afraid of losing my mind.
While others admitted that raising a teenager is anything but easy:
Hardest part is just beginning: teen girl (almost 13) attitudes are the worst. Adopted all 3 sibs from warzone, and now get attitudes for almost anything (steak not well done), hearing “you're not my real parents!” is my favorite, a real reward for our efforts. Is it wrong to wish that their kids are just like them?
My fears, my three granddaughters growing up in today's world. [The] hardest part of the teen years, let's just say they were some ruff years on many levels, but she grew to [be] an amazing person and good mom.
I have a teenager as we speak and I will say it's prob been the hardest stage of parenting so far. They know EVERYTHING and we know nothing. Major attitudes over a simple question or statement. Yea, this will be fun next couple years.
Where do I start? Hormones just a raging!!! They still live in dad and mom's house? Rules OR get out!!
Their friends and the influence. Pot and alcohol use. I am surprised by the attitude towards pot and how it's no big deal...smoking cigarettes is disgusting but pot is fine. Drug use in our house is not tolerated so it's great now that they sell testing kits...The drug use surrounding our children on a daily basis is and can be overwhelming and it's a easy way out when they say to their friends, “my mom piss tests me so no thanks.” Their friends don't even bother asking them. I have one graduating and a 15 year old so I am on my toes.
One full bathroom...Four teenagers.
Some said that the teenagers years were their favorite stage as far as parenting goes:
Now the teenage years were the best as far as I am concerned. I had 3 teenagers at once. I enjoyed the conversations we had. I enjoyed the fact that they could reason and think for themselves. I let them know how I viewed the world and my viewpoint on issues in their lives personally and the greater society we live in. I listened respectfully to their viewpoints and treated them respectfully. As a result they treated me respectfully and now they are all responsible and adulting.
I loved having teenagers! Our family wasn't perfect by any means. I found that keeping dialogue going, being open with them and knowing when being the parents was more important than being their friend made all the difference in the world. Sometimes we can't be both! They're all five great people, four with families of their own. We lost our youngest daughter in a car accident fifteen years ago at age 18.
I am raising my last teen right now and I had absolutely no problems with any of my 5 teens. Three of which are boys. I guess I got lucky.
I was blessed, didn't have any problems, she is now in Nursing School, so I couldn't be happier.
In the end, no matter how hard and joyful each stage of parenting can be, there is one thing each parent alluded to in their comments, and that is that they get up each and every day because they love their children more than they've loved anything ever before.
Many of them also agreed that even though they love their children dearly, it's easy to go a little crazy during those teen years, so mom and dads, remember to take care of yourselves as well.
Your kids wouldn't be half the people they are today if it wasn't for you, so thank you.