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We Need To Calm The F&%$ About Teen Parenting

By on March 23, 2021 0

I love my children to the end of my heart, but I think I actually love them more once they became teenagers and i learned to CTFD as a parent.

“What is CTFD?” you might be asking. Why, it’s a parenting method. And that means: Calm The F&*% Down.

Teenagers present their own set of unique challenges for parents. They can be sullen, stubborn, rude, cheeky – even when they don’t stay awake until 3 a.m. and sleep all day.

“In our family, it comes down to this: ‘Which hill am I ready to die on?'”

They have freedoms younger kids don’t, giving them the ability and power to get into more trouble. A toddler might be a handful, sure, but even a grocery store meltdown at its worst can’t compete with a screaming match in the lingerie section of a department store, with a near-adult person who has a strong vocabulary. . The babies are needy, but they don’t take your car and then proclaim that the 17 scratches on the drive-thru side “must be there already.”

So yes, teenagers can be jerks. But show me a kid (or an adult!) who isn’t a jerk sometimes and I’ll show you… nobody.


This mom had her eyes opened to the complexity of the genre thanks to her teenage daughters. Discover his experience here.


But I’ve discovered that there’s something about parenting teenagers that, once you get down to it, is really fascinating. I watched this child grow physically and developmentally for 13 or 14 years, but now comes the main thing – the growth and learning that really shows you who this person is going to be, and it’s amazing to watch . Suddenly these kids understand humor and have their own ideas (whether they like them or not). And when I calm down seriously about what they can talk to me about, I have the chance to have really interesting conversations with them.

In our family, it comes down to this: “On what hill am I ready to die?

“Does anything happen to parents when they’re raising teenagers that they suddenly completely forget what their own teenage existence was like?”

I’ve never been a curfew micro-manager, and my kids don’t really have any restrictions on media consumption. I don’t monitor their food intake and I’m not a big nag when it comes to waking hours outside of school. It’s a matter of balance. If I panic and make a fuss about a teenager who sleeps until 1 p.m. on a Saturday, or spend all our time talking about this friend I don’t like, or every mealtime becomes an inquisition on vegetable consumption, I’m upping the ante AGAINST myself. We just need to let some shit go. I try to light my feelings on fire, toss them in the air and let them be consumed by the atmosphere.

If I start at a level seven anger response to something that requires a two (like missing curfew), I leave you very little room to move on to next time. And next time the situation might require a level seven, but I’ve exhausted it. Kids remember our reactions and if I lost it to a vape in a backpack there’s no way they’d tell me anything they even suspect to incite at a similar level of response.


Do you love your teenage years, but miss the little years? Find out why this mom thinks kids ages 5-10 are the best here.


Sometimes I read articles about teenagers on social media and think that if an alien race saw these notes before they met a real teenager, they would wonder why we didn’t just force them to live in caves. Does anything happen to parents when they’re raising teenagers that they suddenly completely forget what their own teenage existence was like? I once read a post on Facebook from a parent upset about something their teenager did – upset enough to tell the world via FB, beware (which is problematic in itself; kids deserve privacy ). It made me laugh because I know this parent personally, and we did things together as teenagers that were 10 times worse every week.

That doesn’t mean I let it all slide, or that I can’t feel angry, sad, or defeated. The key is figuring out what’s important to us as a family in terms of values, and then really – really – sitting down for a second to gauge our responses before reacting.

Being a parent is not ping-pong, but chess. I try to be measured, drop a few pawns, and keep my eyes on the prize: healthy, happy teenagers who will eventually come to visit me in a (hopefully well-appointed) nursing home of their choice. .

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