Parenting Is The Hardest Job on Earth...

Parenting Is The Hardest Job on Earth...

Parenting is hard. It is rewarding and wonderful but it is so difficult.

I've been around the block with parenting. I raised three of my own and helped to raise two step children as well. All five were teens at once. Believe me when I tell you that nothing much scares me.

Now I have the privilege and honor of participating in the raising of two more step children. I love them just as much as I loved (and still love) the other five.

Teenagers struggle without realizing they are struggling. They feel all kinds of emotions in rapid succession and their brains are not fully developed for them to reason out what is going on and why it is happening. They think they are grown and they are right about everything. As a bonus to their brains not being fully developed, they make terrible choices and they can't see beyond themselves. They have no concept of what effect their actions have on others or even their own futures. This can really be a chaotic and tumultuous stage.

My only advice is to stand firm to your rules and boundaries. Be consistent about consequences. It might be tempting to try to be friends with your child or to negotiate rules, consequences, or boundaries. However, let's take a look at the main goal of parenting.

Our goal, as parents, is to nurture, shape, and mold a responsible, self-sufficient, and compassionate adult. They need to learn to be responsible to go to school each day because that teaches them about going to work each day. They need to learn to do their laundry because adults like to wear clean clothes. It is the same scenario with dishes, running the vaccuum, and cleaning their living space. They need to learn appropriate social skills and proper boundaries. They need to learn self-worth and to respect themselves enough to expect respect in all of their relationships and be able to give respect in return. The list goes on.

As I said, this job isn't for the faint of heart. I was pretty stubborn with my kids. If I said no, it rarely (if ever) changed. They fought pretty hard against me some times.

However, on the other side of the chaos, my adult children love me. They respect and value me. I get big, tight hugs from them every time I see them. They know now that I loved them through those crazy years and that my supposed meanness and unwillingness to bend was to teach them to be adults. The picture with this post is from my son's wedding day. I'm so proud of the people they have become!

That is all worth the tears, fears, wrong decisions, stubbornness, fights, struggles, arguments, mom guilt ...well, ALL of it!

Parents, stand firm and keep your chins up! Remember that when you are motivated by love for your children and you only want what is absolutely best for their adult selves, you are doing your best in that moment. Learn from each decision and improve as you move forward. Remember that each stage of parenting comes with new challenges and we adapt, learn, and move forward in love.

Keep going! The teen stage is temporary. Five or six years. 7% of an average lifespan.

You've got this!

As always, your mileage may vary...

Much Love,

~Lady Misty

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