So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

A few months ago at church, two friends asked me how it was going with my daughter, and I didn’t know how to respond. They both had teenage daughters, too, and they both seemed to be having problems.

My response was probably not what they expected to hear—because I told them what made my life more difficult was my 9-year-old son, not my teenage daughter.

My teenager is just an average teenager, with average teenage hormones and average teenage problems. She is not the special child everyone might think she is. To me she is just your ordinary adolescent. 

What I have learned as a parent these past 13 years is that I had to change to be a parent of a teenager. 

1. I learned to listen.

No matter what she is talking about, her friends, school, boys, or the media—just listen. You can add a few comments here or there, but the most important skill to use here is your listening skills. You really have to pay attention to what she is saying because she will ask questions. 

2. I learned to be patient.

These teenagers may seem all grown up, however, they still lack the maturity and skills that would make them actual grown-ups. They are clumsy and forgetful, and sometimes they even seem brainless. They leave messes behind them, lose their phones, break things, and occasionally even hurt themselves. You have to be prepared and ready to act as if nothing out of the ordinary has happened.

3. I learned to love unconditionally.

Teenagers are big as adults but they still need to be babied and taken care of. Deep inside, they need the security and unconditional love of their parents. They need to feel that even when their friends leave them, they flunk tests, their faces break out, and PMS is debilitating, they still have one person who will be there cheering them on and waiting to kiss their boo-boos away.

I can tell you for sure that my love keeps growing for my teenager. She’s grown into a person I could be best friends with. She makes me dread the day when I will have to let her go completely. But at the same time, she makes me look forward to seeing her grow up into an adult.

Teenagers are here with you now—but they will not be here forever, so treat them right and watch them develop into beautiful butterflies. 

You may also like:

The Secret No One Told Me About the Teenage Years is How Much I’d Love Them

Sometimes All We Can Do is Be There For Our Teens

I Never Knew I Would Be So Lonely Raising Teenagers

Hannie Chang

I am a Christian widowed mom of a 14 year old daughter and a 9 year old son.  I love to write and crochet.   

I May Not Earn a Paycheck but My Work Is Worthy

In: Motherhood
Mother and son unloading dishwasher, color photo

I remember getting a paycheck once.  I chose direct deposit, and I’d review my monthly bank statements with no surprises. I knew how much I needed for my bills, and I knew when I had a little extra to spend. I knew I was getting compensated for all those hours I put in, and it felt good to earn a living. But that all changed when my husband and I decided I’d quit my full-time job to stay at home full time to raise our children.  RELATED: God Gave Me the Heart of a Stay-at-Home Mom All of the sudden,...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Raise Your Babies to Be Little Forever, but I Thought I’d Have More Time

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Little boy peeking over wooden fence, color photo

I can see the yellow blur of the school bus passing in front of my window. Soon my little boy will excitedly burst through the front door with his picture of a giraffe from art class. His big brown eyes will meet mine as I get a toothless “I missed you, Mom” grin. He will tell me everything he had on his tray for lunch, recount the whole soccer game at recess, and share all about that hilarious thing his friend said on the bus. He will then sit on my lap as he takes each school paper out of...

Keep Reading

No Man in a Girl’s Life Holds More Influence than Her Dad

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Father and daughter on amusement ride, color photo

As I sat outside Walmart watching my husband of nearly 16 years walk in with my 9-year-old daughter to buy me a box of tampons, I realized how blessed I am.  This is real life. Not only does he not care about running into the store and picking up these items, he asks our girls if they want to join him, and they use this time to talk. They talk about real-life—about growing up, changing bodies, what tampons are even for, how they can wait years and years before they need to start dating, how he will be waiting outside...

Keep Reading

Being the Mother of an Athlete Means Learning to Let Go

In: Motherhood, Sports
mom watching sports game

This is my post. Has been for years. I’ve held this spot sacred, watching you play for so long. Yet as you grow older, I find myself mourning the day I‘ll finally have to give it up. I’ve worn a path here, pacing back and forth with worry. I’ve packed the earth here, jumping up and down with excitement. I’ve found friends here, locking arms so tight that they’ve become bonded like family. I’ve made room in my heart for teammates here, cheering as if they were my own children. I’ve learned to respect, to love, and to offer grace here,...

Keep Reading

My Little Girl Has Big, Brave Dreams

In: Kids, Motherhood
School paper with little girl's handwriting, color photo

My 6-year-old daughter wants to be a soldier.   When we heard from the ultrasound tech that we were having another girl, that was not exactly the career path that popped into our heads.   There’s something absolutely terrifying knowing your child wants to do something big like this. I’m sure I’d be petrified if I had a son with the same ambition, but there’s something extra scary about it being your little girl. There’s something weighty about raising a daughter who wants to be a soldier. But honestly, it’s not a surprise at all. RELATED: God Has Filled Your...

Keep Reading

Dear Introverted Mom, Take that Break

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman outside with book and food

I am alone, in a hotel room, 20 minutes from home, lying back in the crisp bed, feet propped up on billowing white pillows. A good book is in my hand. The large window beside me overlooks the Mississippi River as the sun slowly sets and people unwind for a southern Louisiana evening in downtown Baton Rouge. I’ll probably order room service for dinner. I spent the afternoon at the coffee shop across the street, sipping on a deliciously caffeinated beverage carefully made to my liking. I ate a delicate snack filled with fruits, fancy lettuce, and expensive cheese while...

Keep Reading

Thanks For Leading by Example, Mom

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Adult woman and mother smiling, color photo

Dear Mom,  Thinking back on my life as a child, young adult, and now a middle-aged mother myself, I am indebted to you for the many life lessons you have taught me—some directly, mostly leading by precious example.  If I have any bones to pick with you, it could be that you made it all look so easy. So very, very easy! Marriage, motherhood, working outside the home, relationships with in-laws, relationships with co-workers, relationships with church friends, and just relationships in general. I hardly ever saw you cry. The few times I did see you cry stand out to...

Keep Reading

As an Anxious Mom, I Remind Myself You Were God’s Child First

In: Faith, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping

I remember bringing that squishy baby home from the hospital. His 9-pound birth weight didn’t label him as scrawny by any means, but he was so small to us. I cringed the first time I laid him in the bassinet beside my bed. I wouldn’t be able to keep an eye on him all night long like the nurses in the hospital nursery. I couldn’t make sure he was breathing every second of my coveted slumber. To calm my worries, we turned on our bathroom light and left the door wide open. The extra light wouldn’t disturb our angel from...

Keep Reading

Home is Holy Ground

In: Faith, Motherhood
Kids and mom at home

Some days, I wake up and walk around my house feeling my chest rise looking at the chaotic mess I didn’t get done the day before.  Trampling over toys, incomplete laundry, and dishes that seem to load up by the end of the day. I pause, I stare, and I wonder which of the objects in each room I should tackle first. I take a deep breath and notice my heart and my mind are overwhelmed with a running checklist. Why can’t everything just get done all at one time? You can talk to a dozen mothers and I am...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids To Know God’s Always There

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding cross in the palm of her hand, color photo

A few months ago, my friend lost his dad. And it impacted our community profoundly. Because he loved SO BIG. Everywhere he went, he couldn’t help but talk to and engage with people—sharing a joke to make them smile or offering a compliment to build them up. He was a connector. And in all the connecting he did, he was quick to remind everyone he encountered that our hearts are ever connected to a God who loves us. It had become his thing to pass out little wooden crosses to those he happily chatted up as he went about each...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections