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The teenage years will break you.

It will test your resolve, your patience, your parenting choices.

It will make you feel lonely and ostracized when you’re the only parent saying no.

It will make you feel insignificant and unworthy when your teenager lashes out.

It will make you wonder how one person can have so much laundry.

It will make you feel broken and lost when you can’t seem to get your kid back on track.

RELATED: It’s Lonely Being the Mom Who Says No

It will test your ability to keep your mouth shut when you need to pick and choose your battles. You will feel like your head may explode when you walk past their room.

It will test your ability to forgive when your teenager messes up—which they will, over and over again.

It will make you wonder where you went wrong.

It will make you feel helpless as you watch your kid face a world so much more complicated than the one we grew up in just two decades ago.

It will test your nerves as you watch them hop into a car or go on a trip or even a date leaving you to feel helpless and unable to protect them.

It will make you feel weak and feeble when you can’t help them quash their anxiety about school or relationships or how they will survive in this tough world.

It will make you bone-tired from driving and worry and worry and driving.

It will make you feel the weight of guilt so heavy it crushes you.

Yes, these challenging teenage years will break you.

You’ll smile all day when your teenage daughter surprisingly pecks you on the cheek before she left for school or drop everything you’re doing because your son asked you to watch a video on his phone, your two heads almost touching looking at the small screen.

Your heart will burst with happiness when you hear how kind they’ve been to a stranger.

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

You’ll find yourself challenged to look at the world in new ways because of their budding idealism.

You’ll feel unabashed pride as they find their passions, finish their education, start chasing their dreams.

You’ll see glimpses of the person they are becoming, and you begin to look forward to seeing what they will do with their life.

You will learn to accept change because there is no turning back.

You’ll learn that any communication is good communication, so you’ll learn about emojis and snaps and Instagram.

You will buy the best snacks so they’ll want to bring their friends over, and you’ll spend your last dollar at Starbucks just to get a few extra moments in the car with them.

You will sneak into their room some nights, and they will still be awake. But as they are lying in their bed scrolling their phone or finishing homework or listening to music, for a brief moment you’ll see that toddler face again, and your heart will break into pieces. And then when they look up at you with sleepy eyes as you kiss them on the forehead, and if you are very fortunate, say something like, “I love you too,” you’ll sleep easy that night.

Yes, these teenage years will break you in every way; but, if you’re lucky, you’ve raised people who will help put you back together again.

Originally published on Playdates on Fridays by Whitney Fleming

Teen and tween girls can be the hardest to shop for! You can’t buy love, but you can find them a great gift! Here are some of our favorites.

Perfect for online classes or rocking out in the bedroom, these noise cancelling headphones help keep learning distraction-free and excess noise to a minimum. With soft ear pads and a lightweight design, she’ll be comfortable wearing these for long periods of time, whether she’s participating in class, gaming, or escaping to the sounds of her favorite music.

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Sometimes it’s fun to kick it back old school. Easy to use and way more fun than Instagram, this camera comes in a variety of colors that pop. Two packs of film are included so she can get her snap on instantly.

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It’s common knowledge that teen/tween girls are under a lot of stress in today’s world, and anxiety can be a common problem. Aromatherapy dough helps refocus, rebalance, and restore. As you knead, it will take the edge off and act as a hand strengthener. Simply squeeze the dough and enjoy.

 

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What teen doesn’t love a good hoodie? Only the HoodiePillow Pillowcase can provide ultimate cocoonification, helping you tuck away the stresses of your day. It supplies warmth, quiet, focus, and a healthy sleep environment. Added bonus, it has a space for headphones and your phone or remote.

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The soothing hug of a weighted blanket relaxes the body and reduces tossing and turning at night. Now she can sleep like a baby throughout the night and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. If you have a teen that faces anxiety or other mental health issues, weighted blankets also can be a source of calm and comfort.

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Who doesn’t like to rock out in the shower pretending to be the lead singer in their favorite band (we know it’s not just us!)  This bluetooth speaker is portable and fully waterproof. Perfect for the pool, beach or hiking with friends too!

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A must-have every day accessory that she can’t live without. These SOJOS Aviator Sunglasses add flash without breaking the bank. Plus, they provide added UV protection, which she may not care about yet, but you do!

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Have a girl who loves to binge-watch? The Fire TV Cube allows her to do just that without lifting a finger. She can control the TV with just her voice, making changing the channel and volume super easy. She can access her favorite movies and TV shows, along with Netflix, Hulu, and more.

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Teens love movies, and this portable mini-projector allows them to enjoy cinema anywhere at any time. Great for travel or a girls-night in. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll ask you to watch a chick flick together (fingers crossed!)

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Who has hours to spend on your hair when you want a few minutes to sleep before school (or want to check in on your friends on Snap or Insta!) These microfiber hair towels can cut the drying time in half, important for a girl on the go! Our teen girls love these on busy nights or early mornings.

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Parenting teenagers can be tough. We love the insight in How to Talk So Teens Will Listen & Listen So Teens Will Talk . Don’t have time to sit and read? You can listen here, on Audible.

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

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Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site parentingteensandtweens.com You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

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