My kids are heading into middle school and high school in the fall. We are all in on the tween and teen thing.   

At this age, they are discovering their interests. Their commitments to sports are ramping up. They’re starting to make their own choices when it comes to sportswhat teams to commit to, whether to stick with a sport or try something different, when and how to put in the extra time. They have options to consider when it comes to class selections and levels. Where do they challenge themselves more and where do they draw the line on what’s too much?

They’re making their own friends and don’t always keep the ones we want them to keep. They’re problem-solving and working through their own drama with relationshipssoon to be those first boyfriend and girlfriend relationships. They brainstorm what they may want to do when they grow up; they’re ready to embark on making their own money. It’s such an exciting time. 

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They’re growing and changing so much. Yet, I’ll still catch things like that beloved stuffie or blanket in their bed. They seem so grown—they’re pretty much the size of adults. And they’re so insistent they are not children anymore, and they constantly ask us for more freedom to grow into who they’re reaching to be.

They’re lost in the angst between childhood and adulthood at times. That adolescent fight for independence is strong. Yet, they still need security and need us maybe more than ever. As they’re figuring out who they are and where they belong and stretching those growing limbs and finding their voice, they still need to know we are here for them.

Just as we may think they don’t need us anymore, we’re reminded they need us much the same way they need the security of that stuffie or that blankie we find hiding in their bed. They need to know that despite the endless disagreements and mistakes, they are their own person, and no matter what we love them. And we’re here for this journey that is tweens and teens. 

RELATED: I Will Cheer You on from the Sidelines for the Rest of My Life

This time of tweens and teens is crazy busy, and it’s the season of life when we’re a chauffeur and a cheerleader. Whether it’s course selection or sports or the stage, we’re here to just cheer them on through all of it. As their parents, it feels as if time is running away from us, but we can’t help but wait in excited anticipation of what’s next. It’s like having a front-row seat to the greatest movie we’ve ever watched. 

There are so many choices they’re now going to get to make. We can offer our insight, and maybe guidance at times, but this is the chapter when they start to become the writers of their own stories. We’re just the chauffeur from one destination of their journey to another, the cheerleader from one event to the next, the reader of the story they’re about to write. But as their parents, we are so here for it, ready to sit in the car, sit on the sidelines, hand over the pen and see what these teens and tweens of ours decide to do as they take on their next chapters.

We’re here for it all. 

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Angela Williams Glenn

Angela Williams Glenn writes about the struggles and joys of motherhood. Her book Moms, Monsters, Media, and Margaritas examines the expectations verse the realities of motherhood in our modern day digital era and her book Letters to a Daughter is an interactive journal for mothers to their daughters. She’s also been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, TAAVI Village, Bored Teachers, and Filter Free Parents. You can find her humorous and uplifting stories on Facebook page.

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