Being More Present with Teenagers.

Hey friends!

If you follow me on Instagram or have been around for a while, then you know I refer to my children as “old kids”. My son is 22 and the girls are 17 and soon to be 15. I think old kids suit them just fine.

Over the weekend, I did a family vlog on YouTube. You can watch that video here. That brought me to today’s post.

I have recently been soaking in all the activities and moments with my girls. Jas is a senior in high school and Jordan is a freshman. I know it sounds cliche, but what I’ve learned with my son is that the time really does go by quickly.

Today I wanted to share a few tips with you that I’ve been practicing to be and stay more in the moment with my family especially my teenage girls. I hope they can help you as well.

Take Part In Their Activities.

This one goes for those of you who have active kids. I am more busy now with teen girls than I was when they were little people. They both are cheerleaders and have hectic schedules. My husband and I try and make every game. Why?

  • They NEED to see you there.
  • They need to see you taking part in what’s important to them.
  • They need to know that’s what’s important to them is important to you.

I know that some parents may work during certain times and that’s totally understandable. I worked full time away from home during some of my sons games. If that’s the case, please don’t feel bad about that. We do what we have to. Just make it a point to explain that to your child and make sure you love AND listen to how their activity and day was when you see them.

Put Your Phone Away

Yes I said it. I have been more intentional about putting my phone away when my family is home or when we’re out having family time. Being present with them is much more important than anything else. When we go out for dinner or are having conversations at home, my phone goes up. Your people need to SEE you being fully engaged in what they’re saying, especially if teens are talking. Please let them know you’re listening.

Communicate

What I’ve found out is that teenagers DO talk. They really do. They have to know that they’re being listened to and they have to know the space they’re speaking in is a safe, judgment free zone and that they’re free to express themselves authentically.

I’ve had some talks with my daughters about pretty much everything and let me tell you… some of these talk will make you want to clutch your pearls and say “hang on I need just a minute lol”! They can get deep, which is precisely what you want! I never felt like I could talk to my mom about things going on with me. I didn’t want that dynamic between me and my kids. My son even talks to us about things and we’re like WOAHHHH!!!

However, I’m SO glad they feel safe and comfortable enough to tell us things. Don’t just allow them to communicate, let them KNOW you’re listening and that what they’re saying is just as important to you as it is to them.

Say No

I have had lots of activities and even work that I’ve had to say no to for the sake of family and that’s perfectly ok in my book.

They’ll be times when your teens will need you, I mean really need you. When they start to experience things such as boy drama, break ups, hard school days, mean girls, stupid adults and just LIFE and things that come with growing up, they’ll really need you.

There have been times even this year where I’ve had to turn down speaking engagements because my girls have something going on and I want to be there.

Sometimes they won’t always tell you that they want and need you there because they’re still kids and their emotions are a whole other complex topic. Sometimes we’ll have to use discernment or listen to that mom’s intuition to know that you’re needed in that moment.

BE Present

Lastly, just be present. If they want to do something with you, that is what is most important.

I take each one of my girls on day dates, sometimes separately and sometimes together. Recently Jasmine and I had a full girls day and as I said earlier, I vlogged about it on my YouTube channel.

So what does being present look like?

  • Listen to their conversations.
  • Make TikToks or Snaps with them if they want to. Consider it an honor if they put you on their social media lol!!
  • Make sure to take them on dates AND be engaged and not on your phone.
  • Allow them to make decisions, but be there to help guide them.
  • Allow them space to struggle, but be there for support.
  • If they’re having a bad day, allow them to feel their feelings and give them their space, but let them know you’re there if they need you. Once they’ve had a minute to work through it, they’ll come back to you and will probably talk about it. Trust me.

Well that’s all I had for today. I hope this has helped some of you today.

For me, motherhood is my HIGHEST calling and I take it seriously.

I know that sometimes having teenagers can be difficult and can get a bad wrap, but we just have to remember how we were as teens and what we may have needed that we feel like we couldn’t communicate or effectively put into words.

I’m not a perfect mom by a long shot. Some days I just get it wrong, but grace is always there to pick me up when I mess up and tomorrow is always another chance to try again. .

Until next time, love you all!

Nicole

Photography by Ariel Perry

March 10, 2020

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