How to raise teens and not die trying

Luisa Del Rio

I am the happy mom of two teens; Samy is 12 years old and Aleja is 14. My children have made my faith, my love and above all, my patience grow. Patience that at times feels like it’s running out, but is strengthened when I tell myself, “KEEP CALM! They are growing, maturing, it’s just a phase, they’re going to change…” But to be honest, the one who has grown, matured and changed has been me, and I praise God for it.  

 

My beautiful teens have taught me about a love that is practical, simple and able to do all things. They’ve taught me to enjoy them, to relax, and understand that being their mom will not actually kill me.

 

For 11 years, I was a mom like the rest. I left early in the morning for work and came home in the late hours of the afternoon to play with them a little and check their homework. I was blessed to have a grandma and nanny by my side, who loved and spoiled them for more than 10 years.

 

However,  the day arrived when I had to face the beautiful reality of coming home and taking on the role of being a full time mom. This hit me harder than expected.

 

I was surprised to find out that the little ones I took care of at night, for whom I worked so hard and went to great lengths to be Super Mom (many of you can relate) and whom I tried to please on the weekends, had grown up and were perfect strangers to me.

 

For example, I discovered that Samy no longer liked Lightning McQueen from Cars, but now he was only into soccer. I learned that Messi’s cleats were not the same as Ronaldo’s and nothing like Neymar’s.

I discovered that Aleja did not want dolls anymore, but instead wanted to bake and talk alone with me for hours and hours about things I did not consider important.

 

I realized I needed to get to know my teens again. I needed to understand their changes and be ready to listen and give direction. And most important, I recognized I needed God’s direction and wisdom to make my kids young people who were “increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52).

 

The advice I want to leave you today is to spend time with your teens every day to listen! They grow up so fast and to be able to give them what they need, we need to grow with them.

 

Until next time, with love,

Luisa del Rio