Sometimes, Love And Safety For Teens Look Like Being Silent And Opening Your Arms

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“Over the years of raising teens into young adults, I have begun to know the value of the pause.

When your children are older and no longer need you to make their food, help them go to their toilet, or get them dressed, it can be easy to just get on with your own things and allow your worlds to drift apart.

There have been some aspects of this stage that have felt so freeing to me. After years of being a stay-at-home momma and meeting every need, the space to do my own thing and not be needed as much was heavenly.

Yet, I have learned even though these big children are walking around in adult-looking bodies, they still need the pause—the space where they lean into you on the couch and feel your presence.

The times when they may flop onto your bed next to you and want you to stroke their hair.

The moments they may walk into the kitchen and put their head on your shoulder and lean in for a cuddle.

These are the times when I have learned to keep my mouth shut and just pause. Let their bodies feel mine, slow my breathing down, hold their energy, and keep the space quiet and knowing.

Words, schedules, and plans are not needed in these moments—just the reconnection to momma. The safe-holding, the unconditional love and safety that comes from touch and presence.

I have watched as they learn to navigate the world, try new things, take risks, and find love and friendships. They often need to lean back into the safety of the pause to know I am still there. It’s like a recharge.

Sometimes, love and safety look like being silent and opening your arms.”

black and white image of a mom laying in bed with her teenage daughter
Courtesy of Lael Stone
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