Parenting Teenagers Is Hard, And Lonely 

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“Hey, maybe you need to hear this today

You handled that tough thing with your teenager yesterday SO beautifully.


Good job.

I know you’re replaying it in your mind.

You didn’t sleep well from worry.

And you’re worn out.

I know.

Parenting teenagers can be hard.

And lonely.

Unfortunately, your teen is never going to turn to you after one of those talks and say, ‘Thanks, Mom. That’s just what I needed to hear. I feel so much better now. You’re a really great mom.’

That’s not how it goes.

And you probably didn’t ‘fix’ the problem.

There will be another tough thing next week.

(Plus, that one problem from school.

And probably a lie here or there.

Then some others stumble and fall.

Or another one of life’s great disappointments.)

A hard situation is waiting for you right around the corner.

And you’re wondering…did last night’s talk even count?

I know you question whether you’re doing it right.

Are you saying the right thing?

Stepping in enough?

Backing off just enough to let your teen handle it alone and reap some natural consequences?

There are so many questions.

And I know you feel like you’re the only one.

It seems like everyone else is posting pictures of their teenagers holding trophies.

Or heading off to winter formal in tuxedos.

Or hopping behind the wheel with a new driver’s license and a wide smile.

Everyone else is boasting about their kid’s new job or basketball team or gymnastics competition or ‘act of service’ with captions like, ‘What an amazing young woman she is becoming!’

Everyone else’s teenager appears to be thriving.

But the truth is, we’re all out here struggling along.

We celebrate those successes because the hard stuff is just SO HARD.

And nobody has it all figured out.


Turns out, we’re all in this together!

So, if you need a little encouragement today (and you mostly get eye rolls and exasperated sighs from your teen).

Trust me.

You’re doing great!

You are an amazing parent!

Just keep showing up.

Because your teenager?

Your teenager KNOWS your love.

And that’s what counts.”

teen boy in a beanie sitting on his phone on the couch
Courtesy of Mikala Albertson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mikala Albertson of Ordinary on Purpose. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and visit her website. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Mikala here:

‘HE STILL NEEDS ME to listen to his stories about school, friends, or some ridiculous meme. No matter how old he grows, I will ALWAYS be his mom.’: Mom says teen son ‘still needs me to love him, no matter what’

‘Hey, Luke. You owe me some money. Remember??’ He realized he had to fork over the money.’: Mom shows son ‘tough love’ lesson because ‘I’m a MOM, I follow through’

‘He is my ‘Practice Child.’ The oldest of five. Sometimes I lay my head on his tall shoulder and say, ‘I wish I could’ve done better for you.’: Woman reminds us ‘you are just the right mom for the job’

Parenting Older Kids Can Feel Lonely Sometimes

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