The ABCs of Raising Teens

Musings and encouragement (some humorous, some painfully true) from a mom who has survived 3 teenagers simultaneously the past 3 years (and hoping I didn’t totally screw them up — fingers crossed!)

A is for asking open-ended questions (you gotta try to get them to talk)

B is for beating yourself up (cuz ya’ will, we’re moms! It’s our right)*

C is for caring more than you could ever imagine

D is for decisions (sometimes you will have to make difficult ones, and sometimes you’ll have to watch them make ones that you don’t agree with)*

E is for engage (even when you don’t want to or don’t understand why that particular piercing may be so important or why that NBA player’s stats from last night impact his All-Star votes — if you don’t have a response, just nod your head & smile)*

F is for family fun (it may be a struggle, but make it a priority)

G is for goals (help them think what their’s may be — not YOURS for them)*

H is for helping them navigate their choices (sometime they’ll let you, sometimes they won’t)*

I is for “I love you” (they can never hear it enough)

J is for just keep taking deep breaths

K is for knowing  (you knowing nothing and teen knowing everything)*

L is for loving them through good times and not-so-good

M is for money (who knew they’d be so expensive?)

N is for nice (just try to be nice — even when they make it next to impossible)*

O is for open your heart & your mind (remember your parents probably thought things you did and music you liked were also a little weird)

P is for parent; be their Mom, not their friend (there’s time for that later)*

Q is for quick because you gotta be on your toes!*

R is for respect (demand it, beg for it, wonder where it went at times)*

S is for sighs (you will hear them, you will make them)

T is for trust as you learn to trust them/their choices AND for trusting your own instinct*

U is for unpopular (this describes the decisions you will often need to make as the parent)*

V is for victories (treasure the small ones along the way)

W is for “whatever” (you may hear it, hate hearing it, and then find it is new to your own vocabulary as it can make for a good coping mechanism)

X is for X-tra patience and perseverance (you will need both to make it through the teen years)*

Y is for YOU are the parent (perhaps chant this as your mantra)

Z is for zippin it! (this one is hard for me — but sometimes you just gotta keep your mouth shut)*

*NOTE: Can be difficult; suggest chocolate, wine, and/or time with friends to successfully master

Here’s my kiddos having a little ‘F is for family fun’ with a teen staple — the ever-popular selfie — when it started to snow on Christmas Eve 2017.

But the bottom line of this alphabet guide is your heart will be so full on this exciting adventure — the good will far outweigh any bad.  

And, if parenting teens were as easy as it seemed when I watched Mike and Carol parent their own bunch of Brady teens — our lives would be pretty boring. (Seriously. Television from my youth gave me a very false sense of reality in many areas of life — but that’s for another blog post some day!)

For while it is often hard to believe — these are the days that your teen is now closer to leaving the nest than they are from when they were learning their own ABCs. (Now I’m ‘S is for sighing’ because I ‘L is for love them’ oh so much!)


Alicia is a born and raised Hoosier living in Badger country since 2003. She and her hubby of 20+ years, Dave, love raising their kids in the Midwest and in a college town. Alicia is the mother of a beautiful daughter, Haley, who lives and works in Madison (Mom is hardly jealous at all of her super chic apartment), and two teen age sons: Roark (a college student athlete) and high school student Cooper (who's down to being the sole kiddo living at home with what his siblings call his "elderly roommates" -- IE: Mom and Dad). Alicia likes walking their cockapoo, Laila, reading, being involved with various volunteer activities, and treasures any time her family of 5 can be together. Being a full time wife/mama, along with part time lots o' other things, provides an always entertaining, always interesting, (sometimes stressful) adventure.



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