Tweens & Teens: How we can stay close during the pulling-away years

Mamas, we are always on the lookout for great articles and posts that help us navigate the teen years. Shannon and I both have 14-year-olds right now, and my middle kid will be 13 soon, so we need all the tips and insight we can get.

Recently we found this GREAT letter written by Gretchen L. Schmelzer. It’s called The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You.”

Wow, it’s a “must-read” for any parent, whether you’ve got a teenager right now or a tiny baby who will one day be a teenager. These words really touched us and they’re such a big help when you’re in the midst of one of “those days” with a teenager.

One of our favorite parts of the letter compares the teen years to holding the end of a rope while your kid tugs at the opposite end. Here’s a few lines we love:rope heart

“I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you.”

The letter also acknowledges that we mamas sometimes miss the sweet kid who used to really like us, the one who suddenly morphed into a moody teenager who sometimes says hurtful things.

Most importantly, the letter ends on a hopeful note:

“And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.

…Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.”

Love, Your Teenager

Click HERE to read the letter in full. We’re betting that these words will stick with us through the teen years, which can be tough at times but are SO very important.

If you find a wonderful post or article on the teen years, please share a link with us so we can check it out, too. (Email us at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com.) Like the letter says, we mamas of teens need to stick together and help each other through the rough parts.

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