1. Teens need risk and adventure in learning and life.
(TRANSLATION: you will be uncomfortable—that’s how you know they are taking risks or having adventures.)
2. Teens want to prove to themselves that they will be able to be adults one day.
(TRANSLATION: they will shock you with their opinions, choices, and occasional belligerence—it’s not personal.)
3. Teens want to be bailed out when they mess up.
(TRANSLATION: they still need their mommies and daddies to kiss their bruises, aka the bent fender, or the speeding ticket, or the missed deadline.)
4. Teens need conversation partners, not independence in learning.
(TRANSLATION: yes, they can work on daily tasks alone, but for meaningful education, they need an invested parent or adult who will talk to them about books, ideas, history, philosophy, politics, religion, and more. That person is you.)
5. Teens deserve hugs, LOTS of food, a twenty dollar bill slipped into their hand once in a while “just cuz” when they go out, and your curiosity about their music, games, and passions.
(TRANSLATION: learn what says “I love you” to a teen, and then do that A LOT no matter how messy the room gets, no matter how hard-headed they seem, no matter how inconsistently they love you back.)
You got this!