It’s hard to believe that it was 15 years ago that Mabel’s Labels came to life in my sister’s – and business partner’s – basement. Our sweet girl, Mabel, is well into the teen years. She’s not my only teenager, though – I have three more of them at home. Come May 1, I’ll have a fourth and in the not too distant future I will have FIVE teenagers at one time. Mabel is a well-behaved teen, but my human teens are a bit more complicated. Are the teen years killing you?
To survive so many teenagers under one roof, these are the reminders I have imprinted on my brain.
- Don’t take it personally.
Parents must stop allowing their feelings to be hurt by their teens. Remember, in about 10 years, they are going to come crying to you apologizing for their teen years and thanking you for putting up with them. It’s a patience game for parents. Hang in there – the time will come when they will actually appreciate you and everything you’ve done for them.
- Don’t get in a pissing match with a teenager.
You’re the adult. Set your ego aside. If the conversation gets heated, remember to take a deep breath and suggest taking a break and re-convene when everyone has cooled their jets.
- Remember – their brains are weird.
Why are they moody and impulsive? Why are they so responsible one minute and reckless the next? Why are they driving you to distraction? It’s because of their brains – they don’t reach maturity until they are 25-30 years old. The brain is the last organ in the body to reach maturity, and it does not reach maturity during puberty.
- Keep saying “I love you.”
Even if your eye rolling and door slamming teen grunts when you say “I love you,”don’t stop. After a rough day with your teen, sit on the edge of the bed when they’re almost asleep and remind them that you love them, you are proud of them, and you guys are going to get through all of these tricky times.
- Take is as a compliment.
Let’s face it – we always hurt the ones we love. They can lash out at you because they trust that you won’t bail on them. It’s frustrating, but they feel safe with you.
Wishing our dear sweet girl Mabel a happy 15th birthday and thanking her for never talking back to me.