Teens can be challenging beings but they are also are so much fun to be around. The thing is, you have to be with them, lots, and you have to let them know that you love being with them. For me, this means biting my tongue often and reminding myself that they have different lessons to learn on this earth than I had or have and that although I am friendly, I am not yet one of their friends.
I am their mom, one of their guides. My advice to parents of teens, is to keep them busy with something they love and then support it by finding a way to love it too. One thing that my teens love is music.
Jillian studied classical voice for seven years, is enrolled in her ninth year of piano and sings in her brother’s rock band. Max played piano for six years, took drums for one year and has played with a teen rock band for four years. For countless years, the kids jammed and practiced in our basement and I continually praised them for their unique beats and musical sessions even though there were times I wanted to wear ear plugs. This caused them to practice here more often and call on me to listen to particular riffs and sections. And I persevered with a warm smile because I knew where they were and that they were being creative. They recently have found a more permanent practice space and I actually miss them.
Because they are music lovers, I let them DJ whenever we travel together in the vehicle. They love introducing me to certain songs that they are learning or just ones that they love to sing. When we are faced with a long road trip ahead, my 15 and 16-year-old start getting excited about the new music they have just discovered and want to share knowing that I will honour it. Are there times when I would like to turn to the familiar and soothing sound of Stuart McLean or that I want complete silence? Yup. But I know that that is coming all too soon.