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Raising a Teenager as a Young Mom

May 1, 2018

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I do not think anyone is prepared to raise a teenager but for me it happened a little too soon because I was a teen parent so it pretty much was just yesterday that I was a teenager myself. My son is 13 now and I am facing the reality of raising a teenager. It’s weird to say that my child and I grew up together even though I raised him. I was still child raising a child. And now I am a young adult raising a teenager. You would think it would be easy because he is going through what I recently went through but to tell the truth I am experiencing some of the same emotions I had when I gave birth to him. Am I ready for him to enter the “real world” ? Am I doing enough to prepare him for it? If you know Adam you know he is a great child, a straight A athlete with a heart of gold, responsible, well mannered and respectful but will this all change when he reaches high school? Many of you are problem thinking do I fear that he will be a young parent? The answer is no because that is the one thing I am prepared for BUT it is not a preference for me. I know the resources and support I wish I had and I know I can provide that for him. 

I remember when I was in high school I witnessed middle school straight A students become promiscuous,  some turn to drugs, some were suicidal because the pressures of school and fitting in and some did continue on the right path. The kids we considered “bad” suddenly became star athlete straight A students and are now successful and some continued into drugs and gang life. Heck I became a teen mom and I’m sure no one expected that. High school is when I realized it doesn’t matter how you were raised or what kind of home you grew up in anyone is capable of doing anything whether it be positive or negative.

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The teenage years for me was an identity crisis I knew who I wanted to be but I held myself back because I feared the opinions of my peers and I know many people felt the same. My son is 13 and going through some little things of his own. It is nothing major and out of respect for those that have it more challenging than me I will not get into too much detail because I know my problems are small compared to what any other parent is going through. Needless to say I was not prepared for the minor changes he is going through and will it be more major when he reaches high school and beyond? It is like the saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink it” I fear my horse will not drink the water or just play in it. 

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When he was under the double digits it was easy. I was able to shelter him without guilt and once he hit double digits I knew I had to open the doors of the shelter. Even though I did not want to but if I didn’t he would learn or be influenced from another not so credible source and I feel it is my responsibility to be the first resource for him. In order for him to trust me I need to be 100% open and honest. I can’t provide too much shelter to where he feels suffocated but yet I have to provide enough to maintain some level of comfort. He does not feel it yet but he truly has been through alot. It was not until he was 11 we had a stable home but I know he was always happy even if we bounced around. He lost a sister when he was only 7 years old and at the time he was too young to process it and grieve properly. I’m afraid he may grieve later at the most confusing time of his life.

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I put  a lot on myself when it comes to parenting and I often forget “it takes a village” We are blessed that my husband who is also his father is in the house and can give him that manly advice.  I have my sister who is only 7 years older than him and they have a sibling bond. I can trust that if he needs anything that she will listen and guide him. All I can do is take it day by day and pray for the best. Not for myself but for him. I want him to be happy and successful in whatever he endeavors on.  I am only 29 and I can admit I am not ready but will do the best I can.

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