“What would you do if your daughter screamed ‘I hate you!’ and stormed out the door?” a mom of a 3-year-old asked me. I thought back to the countless moms of teens who had asked me that same question when I was a youth minister. My answer for the toddler mom was the same as it had been for the moms of teens—I’d let her vent outside, but then bring her in. I’d acknowledge her feelings of frustration and anger, but then remind her of the house rules. The only difference here was that I didn’t need to warn that mom to hide her keys if her kid has a history of taking off in the family car. Luckily for all of us, toddlers don’t drive.
I have been both a youth minister to teens and a mom to toddlers, and I still can’t get over the similarities. Parenting toddlers is tough; so is raising teens. But the good news? The toddler years are a phase that passed, and the teen years will pass, too. Plus, you can use some of the same tactics again now that you used when your children were toddlers. Just consider these 5 things your teens have in common with toddlers.
I never told my mom that I wanted to be popular, but I’m sure my actions spoke louder than words. I remember being 14 and crying as I threw out my favorite red t-shirt. Why would I do such a thing? Because a popular kid had commented that the shirt made me look like a boy. I loved that shirt, but I thought I loved being popular more. I spent years trying to be like the cool kids, but I wasn’t really happy until I tried being myself instead.
In my time working with teens, I met many kids who made all sorts of sacrifices in the quest to become popular. I knew that if I could see those changes, their parents had to notice them, too. So if you confront your teens and they tell you they want to be the popular kid, here are 5 questions you can ask to get them to open up.
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