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TEENAGERS - WHAT ARE YOUR 3 BIGGEST PARENTING CHALLENGES?

(23 Posts)
outdoorsy Wed 17-Jun-15 11:52:40

I am a Youth Life Coach and want to get a little more insight and ‘in the now’ data from parents. Mumsnet is a great forum for honest, up to date and heartfelt information. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

Would any of you mind answering the following questions:

1.What are your 3 biggest parenting challenges?
2.What do you think are the 3 biggest challenges your teenagers face? (what worries/tests/occupies them).
3.What is the BEST bit about being a parent?

Many thanks to you all.

darkness Wed 17-Jun-15 15:09:26

ok I'll bite...
1.
Listening to and fully respecting their evolving choices as an adult and not assuming you know whats best / fastest / easiest / most appropriate.
Them needing you so badly and not wanting you at the same time.
and
the state of their rooms !
2.
Increasing uncertainty in the future even if they are the best they can be.
Endless testing.
Never being able to make a mistake without it haunting them forever ( internet)
3.
Young kids are demanding awsome amazing entertaining funny and loving
Teens are complicated awsome amazing entertaining funny and loving
Wow - look at that awsome amazing entertaining funny and loving person - who has finally started tidying up their room - we made them !

FenellaFellorick Wed 17-Jun-15 15:23:05

1.What are your 3 biggest parenting challenges?
1 raising them to adulthood without totally screwing them up
2 getting the balance right between protecting them and allowing them to grow through their own mistakes and experience
3 letting go!

2.What do you think are the 3 biggest challenges your teenagers face?
1 peer pressure
2 transitioning from child to adult
3 coping with the constant media bombardment sending them all sorts of terrible messages. (that might be a parenting challenge actually. Trying to help them to not get lost in freely available porn and the horrible messages that sends, pressure to behave a certain way, seeing things that shape the way they view the world and relate to other people, etc etc)

3.What is the BEST bit about being a parent?
It's just an amazing experience. You take this tiny person and you create a fully fledged human being. grin they're funny, sweet, challenging, frustrating, wonderful... and you just have to hope you're not making such a hash of it that they'll be three years on the therapist's couch.

outdoorsy Wed 17-Jun-15 16:35:48

Loving it! Thanks so much to you both. I need MORE 'biters'!

Heyho111 Wed 17-Jun-15 23:53:38

1-letting them make their own choices. Not to expect them to follow your advice. To let them make mistakes.

Heyho111 Wed 17-Jun-15 23:57:14

2- GCSEs / As exams. Getting a job. Feeling good about themselves (looks,size etc).
3-watching them grow up, form relationships and become independent. I enjoyed each stage.

catzpyjamas Thu 18-Jun-15 00:04:02

1.The state of their room
The lack of food in my kitchen
The worry about whether they are safe
2. Peer pressure
Lack of employment opportunities
Accepting that life is hard sometimes
3. Seeing them take joy in their achievements
Unconditional love in both directions
Seeing the world through their eyes

catzpyjamas Thu 18-Jun-15 00:05:19

Too many cliches but you get the ideablush

StupidBloodyKindle Thu 18-Jun-15 00:29:16

1.
Getting my teenage daughter to stop living life through a screen

Getting her to understand with rights come responsibilities

Giving her the space she wants without failing her e.g. letting her read the latest kindle book might mean short term affection from her but won't save her from failing an exam due to not revising

2.
Fitting in - clothes, cliques, appearance, gadgets shallow shallow shallow

The constant nagging*

*Her control freak mum nagging her about getting up on time, going to bed on time, getting off her kindle/phone, doing her homework, packing her bag, giving me her washing, having a shower, not being hateful to her siblings leaving her room ever

Endless testing

3.
I'll get back to you on that one wink

I love my kids. End. I don't expect anything from them, they owe me nothing. Whilst having a child is actually quite narcissistic and selfish when you look at it, my kids are their own person, not mini-mes.
And I expect nothing per se from parenting, as I was kind of an accidental parent. Parenting is hard, costly and largely unthanked. But you love your kids so you grit your teeth and get on with it.
In that regard anything and everything becomes a bonus....a gummy grin, Mummy you smell of flowers, you're 36 (I'm 44), little hands wrapped around your neck to whisper something to you. Pictures, lazy duvet days, a grudging thank you, you did a great job of my poster I asked you to help me with do for me (yep,that was my teen again), parenting gifts you these moments.
They screw you up, your mum and dad....all I can hope, like others, is that I have Done Enough.

coffeeisnectar Thu 18-Jun-15 01:00:15

1. Motivating them, getting them out of the pig sty they call a bedroom before lunchtime (unless I'm offering a shopping trip in which case she's up doing her hair at 7am). Learning to let go a bit, letting them grow and make mistakes but always being there for the 1am call asking for a lift home.

2. Exam pressure, peer pressure, media pressure. It's hard for them and they need to have the security of home but still want to be "grown up" as well as wanting mum to fix stuff.

3. Being a parent is the toughest job in the world but the best. If you get it right then you have the satisfaction of knowing your child is able to make their own way in the world with confidence.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 18-Jun-15 01:07:06

Oh I really thought this was a thread aimed at teen parents. NOt that I am one, I'm just nosey. I don't even have teens. Hey ho.

textfan Thu 18-Jun-15 01:18:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 18-Jun-15 01:25:19

SHOUTING?

nooka Thu 18-Jun-15 01:37:42

1.What are your 3 biggest parenting challenges?
Supporting them to be proactive about their lives and challenges
Supporting them when things go wrong in their friendship circles - dd has recently experienced one of her friends being sexually assaulted by another of her friends, which has been very hard all round
Getting ds to do his chores or dd to tidy her room without having a big fight

2.What do you think are the 3 biggest challenges your teenagers face? (what worries/tests/occupies them).
Adjusting to too much change too quickly (their bodies, lives and more - ds said that the changes that happen between 12 to 16 can be overwhelming)
Worry about the future, what choices they should make, careers to consider etc
Sometimes they worry about their academic success, but their biggest source of stress is other people, mostly their friends but also the people they go to school with or hang out with on line.

3.What is the BEST bit about being a parent?
Spending time with my children, who are generally fantastic (when not being awful grin)

Claybury Thu 18-Jun-15 10:57:01

1. Biggest parenting challenge - Not being able to stop DS smoking weed, realising your DC's will make their own choices which you can't control even if they are harming themselves / their future, being physical / verbally abused by a teen boy and not knowing how to handle it.
2. Challenges teens face - peer pressure to look a certain way, fit in, being thin ( girls ) muscular ( boys )
3.. Best bit about being a parent - when a teen takes your advice, when they are nice company, when they are happy and succeed at things they take on, when they need you.

starlight15 Thu 18-Jun-15 12:11:34

1/ Not being listened to
2/ Facebook, social media, peer pressure,
3/ There aren't any at the moment.

Minifingers9 Thu 18-Jun-15 13:25:49

1) Having to watch a child fuck up their education, and be able to do nothing.
2) Growing up in an economy and society which brutalises the unskilled and low-paid, a group which my dd will be joining if she doesn't develop some motivation to succeed.
3) Like Starlite below, I'm at a low point right now. I sometimes wonder if I would have chosen to have children if I'd been able to see ahead to what we've been through as a family over the past 4 years. It really has been relentlessly awful, and we still have years of it to come (youngest is 9, has ASD and a difficult temperament. Terrified for what lies ahead for him and us).

outdoorsy Thu 18-Jun-15 17:27:41

God - this is a tremendous collection of thoughts and emotions. You all care enough. Interesting how 'being a mother' is synonymous with 'the courage to be imperfect'....or is that just being a human in a frantic world?

it is an incredible thing that you do (parenting) and they say there is no 'manual'....as a teacher for the last 24 years I take my hat off to the unconditional love and resilience and sacrifice of parents, particularly mothers.

I was on a course this weekend and quote:

“Parenting is the biggest guilt trip you will go on….you will spend a lot of time saying “ I could have done that better”.

that's a tough thought to have.

So THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts. No need to respond to the next question, but want to leave on a positive thought:

What are your 3 most significant achievements as a parent?

TheWordFactory Thu 18-Jun-15 18:01:59

Parenting challenges;
Disorganisation. It's like herding cats to get them to get organised.
Not over directing. I know what they should be doing, but have to let them decide if they want to.
The endless responsibility. Since they were born. It's tough.

Teen challenges.
Exam pressure.
Wanting independence but not knowing how or where to start.
Working out what you want/want to do when there is just so much choice (too much?).

Joys of parenthood.
So much. Teens are funny and lively and good company. Their optimism is catching, even when it becomes unrealistic.
Watching them become decent, interesting, happy individuals is amazing.
I feel very sad that my time with them will soon be up, but also absurdly excited that they're about to embark on adventures of their own.

Bonsoir Thu 18-Jun-15 20:56:28

Parenting challenges:
The biggest by far, IMVHO, is organising the framework on which the DCs' daily life depends. Once the right framework is in place you don't have to micromanage and firefight, though you have to stay vigilant and intervene fast if things start unravelling.
Being reliable and available.
Ensuring every DC gets enough individual attention and their own special needs are met.

Challenges for teens:
Not getting overwhelmed by crazy societal expectations of brains/beauty/wealth/sports prowess/conspicuous consumption.
Learning who to trust.
Finding out who they are.

Best bits
Seeing them improve, all the time: I love how they gain so many skills so fast.
How much they love us and one another.
Realising one has done a good job!

VivaLeBeaver Thu 18-Jun-15 21:04:42

Parenting challenges.

Trying to get her to do stuff which needs doing without nagging or it descending into a row. Homework, getting up, having a shower more than twice a week!

Supporting her through friendship difficulties.

Difficulties teens face.....the who,e friendship, peer group thing is awful. Dd fell out with her friends earlier this year, they were vile to her. She's lonely, trying to make new friends. Started hanging out with some kids who weren't very nice because she was desperate. Now they're slagging her off on social media. She's worried about school, exam pressures, etc. she doesn't think she's as pretty as the other girls and worries about that.

Best bit is seeing her grow up into this nice, decent person who is kind and helpful and thoughtful.

rogueantimatter Sun 21-Jun-15 08:04:29

Frustration at seeing them 'underperform'
Fear for DS safety - he skateboards and rides a mountain bike and likes an adrenalin rush
Wishing DD would put more effort into her uni stuff and exercise and less on screens and doing nice things for other people.

Relentless exposure to shallow messages
Too much choice
Financial/global (climate change, increased population) insecurity

Same as Viva

rogueantimatter Sun 21-Jun-15 08:08:42

Posted too soon - also going for chatty walks with DD, their music' making which is such a joy to hear around the house, their friends, discussing things with them, realising that they suffer from anxiety much less than me.

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