Parenting teens can be difficult.
Teens can be unappreciative and demanding. They can push the limits of our patience and of our wallets. They can be moody, edgy, rebellious and hurting — all in the same afternoon! Sometimes our heart goes out to them, and sometimes we are counting the days until they leave home.
But parenting teens can also be very rewarding. During the teen years, we can have profound conversations with our almost-adults about ideas, faith, and the meaning of life. We can watch as their efforts pay off, and they achieve in sports, arts or academics. If all goes well, we start to be able to trust their choices, and our respect for them increases.
As we seek to navigate this challenging stage of parenting, one key principle to keep in mind is this: Focus on internals, not externals.