Live with intent, take time, have patience and gain a new perspective. See how having a relationship with your teen can change both of your lives. Say goodbye to status-quo.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Here And Now

I think, as parents learning to "let go" is vital to us being awesome parents.
We either live too much in the past(their past mistakes/our guilt or what we could have done differently), or we live in their future (filled with worries/concerns/fear/questions), either way, we end up more in a "devastated" state. Thinking continually:
"Will they succeed, how can I handle saying goodbye when they leave, what if they are hanging around the "wrong" crowd, what if they get sick?" And the list goes on. . .We have to learn to live in the present with our kids. Learn to let go of both the past and the future, and let us focus on coming along side them in where/who/what they are now. That way, together we'll be able to work with one another, because I'm pretty sure our kids aren't in the past or the future, they are in today.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I Might Go Mad! Calling All Mother's Of Texters!

I don't know about you all out there, but for me, I have major issues with Cell phone use! More exact--TEXTING. I find myself saying, "I don't know what it IS about it that drives me so nuts" but I actually think I do. And the more I think about it, the more I really feel as parents we NEED to set healthy limits.
Anything that we haven't set limits to on the onset of SOMEthing, or at an early age--is going to be more difficult to do now. BUT that doesn't mean we can't or we shouldn't.
Technology, while it's a great thing in many ways, can also be a huge distraction, not to mention addiction even sometimes. The ONE word that I came up with when I kept asking myself "What is bugging me so bad?" is this: STIMULATION.

These Gen Y kids are BEYOND over stimulated if you ask me. From video games, to hand held games, to cell phones, TV to computers and laptops. And that's just technology. I didn't mention the stimulation just from a long day at school or activities and in some kids' case, jobs.
I'll ask my daughter, "NOW who are you texting?" BTW, I wonder when that word will be int he Dictionary, HA.
The thing is is I ask her, "Why would you want to be constantly connected to someone? Why would you want to answer someone who texts you continually?"
Her answer surprised me. "I really don't like to text!" She told me she'd much rather talk on the PHONE. Well remember when we were TEENAGERS? What did we do in our spare time? TALKED ON THE PHONE WITH OUR FRIENDS. So texting is really no different, that is just what they do now instead. BUT back in the day, we didn't have CALL WAITING OR VM'S and we had other kids in our family who also needed the phone, so we didn't talk as much as the texting that goes on. I mean I feel it is a constant thing. I personally would not want to be BOUND to have to answer to someone the moment they text me! No thank you!

When my daughter got her cell phone last summer, I had boundaries set for it right away. And overall she's pretty good about it, but I think I need to refine them myself so I'll list the ones here that I have been using with her for the last year and then some new ones that I need to implement. Maybe this isn't an issue for you at the moment but if it ever is, I hope this helps a little:

-No texting during dinner hours. This could be while helping with dinner, and during and right after during clean up.

-No phone (texting) during Homework. I've been to lenient with this, but it is a HUGE distraction I've discovered, and she's admitted.

-No phone while out to dinner or at family/friend gatherings. It's absolutely rude if we did it as adults and it's unacceptable for your teenager to sit and do it also.

-No texting or limited texting when we are "catching up". There have been plenty of times where I'm trying to catch up with my daughter, like right when I pick her up from school, or at the grocery store or whatever, and she's like, "What, huh?" Ah, NO DICE girl, you're talking with me now! Two convos at once has never worked. It isn't fair to the person that is right in front of you. It's disrespectful. Just because our children TRY to do this, doesn't mean we should allow it.

-Charge Cell phone in Kitchen, or wherever the rest of the family charges/charging station. That way, we'll know when they turn the lights out, their brains are going out too! Plus, it's just radiation that we don't want in their rooms anyway!

The last one is a possibility. Maybe no CELL phone after 8pm, or 9pm. If someone needs to reach them, they can call the house phone. This limit could vary depending on the child.

It's important to talk about why being over stimulated isn't a good thing. Walk through these boundaries with them and tell them why it's a good idea to have these limits.

I tell my daughter that it's important and vital for her soul and mind to REST. It shouldn't constantly have something going on. Give them ideas of what they could do in some down time. I tell my daughter to reflect in her room, or go for a walk, or pray. Sure they aren't going to be great at this everyday, but even having these limits on the cell phone will help calm the brain a bit, whether they are "resting" their mind or not, it's still a benefit to not be bound to their phone.

I understand as parents we have to change with the times, and accept that this is "What the kids are doing" to a point. But I also believe that we don't have to CONFORM to the patterns of this world, and that our kids will do the same stuff as everyone else because "That's just how it is." I don't accept that.

If you need ideas on what the benefits are specifically, or you disagree or have any comments or questions, I'd love to know.

And good luck on the texting journey, I know I need it, as I've been very close
to throwing her phone OUT THE WINDOW!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

5 Things to Never Say to Your Child

1. Because I said so! (how does this build relationship? Having a relationship means being REAL. Being relational! Let's be mature enough as parents and walk through issues with our kids, we'll only earn trust and create safety for them by doing it. You have nothing to lose.)

2. Act your age! or You're 5 years old, so act like it! (Don't you think if they could act their age, they would? They are clueless on how they ought to be acting, so it's our job to not TELL them, but to show them, and to be a role model that inspires them. They will learn from us and by what we have to offer them to help them through life.)

3. Shame on you! (Creating shame for a child is devastating. It will block safety and trust. They have got to know that no matter WHAT they do that you love them and are there for them. They need a space where they can be open with us, and share. Shaming is condemning, and it's extremely unhealthy on so many levels.)

4. Shut up. (There are a million different words in our English vocabulary that we can use to get this point across. Nough' said.)

5. You know better! (I get how this one might seem confusing, because a lot of times they might know better; BUT how will this build relationship? We know that they are going to do things that they know they shouldn't. But they don't really know the reason NOT TO DO IT. Like we know why it's not good for them, but they don't. So instead of saying the obvious, why not take it as an opportunity to ask them why they did it, and share with them why it wasn't the best choice for them to do it. Again, it's all about being relational, relating to them and with them.)

They are not able to truly apply logical thinking until age 12 when their reasoning abilities kick in. At that age most things are only black/white, right/wrong answers.

Get On The Same Page

We all know it can be challenging to talk with our teenagers. Man oh man. That is an understatement. If I didn't live with intent, and make an effort, I wouldn't have the relationship that I do have now.

One thing that helps along the way that I thought I'd pass on by is that, I make sure we are on the "same page". Of course there are times during the week where I might feel a little distant from my daughter, or we might have a disagreement, or whatever the case may be. But if I feel any sense that there is unsettled business, I'll make sure I ask her, "Are we on the same page here honey?"

It's a question that she can answer honestly from. It keeps things open, so if she is feeling any emotion that is creating distance or a disagreement--they have the opportunity to share it with you. Instead of just "moving on" or sweeping it under the rug so to speak.

This also gives us a last chance as a parent to share how we might feel. Because sometimes along the way we do have to move on, but not until the issue is really dealt with. So once we both lastly lay what is on the table, we can then figure out a way TOGETHER to get on the SAME PAGE. Just because I'm her parent doesn't mean I'm not open to hearing her voice, or her feelings or her ideas! I've got to be open to them actually! The last thing as parents we need to be doing is having power trips. Being relational is the first goal, and then building on that.

So next time you don't feel quite "squared away" with your teen, be sure to ask them, "Are we are the same page?" AND "How can we get on the same page?"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just Because It Makes Them Happy, Doesn't Mean It's Good For Them!

I learned this the hard way with my daughter being diagnosed with Mono. I was humbled when I realized the reason I say YES to most things that make her life so busy, was because IT MADE HER HAPPY! But guess what? IT ALSO MADE HER SICK! It didn't mean it was good for her for me to say "yes". Even though she has built a lot of trust and there is no reason except for taking care of her health, to say no, doesn't mean I should.

I realized when she was first diagnosed, she came into my room to ask me if she could do something. Even though most of the time while she's been sick she's been "down". I thought about what she asked me, and paused, and thought, hmmm....I WANT to say yes, but that doesn't mean I SHOULD! Then, I thought, well "Why do I want to tell her yes?"

And then I thought more and said to myself, "Because it would make her happy!"
BAM! It dawned on me that just because I have no problem saying NO to other things such as material crap, behavior, tone of voice, certain movies or music, doesn't mean that saying YES to running around all the time makes it any smarter! What's the difference? If you asked any of the parents who have a hard time saying NO to their children over the other stuff I mentioned, what do you think their reason would be as to why? It would no doubt be because they know it makes their kid happy if they say YES to that pair of expensive jeans, or whatever the kid is asking for.
So I am no different, I just say YES AND NO to different stuff. And it's proved not well for my daughter.

Not only does she have mono, but she's carrying the Epstein Barr Virus, meaning Mono made it into her blood. She'll most likely carry that for the rest of her life.
I could feel responsible for her illness, but I can't do that. I am learning from it, and now scaling back, even though it's gonna be hard for me and her! I know how happy it makes her to be out and about having her hands in everything. And we all love to see how children happy, don't we?!

So the next time your child asks you something, or the next several times they do, think more about why you are saying YES. I think if it's in moderation, it's gonna be OK obviously to say YES. But I think we all have weaknesses as parents, where we've created a rhythm of YESES and our children are use to it and almost "expect" to get whatever that weakness in us is. Make sense?

But we have to be OPEN to the possibility of learning something as parents. I mean how could I have been this way for 10 years plus and not see it??? Answer me that!
So just keep an open mind and an open heart, and be humbled by the fact that we can always learn as parents. Wrestle with the possibility that some ways we are with are kids isn't what's best for them. You might not get as huge of a wake up call as I did, but it's good to stay on your toes.

Happy "NO" saying time!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Not sure if any of your children out there are similar to mine in the fact that she never slows down. This girl has her hands in everything, and when I say everything, I mean I counted 10 activities/areas she is involved in, and that did not include
friend time, family time, chores or homework!

My daughter has a this huge love for life and everything that goes with it. She gives 100% all day, every day. She's an A student, and is happy 85% of the time. Let's just say she's not your typical teen.

I say all that to say all this. I started noticing back in December that she was getting run down. I didn't think too much of it, because it didn't last long and she was able to pick herself back up. But about 2 weeks ago, another spurt came along, and she was vomiting and had a lot of fatigue/weakness, and her stomach hurt for a week.

She didn't have typical cold symptoms, so I was concerned.
It seemed like this last spurt lasted about 5 or 6 days, but then she again, seemed a bit better for a few days. But one day last week she came home from school and could barely walk! She had trouble going up and down stairs and her body ached this time. I said "That's it, we are going in to get some tests done tonight."
She wasn't too happy about it, because again, she didn't want to "miss out" on a thing, including school.

We ended up going to Urgent Care, and the doc was going to blow us off as a "It's just a virus" visit, but I insisted she draw some blood (I learned the hard way that you have to be your own advocate when it comes to health).

We did the blood draw and the doc said she'd call me back tonight with the results. An hour later I got a call and she told me that Madelynn's white blood count was HIGH. She asked if we could come back in asap, and I said "Of course."
After some mystery and a round of tests, they sent us to the ER, and she had some more tests done.

She was diagnosed with Mono: Swollen Spleen, and enlarged lymph nodes. I was relieved that it wasn't anything "more". We go back in 2 weeks to have her blood drawn again to check the WBC.

This was a HUGE wake up call for me. Her body was left wide open for disease.

I have never been a parent who has trouble disciplining or saying "no" to my child. And when I say saying "no" I mean as far as like behavior, or material stuff, or boys or whatever. But I usually say YES to things like, staying out later, or having a sleepover, or running here or there, etc. . because I know those things make her happy and we like to see our kids happy, right?!

The doc said she is a classic TEXT BOOK CASE for mono, overachiever type. But her body is telling her NO. And ya know what? SO AM I from now on!!!
She can't do it all, and our bodies weren't meant to do it all, and she has to find some REST. Not just physical rest, but emotional, spiritual, mental REST. I mean when do our kids really get this? And what is the fine line with us as parents to encourage or telling them to REST? It's hard to not be pushy or overbearing isn't it? Don't you just wish they could figure this stuff out on their own?!!
Just lay in your room with the door shut with no music, no phone, no computer,no TV, no book, and just be quiet. Be still. That is what our kids need more of.
So pay attention to these things, and catch it before it's too late.

I know Madelynn will get over the Mono, but we have got to make some tough changes with the way she's approaching life. Her DO ALL approach has g o t t o g o.
We'll work together on how we can refine her weeks, and she's been very resistant, but I am asking her to trust me. I am asking her if I have ever given her a reason NOT to trust me. She said, "Good point". She's being quite a bit more receptive now and open to the fact that she's gotta slow down, way down.

It's all a journey, and it's part of the parent/child relating RELATIONSHIP that enables us to get through it together. Figure out a way to work through communicating your concerns and then listen to hers. I was frustrated when my daughter and I were buttin'heads but I kept telling her that I wanted us to be on the same page and asked her how can we get there? We have to approach it as working together, not against each other. And not us trying to control the situation with power so to speak.

SO my daughter is on Spring Break this week, and she is thoroughly enjoying her room, the living room, her bed, the couch, movies, and a little bit of the computer (just a little).


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Something that works really well for my daughter building trust in her life, is the visual of a HOUSE. A house starts from virtually nothing, there is land, and then through time it is built up. The foundation/land has to be good/safe/healthy/trustworthy, and there is more than one person building it. People work together to build a house, or any building for that matter. Over time, the house's completion can be beautiful! The transformation that takes place is amazing. But if, during the building process, there is a storm, or an accident, the process gets damaged, and it "falls behind". It loses "bricks". This is the analogy I've used with my daughter.

As she was and is growing up, and she would ask to do certain things, I'd always say, "Remember, you are building a house of bricks, and you want to keep adding, so your house turns out beautifully. But if you lose a brick or two, just know that the bricks equal trust, so the more bricks you add to your house, the more trust you earn."

I think that really helped her and I relationally. She'd do different things, like go to a concert with a friend when she was 13. We dropped them off and we stayed near by, but they went alone. She hadn't done anything at that point in her life for me not to trust her, so why should I say no? They had cell phones, and I was near by and it wasn't a concert where there would be drugs or anything. This was one of our first and biggest milestones! Anyway, it went great, and she definitely built trust that night, lots of bricks!

But there have been other times, over the last few years, where she would lose bricks. I am not much of a "rule" person, but one of my rules is no boys in the house when we are not home. Well, one night I came home and not only were there boys in the house but there was a hole in the wall in the basement, and a picture frame down in the entry way of our house! I was NOT happy.

But I didn't scream and yell. I mean she IS human, and she was in her TWEEN years, so she needed grace, and compassion but also need discipline and a punishment.
So I think finding the balance as I said earlier in one of my blogs, is that when your child misbehaves (or whatever you want to call it, I don't like the word disobey), our response MATTERS. What good would yelling at her do? Or making her feel bad, and putting her down, or being negative? I say if you think this might be your response (which according to my daughter's friends, is most parents responses), then COUNT TO 10! Cool down, and then approach her; get yourself together and zoom out, it isn't life or death here.

I ended up sternly asking her if she remembered the rule of no boys in the house when we are not home. I asked her then why she had them over anyway. I basically asked a lot of questions, and didn't accuse or assume, or insult. That can so easily happen, we can't let it. Our kids, good or bad, NEED US. There are constructive ways to discipline and handle misbehaving.

By asking her questions, this gave her a chance to have a voice and answer, instead of treating her like some object I'm trying to control. It's important our kids know that there is GRACE and that we all make mistakes, especially at the vulnerable ages of 12-16. They have to know they have a voice in this, we have to create a two way street, it takes two to tango! It's not about having power of these little humans, it's about walking along side them on their confusing journey. Does that make sense???

I obviously told her how disappointed I was, and that I was not happy with her, but that I forgave her, but reminded her that she's not building her house of trust by making these sort of decisions. I asked her, "Wouldn't you rather have more trust so you can do more things?" Her answer was YES, of course. She was grounded for a week, and it all blew over.

Through the last couple of years she has lost many bricks, but she's also GAINED a bunch too. Because she's built so many bricks of trust, she's able to do things that parents look at me like I'm nuts! But as long as she keeps building something trustworthy, she'll have more freedom, as long as what she wants to do is healthy, and safe, it's ok with me!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You Can Relate

Sometimes it feels very difficult to relate to our ever changing children, but especially when they become teenagers. But one thing I learned early on was that my daughter was going through similar stuff I went through. As she went through issues or "drama" I tried to relate to her, not control her. The more I started showing her my support and compassionate ear, and shared some of my own stories, the more she felt it was safe to talk to me openly. Just like adults, teenagers have very specific needs and ways they would like the people in their life to behave. As wives, we desperately want our husbands to be what we need them to be! If they aren't, our defenses go up and we start "protecting our own". We start to shut down in many different forms if we aren't getting what we want or what we need from others.

Well with Teenagers, it's even more so.
They want to know we can be trusted, just as we want to trust them. If my daughter starts opening up early on, say around 12 years old, and early on my responses don't give her a reason to trust me, well then I don't blame her. I have to be able to handle what she shares by listening attentively (which takes time), not judging her, and not automatically try to tell her what to do. First I usually think about if there is a way I can relate to what she's sharing. And if there is, I'll share that. Usually she's pretty interested in the fact that I've gone through almost the same thing! It makes us parents not seem like such aliens to our kids.

This also usually opens up a pretty decent dialog and she'll start asking questions.
With this, it shows I am relate-able, and I'm not some far off distant clueless Mom.
To a point we want to be relevant. Not so much that we are forgetting discipline and all that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sayin that. But we have got to show them that they can come to us, and that there is an OPEN DOOR POLICY. I make this very clear to my daughter and ALL her friends!

I think so much of the time Mothers are trying to be "right" and they are trying to BE THE PARENT so they come off as not approachable. It's all about being relational and being able to maintain a parental authority without being controlling, GOT THAT? Probably not, cuz I don't have it down yet either! Don't sweat it!

I am sure there are plenty of things that your daughter goes through that you have at one point in your life. Whether it was friend trouble, hurtful gossip, being teased, a broken heart from a boy, pressure from a boy, etc. the list goes on.
So recall back to those moments and what you did as a kid yourself and how you dealt with it and what you learned. This is a SURE way to get your teen to ENGAGE you!

And remember, this is her journey, think of what is the healthiest, most encouraging way to handle what she shares with you. You might not like what she has to say, but she's needs to know you have her back; and always, always STAY POSITIVE.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Don't Get Em' Hooked

One thing I was always careful with with my daughter was NAME BRANDS. It's such an easy trap to get into. I know it was easier for me not to go down that path with her from the beginning because being single, I couldn't afford name brands anyway, but for me, it's not about whether or not I could afford it.

It's all about the principal. I mean there IS something to be said for quality clothing, I get that. But when our kids grow so fast, until the age of 16, there is no real reason to go down the road of name brands.
I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or judge anyway if they do by name brands, I'm just trying to offer a healthy perspective.

The first lesson is that just because our child wants something, doesn't mean they should get it. Not everything they want is good for them, just like everything we want as adults, isn't good for us.

Each decision I make for my daughter, I try to make sure WHY I'm making the decision and HOW that decision could/would affect her.

I started out by literally telling my daughter that brands mean NOTHING. And that it didn't matter what the TAG in her Shirt or Jeans said. I told her how expensive name brands were, and that I didn't have the money for them, but even if I did, I didn't think it would be wise to buy them. It's so easy for these vulnerable girls to get wrapped up in this scene, and it can become a focus, it can become something that they get their worth from. It can be something that they are defined by.
I just spoke really positively about a variety of stores/brands.

What's interesting is that my Best Friend had sent Madelynn a Birthday gift, and one of the gifts was a COACH mirror, in a little case that had "C's" all over it for Coach. I caught myself starting to freak out! I'm like "This is so cool Madelynn, I wonder if it's real?" ha ha, I'm like, "It's gotta be." I was so into it! And I could not get a response from her!
And all calmly she's like "Mom, it doesn't matter, you're the one that taught me that name brands aren't a big deal."
Well, she told me!

What I realized is that there was a part of me that could go that direction, if I focused on it. And I also realized that I had taught her about the "dangers" of getting wrapped up in name brands so much, that she literally sees them as the same as a no name.

It was a very humbling experience for me, and it was cool to see my daughter so sure of what she was saying, and not to see her swayed by a WORD on an item.

If you take anything from this posting please take away that just because your daughter may want something, anything, whether it's an expensive dress for a formal dance, or a name brand purse or clothing, doesn't mean you should buy it. What good will she take away from always/often getting what she wants when it comes to materialism? I am not saying we can't splurge once in a while and that your daughter can't wear nice clothes etc. But I think we can teach our kids MORE and they will learn and grow BETTER if we limit all of it.

The earlier you can start the better, and remember you are the first and best role model for her, so look at your own life and what you are projecting.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


1.) Don't be afraid of your teen child
In my experience, many parents take this approach with their children. They are afraid to confront, afraid to talk and afraid to hear their teenager. DON'T BE. Like any relationship, it's hard work to wrestle with things, especially that of the teenage girl: hormones, sex, boys, self-esteem and the list goes on. But the more you refuse to approach your daughter, the more she will recluse and withhold from you. Believe it or not, your daughter WANTS you in her life! It's just easier as parents to blame her age than to make a real effort with her. HOW you ask? More to come...

2.)Give a reason behind your "no"
"Because I'm the parent and your the child" or "Because I said so" is no answer. Come on, you can do better than that. I consider that a hierarchically approach. I also consider this authoritative behavior.
To build a relationship it requires conversation, communication, which to me is a TWO WAY STREET. You may be the parent and you are obviously older than your child, but how is saying that FACT, AN ANSWER? Why, just because they are younger than you or because you are the parent an adequate answer? How will your child learn anything by that sort of answer? Won't they learn more and become better people if they HEAR your reason? Do you even have a reason? And is your reason "good"? Tough things to consider, huh? We will learn about our own lives as we try to raise up our own children.

3.) Don't try to be her best friend
There is something to be said for being your child's friend. Not that it's altogether a bad thing to be her friend, but our first job is to parent. And just because we have children, doesn't mean we are automatically parents. IF you look at the definition of the word PARENTING it says it is a constant state, it is an adjective. Finding the balance of "being cool" or being her friend, and being a parent can be tricky.As my blog moves along I will be putting lots of input on this subject.

4.) Discipline is LOVING
One of the hardest things I had to figure out as a parent was that it is better for BOTH parent and child to discipline. From the very early ages to present, how ever you respond to "punishments" will reflect in the parent child relationship. Obviously the earlier you can start the better. When they are little and they are so darn adorable, it's nearly impossible to discipline. There is a stigma that we are "wrong" or "mean" for doing it. That is where feelings have to stay out of it. If I disciplined my daughter based on how cute and funny she was, she'd never be disciplined. Figuring out how and when to do it is also a challenge. Which again will be another topic I'll have input on. Because finding this balance, once again can be tricky. Some parents tend to be too heavy on discipline, and some not disciplining enough.

I am convinced that half the reason my daughter is so fun loving and happy about life is because of the constant praise I've always given her. We didn't really have much money until she was about 10 or so, so most of what I gave her were not things that could be held in her hands. It's so easy to look at our children's flaws, just like it's easy to look at our spouses flaws or our friends etc. . But with our children it's like we have this pre-conceived idea of WHO AND HOW we want them to be! But they are their own people! And as they go through life, in whatever they do, we've got to praise them to the max! They need encouragement with anything negative they might do or experience. They are growing to become people for the real world to connect with others, and survive in the workplace and school. Along the way we've got to be their cheering section, we have to.

Don't Assume

What I hear most often that makes me crazy is parents complaining that their teenager does certain things, and they say it like it's acceptable. For instance: slamming the door on their parent, or saying "I hate you" to the parent; things like that.
Or accepting that their daughter is hormonal and just living with the mood swings and crabbiness. Although, I admit, that is somewhat uncontrollable, but it's the WAY we deal with it as parents that can make ALL the difference.

I believe in my heart of hearts, soul of souls that the number ONE way to handle our teenagers is by BEING PRESENT IN THEIR LIVES. Developing a RELATIONSHIP with them.
Cultivating a safe, encouraging, supportive atmosphere for them in the home.

Building such a relationship takes time, effort, and intention, and a lot of patience. Like most relationships whether it be a spouse or friendship. It doesn't happen over night and it's not always easy.

Most parents are busy too; they have spouses, jobs, friendships, pets, houses, cars, lots of things that need tending to and that need their attention. And I do realize that lots of parents live in "survival mode"; there are situations where they are just trying to put food on the table, or there are multiple children in the home, and the parent/s are treading water. I totally get that.
But I think living with intent, and purpose toward your life and child, any parent can do this. We are so quick to have a million excuses or reasons to explain why we aren't able to parent the way we want, or we just assume our teen is "just this way".

Well I don't accept that and neither should you.
Be bold enough to do what appears to be the harder choice. Do something
that is an investment not only to your child, but to their children one day.

Our teens NEED US. I will accept my daughter's mood swings, I will accept her distance, I will accept, her boyfriends.
But that doesn't mean I won't work out those things WITH her.

I wouldn't let her slam the door in my face or tell her she hates me without addressing it with her. I would not yell at her for doing it, and I wouldn't necesserily punish her. My first goal would be to find out these 5 little questions.
By that I mean asking myself as a parent these tough questions that do take time to answer.
I won't assume that just because she's in her teens that that is acceptable.
I also wouldn't assume that it's her fault for doing it. I would actually take responsibility for it myself.
Sound crazy does it? Well my daughter is a teen but still a child nonetheless. The responsibility does not fall on a child. Yes they have certain responsibilities, but it doesn't fall on my daughter to be try to raise herself, which is what I believe happens when the parent doesn't take responsibility or the time to "deal" with unacceptable behavior. There is always something behind that behavior and it's our job as parents to find out the source.

I think if you are walking with your teenager from a very young age, and approaching a relationship style way with her, there would be no door slamming or awful words of "I hate you".

In my blog I hope to offer a different way to approach your children. A way that helps them and us. A way that takes intent and work, but the rewards are enormous.
This doesn't mean it's going to be perfect and smooth along the way, that isn't the case in any relationship.

Don't settle on the assumptions of the "typical teen" behavior, I'm not.