Raising teenagers is a tricky business. Raising teenage girls is harder still. I have raised a son with very little stress, but all my gray hair has come from the daughter. There is a checklist I keep rolling around in my mind. Constantly thinking about all the "life" conversations I need to have with her to prepare for the adult life that is fast approaching.
Our family has dealt with some teenage hurdles that are stressful and that many families, thankfully, never have to navigate. This has bonded us together and made us much closer in the long run. It may take me a few more years to actually be grateful for those hurdles, but I feel that God did have us all travel through those bad times for a purpose. What that purpose turns out to be....is a question not yet answered. We are stronger than before, more compassionate toward those with similar issues, and without sounding too prideful, a little less judgmental when other families are dealt situations that seem shameful, humiliating, or disappointing. Let's face it, everyone is doing the best they can in this life. Show mercy, grace, and compassion to others just as Christ did for us. When you hear or see teenagers going down a wrong path, try not to judge to harshly. Instead be their friend or mentor. Listen to them when they feel no one else will. These kids are our future generation and need us to guide them and love them.
If you are raising a teenager, give them a hug and tell them you love them no matter what. Then go get a Starbuck's frappe and vanilla bean scone. That's what works for us. Share a little joy!