Tuesday 23 May 2023

The most stressful things about parenting a teenager!

A study of 1,000 parents of teenagers found 75 per cent think the ages of 13 to 19 year olds are the most challenging years of raising children with 32 per cent admitting they were ‘unprepared’.

Teenagers really are something else, they have tantrums like toddlers but are almost adult size and sometimes should know better but we just know mood swings and hormones are to blame. With Becky I felt underprepared, parenting a teenager was all new to me as well as being new to Becky. I feel more prepared now that Ellie is a full on teenager. I've learned from past mistakes and experiences. 

Me and my girls

The most stressful things about parenting a teenager are:

Coping with their mood swings!
Sometimes I can just look at my girls and know now it is not the right time to ask something, it wouldn't be worth the outburst from them. They can go from happy and having a laugh to being in such a mood in a matter of moments. I guess it's just part of them being a teenager, I can sort of remember it from when I was their age. Sometimes the girls just have to look each other the wrong way and an argument will start.

Helping them to make important life choices, such as what GCSEs or A Levels to take.
I still say that 14/16 years old is far too young to be choosing what you are going to do with the rest of your life. I did almost 2 years studying childcare at college to only go on and not work with children. I feel lucky that my girls knew and know what they want to do with their lives. Becky did health and social care at college and has gone into work in care and Ellie has been determined to be an engineer since she knew what an engineer was. It was still stressful deciding on the courses they would study especially with their GCSE's when they made the choices and still didn't get to do the subjects that they chose.

I've been through the GCSE's once with Becky and we are in the middle of Ellie will be sitting her GCSE's. I think I worry more than my girls. Making sure they are at the right place at the right time, they have revised enough, I don't want them to stress and so far so good. Becky took everything in her stride and Ellie seems to be to. I have said all they can do is their best.

Allowing them to make their own mistakes.
I think this is the hardest part of parenting. There are so many times that I have had to bite my tongue and not say I told you so. If they don't make the mistake they will never learn and have that life experience. I am just there to support them but it is hard seeing them do something which I know won't end well. Things like spending money on silly things, staying up too late and eating too much junk food and then feeling ill. 

The fact they spend so much time on technology.
I think in the world we live in it is hard to stay off technology, especially for teenagers when all their friends are on it. We do have set times when we stay off technology and spend time as a family but even then it can be stressful getting the kids to put their phones down or switch their computers off. They would much rather spend time online than in the real world sometimes which I can understand but it does cause some stress.

My girls on their computers

Them wanting their independence/ more independence than you want to give them.
I know that Ellie staying out until 9pm at night with her friends in the park will bring nothing but trouble but I am the mean mam who won't give her the freedom. I am at that stage in parenting where I know how much independence and freedom my girls can have, Becky usually does what she wants and learns by her mistakes like staying up scrolling through TikTok will result in her being tired when it's time to get up in the morning but for Ellie I am still here to make the rules. She sometimes wants all the independence but none of the responsibility. Like I say she can go out with friends after she's washed the dishes but sometimes she'd rather not wash the dishes and stay in. lol

Helping them to deal with their body image and feel confident.
My girls are pretty confident in their own bodies. They still have some things they hate about themselves but I think everyone does. I try and big them up and boost their confidence about themselves but sometimes it is hard as a parent. When they were both younger they wanted to fit in but now Becky is at the age where she just does her and wears what she wants to wear. She doesn't feel the need to please people and fit in. Ellie is not quite there yet, she wants to cut her hair short but wants to wait until she leaves school because all the popular girls have long hair. Ugh.

Communicating with them about sensitive, tricky or embarrassing subjects.
I am pretty open and honest with my girls so nothing is a taboo subject. There is a lot that I speak to the girls about that they wouldn't dream of speaking to their dad about. I wouldn't go as far to say they never get embarrassed but we are open and that makes those sensitive subject easier to deal with.

They are getting into boys/ girls – learning about relationships!
This has been so different when it comes to my girls. Becky had a girlfriend and likes girls and Ellie is all about the boys. It's horrible and probably wrong to say that I am more worried about Ellie's relationships as she could be the one getting pregnant, there is no chance of that happening with Becky and her relationships. With Becky I stressed about the relationship moving too fast and the people that she chooses to be with. 

Alcohol / Smoking / Drugs.
When it comes to smoking and drugs I think I am pretty safe with my girls, they know what effect smoking could have on their hearts so they are dead against it. It is alcohol that I worry about. Becky is really sensible and she is past the stage of sitting in the park drinking with her friends but Ellie is at that stage now. So far she is adamant that she doesn't want to ever drink any alcohol and good on her but she is easily led.

What do you think is the most stressful thing about parenting a teenager?


  1. I remember reading that you cant parent your children the way you were parented, and being mid 40's when I had my youngest meant the values I were brought up on were less relevant. I try to be fair and embrace the fact that their lives are so different, especially online, and be supportive but not overbearing.

  2. I worry about partners, Star has had a boyfriend for two years but they don't even see each other very often, just talk online mostly. With her health problems I guess pregnancy is not a worry. Boo worries me because she becomes quite obsessive over people and drives them away. This year my little man becomes a teen and if he's anything like his big brother (which he is) I know I'm going to be in for a rough ride. I think your girls are doing amazingly well and it's so good they have direction. I think Boo has an idea of what she wants to do, but Star wants to spend her life in her bedroom! xx

  3. Parenting teens is hard! My two boys are complete opposites. The older one was happy to stay home in his room playing online games all day everyday. I used to worry that he would never finish uni, find a job or a girlfriend. He surprised us all and did all of those things! The younger one can't sit still and is so social and out almost all the time and even though he is sensible I still worry. Haha having kids is just worry after worry!

  4. Thisiswhereitisat23 May 2023 at 19:42

    I got all this to come though some I have dealt with... Sadly no right or wrong way just got to learn on the job x

  5. I've got all this to come although we did have some atroppiness today which I wasn't impressed about. My worry is the drinking. He's got 6 older cousins, all but the youngest have a tendency to want to get drunk when drinking. I also worry about some of the people he's looking up to at the moment. They're silly, sound to me like they're on a power trip telling younger kids what to do, and he thinks they're cool. I'm hoping he realised they're really not, and keeps up with working hard.

  6. SO funny but *knocks wood* so far I am finding these teen years to be such a breeze and I am loving them!! (Gosh I just know saying that out loud I'm jinxing myself!) No mood swings, no tantrums, no worries about drugs and alcohol; though the screen/technology time can get extreme and I do think Alec tries to do far too much and just pushes himself to exhaustion but I figure he'll learn to balance it out eventually.