I'm Terrified of the Teenage Years

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My Confession to You

I have a confession to make; I am terrified of the teenage years. No, I'm not terrified of my own teenage years. Those are behind me now. However, they are not far enough behind me that I do not remember them. The teenage years I am terrified of are those of my three daughters. All of them will be teenagers at the same time and I only have one bathroom in my house. I can already hear them fighting over it in the mornings.

My daughters' personalities are far enough developed that I can tell each of them will be a girly-girl. I simply do not think I can deal with three teenage girly-girls at once. My 7 year old is already boy crazy and defiant about doing her homework. The other day I found she had written the name of her little crush on her notebooks! And this crush started in kindergarten. My 4 year old thinks she is a princess and strives to please everyone. And my 3 year old does not respond to discipline and has more energy than she knows what to do with. When I look into my future, I see lots of discussions about boys, peer pressure, and choices. I am also concerned about my children driving, working after school, and staying safe when I am not around. Right now my children are happy to see me show up unexpectedly at school or at a friend's house. I know that will not be the case in the future.

I know I have a tendency to be overbearing and I do not want to push my kids to dishonesty, risks, and danger due to my overly protective habits. I consider myself well-versed on the raising of a child anywhere between newborn age and 12. I only hope the teenage thing comes to me as naturally as the baby, toddler, and kid thing did.

Boys and Exy-say Clothes

How do you talk to your child about boys? How young is too young to have ‘the talk'? And more importantly, should I have ‘the talk'? Also, how do I monitor how my children dress without hand-delivering them to nerd status? I often find myself appalled by the clothing teenagers are wearing today. I don't know how they do it, but some of the girls in high school today look like fully mature women. To top that off, I have seen many young girls wearing items I saw in last month's Victoria Secret catalog. Am I being too prudish, or am I right to think our young people are growing up way too fast?

Peer Pressure

How do you explain to a girl that she shouldn't always do something just because her friends tell her to, or because all her friends are doing it too? When I was a teenager, I had a strong personality and I didn't let myself get peer pressured into too many things. Notice the words too many, eluding to the fact that there were some instances where I made a poor decision because of peer pressure. If I had a strong personality and didn't care what others thought and still felt pressure, how can I keep my ever-so-ready-to-please daughter from being pressured into poor decisions?

Making Choices

The most important factor when learning to make good choices is the consequence of acting on a choice. However, if you have a child who is oblivious of the consequences or who finds the consequences worth the choice, will she ever truly learn how to make good choices? I know I am jumping the gun on this one because my youngest just turned 3. So she very well may change her ways and realize consequences for her actions. But for right now, this is my article and it's about my fears at this moment. And right now, I fear my youngest knows no consequence harsh enough to stop her fun. And honestly, I think that trait is my Mother's fault. See, I often heard my Mom wishing I would someday have a child just like myself. And my youngest, well, she is that child. The only thing keeping me sane right now is that I see I turned out alright.

My Plea to the World

All in all, my ramblings are pretty unjustifiable. I am lucky to have good children, all things considered. I just remember how I was when I was a teenager and how my friends were (they were pretty bad) and I have these reoccurring nightmares that my children will grow up to be the same way.

If anyone has any suggestions for parenting a teen, please share them with me and I will file them for future use.

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Comments 31 comments

Ande Moore profile image

Ande Moore 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

I myself remember my teenage years. I have 2 boys and 1 girl, she's in the middle. 7,4,2. I fear for my wife and myself. Great hubs, keep up the good work.


Jennifer Bhala profile image

Jennifer Bhala 7 years ago from Upstate New York

I have had 4 kids. They are now 26,24, 20, and 15. A daughter then 3 sons. My daughter is married but none of my sons are, thank goodness, as yet.

If you treat them with love and respect now, listen to what they are saying. Tell them when they are right. And you behave as a role model, this will be a great start.

Also, give them a strong sense of Self by introducing them to practices of meditation and inner growth type books, principles, ideas etc., they will be less influenced by the others opinions that way. Their inner knowing will guide them to do what is right for them. They may not need to do things for cheap thrills because they won't feel so lost inside of themselves.

School life in general is full of many things we as parents do not want our kids to learn or be influenced by. We have to decide is this school the right place for my child? Is there a different school that believes in the same things I do for my kids?

Also, make sure they are learning a variety of things out of school and that they have one or two main interests that keep them occupied and their minds used to learning exciting things they are interested in.

Music, theater, Scouts, 4H, skiing etc.

We only had terrific two's and proud teenage years. Fear attracts fear, Love and respect attracts love and respect.

Acknowledge their opinions and have open discussions. Young children are more in touch with who they are than adults. Try to nurture that rather than destroy it with parents know best attitude. Sometimes our kids knew better than we did and we acknowledged that.

Hope this helps a little.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 7 years ago from Neverland Author

Yes, Jennifer, it helps a lot! I appreciate the advice because it sounds so reasonable and possible! :) I try to treat my children as I want them to treat me. I say please and thank you to them whenever I ask for something and I don't threaten them or try to scare them into behaving. It is working for now, and hopefully it will continue to work. I also keep them involved in activities , so that they will not have the time later to slip into bad habits or have too much free time.


Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

Hahahaha. Can't help you in that department, Ardie. I have two four-legged children, two tanks of fish, and Husband #2. I do admire you for taking on three girls and wanting to be a good mother. I would be tired all the time and looking like a wreck. I have no energy for children and would not be good with them.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Ha Arlene! You have no idea just how much of a wreck I look :) I took a pic of myself today to show the husband a new outfit I got and all I noticed were these huge black circles and bags under my eyes...it was SAD. I wrote this hub a few years back and now my oldest is only 2.5 years from 13, aaagh!! I hope to get some solid advice soon!


Arlene V. Poma 5 years ago

No way! If it makes you feel any better, I am 53 and old enough to be any kid's grandma. I have met women who look marvelous as grandmothers. Until they tell me they were grandmothers at 35. Oh, no no!!! That's way too young!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Arlene, You look GREAT!! I never would've placed you at 53. And I better not be a Grandma before 60. Otherwise, I will deny the fact and make the grandkids call me "Auntie" :D


Haunty profile image

Haunty 5 years ago from Hungary

If your kids find their life passion and pursue it consistently and you support them in this pursuit, they will be fine. I think most teenagers who are in a bad way are lost in the world. They don't know what to do with their lives and this is because they don't have choices. If you have a kid who has no passion that could be turned into a profession later, you should make sure she gets acquainted with as many different things as possible to help her find her thing. On the other hand, if you have a kid who wants to be a doctor, you should make sure she gets exposed to all the things that help further this interest.

Also, if they had seen you make the right choices time and again, that must count for something too. I know teens who are perfectly fine and have convictions like always tell the truth even if it gets you in trouble with someone. The parents imparted these convictions in their child and she has this "sureness of thought" that she knows the right thing to do in a tough situation.

Teaching them how to live their lives on a schedule is also important. It's funny to joke about things like 'I'm such a slacker' on Facebook, but it's not so funny realizing that I raised my children to be the same way. Being a mom is the single most important job in the world.

But the most important of all is to spend time with each kid individually. Develop a unique personal connection, so that they feel you are the first person in the world that they can trust. An never judge them.

So, I'm not a parent, but if I was my personal checklist for each week would read:

*make sure I act the way I want kid to mimic

*help kid to find/pursue her interests

*help kid prioritize and schedule her time

*spend quality time with kid, take her to places

*make sure I'm understanding, helpful, but never a tyrant and never judgmental of her.

I wrote this comment before reading Jennifer Blaha's, but I think her advice is totally spot-on!

This hub is more than 2 years old. What do you feel today?


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Firstly, I still feel the same way. I read through the article to see if it still made sense to me today. Yup, Im still terrified. I suppose what Im most afraid of is waking up one morning and finding my babies have changed overnight. Each one of the girls is my BEST friend (even though I DO choose parenting over friendship when necessary) and I dont want to lose that. But I've heard so many people say their sweet babies turned into hormonal, rude teenagers in the blink of an eye. Im afraid my kids wont want me around anymore and that they will roll their eyes when I ask them to spend time with me. I do all the things on your checklist plus some others I've realized are important to each girl's personality.

My kids are wonderful now. They are polite, smart, sweet, kind, helpful, inquisitive, honest, and have a great moral compass...but is that going to be enough when peer pressure sets in and my kids arent with me all the time?

Right now Im with them ALL the time. I sit on my butt at softball practice, I sit on my butt at tae kwon do, I sit on my butt at soccer practice, I sit on my butt at the school most days due to volunteer work. Im always there and waiting. What happens when they dont want me there waiting? THATS what terrifies me.

And by the way, I dont slack on Facebook ALL day - my little phone goes with me every place and when Im doing all that waiting - I check in :P


Haunty profile image

Haunty 5 years ago from Hungary

I'm sorry if I sounded over the top. I can imagine there's nothing more annoying than a non-parent giving you advice on how to be a parent. Especially when you are already doing it amazing! I know that you are a very good mother simply because you are the kind of person I wish my mother would have been. Still, I think there are things that do not rest on you. Things that we can't control. Enjoy it while it lasts, because in life nothing is permanent. And please, don't fret over the cliché of a rude, reckless teenager, it doesn't have to be that way. That's all I can tell you. :)


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

You're right Haunty. It doesn't have to be that way and I should worry less and just live in the moment. I have good kids and I need to give them credit that they'll make good choices even as teenagers. Thanks.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

Interesting HUB - You knew the job was dangerous when you took it! ;D Sounds like you have a lot of challenges ahead! Voted up and interesting!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hahah justmesuzanne - I dont think I did know! When I wsa planning a family I only thought about holding that sweet baby and playing with her. I didnt think about her growing up and becoming...well, you know [[whisper]] a teenager


billips profile image

billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

This is an excellent Hub - your fears are quite justified - I had similar ones, for my children, many years ago - I think every era has its problems, where children are concerned, but if you hold fast to your beliefs and have faith, in yourself, and in your children,things will turn out o.k. - fear is not a bad thing if it makes you think, and you, obviously, are doing just that - B.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks billips :) Fear has definitely kept me thinking! I try to be at least 3 steps ahead of them at all times. One thing that makes me feel better is talking to parents of teens, and even those teens themselves, and I realize they are still the great kids I remembered them being when they were smaller. I think maybe the 'bad' ones stick out more to me. I should focus on seeing the 'good' teens too


billips profile image

billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

I totally agree - the bad ones are the ones we most often hear about - look at the news - it's all about violence, never about kind acts and gentle people - regards, B.


shuck72 profile image

shuck72 5 years ago from Seattle

I have a 13 year old boy and a 14 year old girl and it can be terrifying sometimes because they are becoming so independent and we have to trust them to make the right decisions. It was nice to read about another parent feeling the same anxiety.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi Shuck, Im going to race over and follow you so I know where to find you when I need advice! So you have a boy AND a girl, best of both worlds when it comes to teens. I only have girls but I can imagine your son has teen issues too... I'd be afraid to meet a parent NOT a little nervous about entering the teenage years. Thanks for reading!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Ardie...It's settled. My next hub will be on this topic. Since it seems your visitors are all confessing to age & status...I am a 63-yr-old GREAT grandmother. 6 grandsons, 3 grand daughters & one-on-the-way....and one 8 mo. old, precious great Grand daughter. Yes, I married young (most Baby boomers did!) and....I got a kick out of your little one already having crushes. Here's a little story for you....my second son "fell in love" with a darling little blonde in NURSERY SCHOOL.(Melissa).. No time or space here for the many years in between.....but that little boy and girl just celebrated their 22nd. Wedding Anniversary!! True story. They adore each other to this day and my daughter-in-law still laughs at my son's silly jokes!! I raised FOUR SONS...and wouldn't change a thing! Needless to say though, I am close with all my daughters-in-law & in love with my 3 grand daughters! You need to RELAX, Mom. It's a good thing that you are concerned and planning for the future, but don't let it consume your present. KNOW that you & your husband will do an excellent job with your girls and they will respond by being the sweet, smart & well-rounded individuals you hope for. "Advice is EVERYWHERE and every Mom is more than willing to share their experiences. This is all wonderful and helpful. But you'll have your own way with your own children and by the sounds of things, you're on the right track! Watch for my Hub!!! lol


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Wow fpher! 63 and a Great Grandma? My mom is a boomer - oh wait I was going to say NOT a great grandma but i guess she technically IS even if we dont see the babies :) I am so excited to read your hub with your take on teens. I want the link, link, link! You are right though, I just need to relax. My kids really are good girls. I see how some of the 10 and 11 year olds act at my daughter's school and I am SO lucky my daughters are mellow :)

I hope you add more to the story about your son and his itty bitty crush that turned into marriage and a family -what a sweet story.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Ardie....LOL...Yes, exactly. When people congratulated me on becoming a Great Grandma (as if I had anything to do with it!)....my comeback was, "Hey, ALL Grandma's are GREAT!!"


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

fpher, I LOVE that line! It reminds me of a line from a tween show we love to watch here (iCarly). The characters are talking about ham and one says "well is it GOOD ham?" and the other yells "ALL ham is good ham!" And hey, congrats on being a Great Grandma! :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Thank God I had a boy; if I had three daughters I would be tempted to lock them away for the teen years...some might call tha child abuse but I call it practical. Great hub my friend!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Hi billybuc! Its odd you mention the locking idea. The husband and I always joke that we will lock the girls in the basement as soon as the boys start coming around hahah Its nice down there - we will give them food and drinks... Eh still I just dont think it will fly :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Ummmm hummm! Yep! The teen years - are not my personal favorite - I've only had one so far and it almost killed me! Lol lol.

Here is my best thought I found in my little head during those years for Laurel....I was complaining to my husband and said. "I just don't understand WHY she does some of the stuff she does to annoy me and be defiant...what have I don't to deserve this? I've given her everything!!"

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks...I said it myself "I GAVE" her everything....I finally started making her WORK for rewards and things changed a LOT!!

It's hard being a mom at that age but now my girl is 23 and it was SO with it!!!!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Be afraid be very very afraid. Remember the minute a teen's feet hit the floor in the morning they lie. I once had very very good young children but when they hit their teens all H--- broke loose. I agree with RealHousewife make them do some kind of work around the house for what they have. Have them learn nothing is free. You will get through it. I now have very nice adult children.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

RHW! You are NOT making me feel better hahah I stopped to think about what you said - I have given my kids everything too. And yet I wonder why they are a touch selfish! Omg, you're a fountain of wisdom. AND it worked because you have the proof :)

moonlake! Again, not helping here hahah So what Im hearing is that I need to use positive reinforcement and discipline even when the kids are BIG kids. Im glad to have the advice of parents who have been there-done that


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Besides, I highly doubt you have one thing to even worry about. Your girls will be a breeze:) You are a great mom and proactive in looking for answers and doing your mom homework:)


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

RHW you said mom homework haha!! Im trying. It seems like I get one phase done and over with and a new one pops up that I dont know how to handle. Oh, well. I will just play it by ear yet be supportive but stern (did that sound text book enough?!)


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Ardie, just think about how much fun you will have with those girls, too! My mom was my best friend. I always would rather stay home with her than go out. Actually, my friends loved to come over and hang out at my house--even with my mom! The key for me, my friends, and my 3 brothers, was that my mom was always someone we could talk to. She was still a mom, but she was our friend, too. She talked to us about all kinds of things (relationships, sex...) as we grew up. We confided in her about things in our lives and still do as adults. You'll be there for your girls, you'll instill values in them, and, even thought there will be ups and downs when they are teenagers, they will probably always come back to you. That's what I experienced. Just sayin....Great hub. I think you've got it with "supportive but stern." Maybe assertive and firm is better than the word stern. haha. I bet you're an awesome mom, ARdie.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland Author

Thanks VicLynn, you're so sweet. I try to be a good mommy - I guess time will tell!! I think I try to be like your mom. I always let the kids know I am cool with ANYTHING they bring to me. I can act stupid with the best of them but I'm also great for advice. And while I am a mom first and always, I also try to be a friend. You're so lucky your mom was involved like she was.

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