mental health

You Never Hear About Parenting Teens

You always hear about how hard it is having a baby. The sleepless nights, the diaper blowouts, getting peed on, the tears and exhaustion. Everything is all worth when you get that first smile, all the snuggles, and to see the milestones of the tiny human that you created.

You hear about the terrible two’s and the temper tantrums, but you hold your breath until the phase passes. After that, it’s awards and concerts at school, accomplishments, performances, and smiling photographs plastered all over social media.

We just assume from there that everything is going well and that those kids were raised to be happy, healthy adults. The reality is that they stop sharing the details of their parenting. Everyone Likes to appear together on social media so we post our sweet memories and precious times for all to see, hiding the low times. We ask for advice on the best diaper bag but everything else is hidden. No one shares their stress and exhaustion; that’s private.

Nobody discusses parenting teenagers. It’s much harder than having a baby. It’s more difficult than the terrible two’s. It’s going to be the hardest of all. This is when depression, hormones, drug and alcohol curiosity, testing boundaries, wanting more independence, sex, attitudes and disrespect enter the picture.

No one tells you what to do when your baby grows up and tries to sneak out of the house or tells you to shut up. No one talks about those sleepless nights and the newfound anxious feeling that has taken a permanent residence in the pit of your belly.

No one talks about how to get your teenager through their first broken heart or depression from being bullied at school. This is when holding your child in your arms doesn’t make everything okay anymore. This is when you feel utterly helpless and lost, hoping that one day they can see how perfect and beautiful they are; just like the way you see them.

We just hope and pray that our children turn out okay and that they are happy. We hope they are successful and that we did a good job despite feeling like we are crumbling some days.

I can only hope that we discuss the difficulties of parenting more often and make the topic an open subject for others. Therapy is always a great option for your teen or for you, maybe even for the family. It doesn’t always mean that things are bad; it’s a tool to make everyone stronger.

It’s important to break the silence so that others aren’t blindsided when their perfect baby is suddenly a depressed teenager. Teenagers and mental health need to be a topic of discussion. Parents also need emotional support and advice but many are too afraid to reach out or share this side of their life. They are lost and don’t know what to do, because none of this shit is on Pinterest.

Resources:

http://www.taylor4teens.org/

Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255

Health, Unveiling Invisible Illnesses

Once a Day – Engage Challenge

Do we ever really stop and truly engage, looking into someone’s eyes and feel their existence? We are always too busy or thinking about what we want to say, and let our distractions consume our mind. Our world is disconnected, digital and diluted and we wonder why people feel so invisible and the war on mental health continues to bleed on. I challenge you to engage once a day, whether it is a stranger or your child, friend or spouse. Turn your mind on mute and look them in the eyes an listen.

“How is your day?”