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Teens

eye rolling, how to get your teen to respect you , how to get a toddler to respect you

Ever wonder how to get respect from your teen? I remember wondering how to get respect from a toddler. It’s simple really if you want respect from your toddler thru to your teens,  you have to respect them too. I know, crazy, right? I’ve been all for treating my kids as little people from the day they were born. I just adjusted as needed, Age appropriate and full honesty has always been my long term parenting style.

Do your children roll their eyes at you? Mine has on occasion. They’ve been doing it since they gained control of their eyeballs and realized that sometimes, as a mom, I’m winging it. Some days, I don’t even have a clue and feel like the poster child for “ParentingFails.”

I definitely don’t feel like I know how to get respect from a toddler.

I don’t get made though. They come by their champion eye-rolling skills naturally. I’ve been known to roll my own eyes quite frequently — an unfortunate habit leftover from my own teen years. But, being the recipient of a serious eye rolling while I’m talking to my children annoys the p*ss out of me. In my book, it’s as disrespectful as walking away when I’m talking to you. It’s the nonverbal expression of: “You’re so annoying. I’m not listening to you!”

READ ALSO: Toddler Selective Hearing Syndrome

I get that it’s the sort of rebellious behavior one might expect from their tween or teen but now, even preschoolers are doing it. I know this is just one of those awesome hormonally fueled ways that my daughters are trying to exert their independence and test my boundaries but I hate it. As a parent, I need to figure out a way to get respect without hurling insults or being intentionally hurtful. We need to be the change we want to see in the world — so, if I don’t want to get eyes rolled at me, I need to first and foremost stop rolling my eyes. To get respect, you have to give respect. Yes, even to toddler and teens and all ages in between.

Maybe your toddler or teen is just unhappy or frustrated and eye rolling is his or her way of expressing that. Maybe it’s not personal at all. Either way, if it’s bothering you, it’s worth being discussed. Don’t get sidetracked by the rudeness and don’t engage in the same behavior. I know it’s difficult to ignore being ignored.

Try these tips to help guide you in how to get respect from a toddler and how to get your teen to stop rolling their eyes at you.

Expect respect

If you accept rudeness, you’ll get it. Parents who refuse to tolerate rude behavior tend to have kids who aren’t rude. Decide what’s most important to you. Let the house rules be known, and then hold your child accountable.

Choose your battles

You can’t punish your tween every time your child misbehaves. If you try, you will spend all of your time frustrated and yelling. Soon, you will drive yourself crazy — and your child will just start tuning you out. Instead, decide what you’re willing to tolerate and what you’re willing to overlook.

Out of bounds

Warn your kids when they are nearing intolerable behavior. For example, I count to three in Spanish, and my daughters know when I get to one, they have crossed a line. This will let you warn them without embarrassing them. It’s a private mom-and-child code that leaves them with some dignity.

Don’t get down on their level

When my girls roll their eyes at me, my instant reaction is to roll mine back — but how is that helpful? It solves nothing, demonstrates just how immature I am and sets a bad example. So, no matter how hard it is, try to take the high road when disciplining your child. Remember, you are an adult — behave like one.

READ ALSO: When Mom’s Stop Being Nice and Start Being Honest

How do you get your child to stop talking back or rolling their eyes? What is your way to get respect from your teen?

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I’m a Chicago girl and there is nothing I love more than sharing my hometown with my daughters. I love taking my children to visit my family and introducing them to the city I love. It’s nice because while I’m figuring out all the best things to do in Chicago with teens and kids, I get to play tourist.

Chicago is one of my favorite cities but when you live somewhere you never play tourist because you.live.there. When you’re young, you’re like no way, I’m not wasting my time because you think you’ll always be there. Everything tourists come to Chicago to see, we saw on field trips a zillion times with school. You couldn’t pay us enough to go willingly.

READ ALSO: Chicago Ten Things to do Before You Die

But then you grow up and you realize OMG, all of these amazing museums, art galleries, Planetariums, Zoos, Aquariums and theater were right her and I took it all for granted. You realize that there are amazing things to do, food to eat and different cultures all around and you took it all for granted. But no more.

Here is a list of things to do in Chicago during the Winter months

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The Museum of Science and Industry

During the winter months, November through January, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is displayed. Explore rich holiday traditions from around the globe while creating your own traditions with loved ones in Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light.

It began in 1942 with a single tree. Today, the Museum’s beloved annual celebration features a four-story, floor-to-dome Grand Tree, surrounded by a forest of more than 50 trees and displays decorated by volunteers to represent the holiday traditions from cultures around the globe. On the weekends, you can also enjoy live holiday performances. It’s the one-of-a-kind experience that brings a whole world of holiday joy under one roof.

READ ALSO: Spring Break Make It Yourself at MSI

This has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. This year, I took my parents and my daughters and it was truly magical. My only piece of advice, it is very busy over the holiday break between Christmas and New Year.

Also, if you are going during a busy season or when a popular exhibit is at the museum, be sure to get tickets for the exhibits that you want to see. There are some free exhibits that are very popular and so tickets are given on first come first serve basis, plot your plan and get your tickets as soon as you get there so you don’t miss anything.

Free admission days: The Museum of Science and Industry is free for Illinois residents with valid ID on the following dates in 2019: January 7–10, 14–17, 21–24, 28–31, February 4–7, 11–14, 19–21, 25–28

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Shedd Aquarium

If you are looking for a leisurely day to spend with children of all ages, the Shedd Aquarium is perfect. You are inside from the elements, whether it be the sweltering heat of the summer or the brutal cold of Chicago winters, and children (and adults alike) love the serene beauty that surrounds you.

Discover Aquatic Animals from around the World. You can purchase tickets online and save time. Encounter Penguins. Meet Beluga Whales. Award Winning Exhibits. Hands-On Activities. Watch Shark Feedings. Shows: Shark Feeding Tour, Behind-the-Scenes Tour, Beluga Encounter, Penguin Encounter. Our favorite was the Dolphin show and the Beluga Whales. It’s a great day of exciting aquatic fun.

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Don’t forget about the free admission days January 17-21, February 1, 4-8, 11-15, 18-22, 25-28 more will be added to the shed aquarium page free admissions page at a later day. Check back frequently because it’s a great deal.

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Field Museum

Who can forget the iconic shots of Kevin Bacon in She’s Having a Baby at the Field Museum? If your child or teen is into history at all, Field Museum is the place to visit. Even if they aren’t, I think the FIeld Museum could convince them to be. The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture. It’s where real science, dinosaurs, and world-class exhibits inspire fun for all. My girls and nephew loved the mummies exhibit, Sue the T-Rex and Maximo the Titanosaur.

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There are Free Admission Days, which is free basic admission for Illinois residents with proof of residency. Discounted passes are available in person and cannot be purchased online in advance.

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, located in Millennium Park, is a hub for summertime festivals like Lollapalooza, the Blues Festival, and Taste of Chicago but it’s really a great place to visit during the winter months as well. There are many pieces to be adored and to give your family something to think about Wood’s American Gothic, Matisse’s Bathers By a River, Monet’s Water Lilies, Rivera’s Weaver and even Renoir’s Two Sisters. There are O’Keefe, Toulouse-Lautrec and Warhols. All these I remember seeing as a child. But even among the Dali’s and Van Goghs, the piece I love the most is Picasso’s The Old Guitarist. Having a place to go and share these pieces with my daughters, feels a little bit like going to church at the Sistine Chapel. We are overcome with awe and wonder. The art Institute is a must visit when you’re in Chicago.

Just like all the other amazing museums in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago has free admission days.

Adler Planetarium

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and a premier resource for inspiring the next generation of space explorers and bonus, it is right next door to the Shedd Aquarium so you can make a day of it with the kids. If your child is interested in astronomy or space in general, how it works, what’s out there, or just connecting the constellations in the night sky, they will love the Adler Planetarium.

Countless galaxies, unfathomable distances, exploding stars, diamond planets, black holes, there’s no way around it, space is freaking awesome! Come learn more at the Adler Planetarium during our Illinois Resident Discount Days—where Illinois residents receive FREE General Admission to the museum. General Admission provides access to all exhibitions and experiences (excluding the historic Atwood Sphere Experience and sky shows.*) 2019 Illinois Resident Discount Days

January 21-22, 29-31
February 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 26-28
April 2-4, 9-11
June 3-5, 10-13
September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
October 7-9, 14-16
November 8, 11
December 2-3, 7, 12-13

Navy Pier

If you’ve never been to Navy Pier, make sure to visit on your next trip to Chicago. Originally completed in 1916 as part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago, Navy Pier is an iconic city landmark inspiring discovery and wonder. Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million visitors have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. As Navy Pier enters its second century, the venue is evolving into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.

There is so much to do at Navy Pier. There are restaurants, art, shopping, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and even rides. Navy Pier is home to one of Chicago’s most iconic attractions: the magnificent Centennial Wheel, offering soaring views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. And let’s not forget about the Pepsi Wave Swinger, carousel and more. Honestly, there is so much to do…just add teens and instant good time.

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Medieval Times Schaumburg

If you’ve never been to a Medieval Times, you are missing out. I always wanted to go but never made the drive ase I said, when you live in Chicago, you don’t do the touristy things). A couple of years ago, I found myself at a work event with my family and guess where we ended up? Medieval Times. We loved it so much, this past holiday season when I was home visiting my parents, we took them to Medieval times in Schaumburg (just north of the city) and they loved it and so did my kids.

For the first time in Medieval Times 35-year history, a woman is in charge. All hail Queen Dona Maria Isabella. Enjoy an electrifying show featuring heroic knights on spirited horses displaying the astounding athletic feats and thrilling swordplay that have become hallmarks of this unique entertainment experience. Enjoy a “hands-on” feast as the dynamic performance unfolds before you. A sweeping musical score and brilliant lights provide a fabulous backdrop for this spellbinding experience that blurs the boundary between fairy tale and spectacle!

Yes, there is a blue knight and a red knight and you eat with your hands but so is everybody else and it was magical and splendid and I can’t wait to go again. There is a 2-hour medieval jousting tournament, 6 competing knights with real weapons, beautiful horses and a live flight of the royal falcon. Medieval Times is like nothing else you’ve ever experienced.

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Save BIG 40% off adults and teens & 20% off kids. Use code HOL4020. Valid for shows through 1/31/2019. Restrictions apply.

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If you love the theater, Broadway in Chicago is the place to be. Hamilton, anyone? The theater district is vibrant and located within walking distance of so many great restaurants and entertainment opportunities, including the Joffrey ballet. There is no shortage of things to see and places to be while experiencing Broadway on Chicago. There is a constant assortment of plays and musicals to see on the stage, something for everyone, even the most discerning critics.

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There are so many more things, these are just a few and the list gets longer during the warmer months. What is your favorite thing to do, see and eat in Chicago? The best part is that all of these places are great for just adults too.

READ ALSO: The Aladdin Experience

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What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago with teens or kids?

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Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know, teen slang words, slang words, parents guide, teens, mom of teens, teenagers, slang for dummies

Ok moms of tweens and teens, I didn’t forget about you. I’ve scoured the internet to compile a comprehensive parents guide to teen slang words. Ever feel like your teens and tweens are talking another language? Well, you’re not crazy, they are. They are talking slang and the meanings have changed just to keep us on our toes. Please don’t out yourself as being out of the know and have your kid tell you to skurt skurt.

My girls and I have a pretty open relationship. They still like me on most days. Though that is not my main concern in parenting, I’d love it if one day we could be friends but for now, I’m their mom. There’s always been a comradery between us that transcended the parent/child relationship. I did that on purpose because I didn’t have that as a child.

There was a strict division between parents and children and while I completely believe that I am my daughters’ mom first and their “friend” second, I want them to trust me and, if possible, feel comfortable not hiding things from me. Teens feel weird about all the changes like they can’t tell us things and then they start to shut down and begin to hide things from us.

READ ALSO: The Ever Changing Rules and Regulations of being a Teen Girl

That’s not to say that I’m not the mean mom on the daily but everything I do, like you, is out of love and in the hopes of raising good human beings. I sit through all the Dobre Brothers, Yoga Challenges and Beauty tutorial YouTube videos with them just so we can have conversations that I can actually understand. Just so I can know how they are doing. Because the important things are peppered in with all the daily stuff. It’s our job as parents to pay attention.

The other day, after watching a YouTube video about slang kids are using these days, I realized that maybe not all moms and dads of teens know what the heck their kids are saying when they are talking or texting. They speak in code you know? Not that I’m an expert but, unlike most parents who don’t actually work in social media, I do know some things. Add to the mix that I am a giant child myself and my daughters have taught me some words I should know for 2019. FYI, fleek is no longer on fleek so keep that phrase out of your mouth.

Here is the Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know

 Adulting – To grow up and act responsibly

 AF – An acronym for “as fuck”

Almosts- Someone you came close to dating but it never became official

Awk/ Awks – Awkward

Basic – Only interested in mainstream, popular things

Beef- Argument

Beat – To have a full face of makeup

Blessed – Feeling fortunate

Bounce – Leaving suddenly

Bougie – Someone from a higher class

BRB- Be Right Back

Bruh – Another way of saying “seriously?”

Cancel – The rejection of a person, place or thing

Canceled – To reject something because it’s no longer trendy or it’s become too ratchet.

Can’t even – Used to describe someone you cannot handle

Catfishing– pretending t be someone else on social media

Clap back – A comeback filled with attitude

Clout Chaser = someone who tries to latch on to other, more popular people

Clout Demon = a wannabe

Cray – Crazy

Cringey– awkward, uncomfortable, cringe-worthy

Dad – A role model

Dank – Really cool

Dead – When someone is euphorically happy

Dead A–= To be completely and honestly serious

Dime = rating of attractiveness, 10/10

Down in the DM = direct messaging someone privately, usually to hook up

Drip, Drippin = flashy, ostentatious

Extra – Over the top, dramatic behavior

Fam – A group of friends who feels more like family

Finesse – To smooth things out

Fleeky– Amazing

FOMO – Fear of missing out

F2F = face to face, meeting in person

Gassed – When someone has had one too many compliments and is full of themselves

Ghost – When you completely disappear after hanging out and showing interest

Girlfriend tax– The amount of food taken by your female significant other, after you asked her if she was hungry and she insisted she wasn’t.

Glow-Up = an incredible transformation

GMT – Getting me tight / getting upset

Goals – A way of subtly expressing that you’re jealous; Goals = a lifestyle to strive for

GOAT – Greatest of all time

Gucci – Good or cool; Good / doing well / feeling fine

Hangry – When you are angry because you are so hungry

High-key – Straight up truth; a lot, wanting everyone to know something

Hit a lick = to steal something

Hundo P – 100 percent certain

Hunty – Equivalent of friend but said with attitude

IRL – In real life

It’s lit = cool, awesome, great

I’m weak = something so funny it made you weak

JOMO – Joy of missing out

Kickback = a casual get together

KMS/KYS = kill myself, kill yourself, used sarcastically

Lean = an intoxicating drink made using soda and cough syrup

Lit – Amazing

Mom – The most responsible friend in the group

Netflix and chill – Hooking up

OMG – An abbreviation for “oh my gosh” or “oh my God!”

OP = out of pocket, used when something is extreme or offensive

OTP – One true pairing

Phubbing – Snubbing someone to pay attention to your phone instead

Ratchet – Trashy

Receipts – Evidence of a person’s hypocrisy, often pulled from past social media or text conversations

Rides – Sneakers or shoes

 Salty – Acting upset or bitter

Saucy = feisty or sassy

Savage = wild or harsh

Savage – Petty

Shade-Trash Talk

Shipping – Wanting two people to date

Shook – Confused or in utter disbelief

Sic – Something that is cool

Sipping/Sips Tea– Minding your own business

Spilling the Tea– Gossipping

Skurt – Go away

Slay – Killing it / Succeeding

SMH – Shaking my head

Snatched – Looks good, fierce, fashionable. Snatched is the new fleek.

Snack– Cute= tasty treat you’d like to eat; the people version

Spilling Tea – Gossiping

Squad – Closest group of friends

Stan – A combination of stalker and fan

Straight Fire – Hot, popular or trendy

Suh – A shortened version of what’s up

Sus – When someone is acting suspicious or shady

Swerve – Get out of the way

Swol – Someone who works out

TBH – To be honest

Tea -Gossip

TFW – That feeling when

Thicc – Someone with curves

Thirst trap – A sexy photograph or flirtatious message posted on social media

Thirsty – Trying to get attention; horny

Throwing shade – Making a subtly mean comment about someone

Trill – True and real

Trolls – Someone who purposely tries to provoke others

Turnt – Hype for a party

V – very

Weak – Laughing so hard that you can hardly breathe

Wig snatched – Exposing someone to reveal the truth

Wig = when something crazy or unexpected (good) happens

WOAT– Worst of All Time

Woke – Being aware of current affairs

Yaas – An enthusiastic way of saying yes, or as my girls say, Yaas queen.

Yeet – A way to show excitement or agree

YOLO – You only live once

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know, teen slang words, slang words, parents guide, teens, mom of teens, teenagers, slang for dummies

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words that Describes People or Relationships

OK, parents pay attention. You know relationships are so important during the teens years. Friends are our lifelines and boys, well, the day rises and sets around them when we are first crushing. Our teens find out about themselves through these relationships. They are rocky and scary and unexplored territory.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Pt.1

Did you know they have a whole slang language for these relationships? They do. I guess we did too. Remember being someone’s “lady”, “boo” or “girl”? Well, move over bacon there is something leaner.

Here are some teen slang words used to describe people or relationships. There is some overlap for the above list.

  • Bae – “Before anyone else” and is often used to describe a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • BF/GF – Boyfriend or girlfriend
  • BFF – Best friends forever
  • Bruh – Same as “bro”
  • Creeper – Someone who is socially awkward or tends to have stalker tendencies
  • Curve – Romantic rejection
  • Emo – Emotional or a drama queen
  • Hater or h8er – Someone who hates everything, even their friends
  • n00b – A person who doesn’t want to learn
  • Ship – Short for ‘relationship’
  • Squad – A group of girls that hang out together regularly
  • Tight – In a close relationship
  • Wanksta – A person trying to act tough, but who isn’t really pulling it off

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words the Compound Version

Yes, this is a thing and we’ve all heard it. Hangry and chillaxin. TBH, I thought I invented Hangry back when I was a teen but perhaps I was mistaken.

Teens often create shortcuts by combining two words together. To understand what they mean, you need to know the definition of each word. Here are some examples of compound teen slang:

  • Chillaxin – Chillin’ and relaxing.
  • Crashy – Crazy and trashy
  • Hangry – Hungry and angry
  • Requestion – Request and a question
  • Tope – Tight and dope

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Should Pay Attention To

Be on the lookout for these slang words which could indicate your teen is bullying someone or that getting bullied by someone:

  • Bye Felicia – A disrespectful way to dismiss someone who is unimportant
  • CD9 – Code 9, parents are here
  • POS – Parents over shoulder (often used when texting to warn friends that mom or dad is reading) I thought it meant Piece of Sh*t.
  • Throw Shade – Give someone a dirty look
  • Tool – Refers to someone who is stupid or a geek

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Should Definitely Keep an Eye Out For

I am so thankful that social media wasn’t around when I was a tween and teen. When I think of all the stupid things I did that could have been captured and lived on in infamy, I cringe. I was naïve and dumb and did a lot of dumb things; made a lot of mistakes. By most standards, I was a good kid and I still did some really dangerous, thoughtless things.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Pt.2

Social media, text messaging, and online dating can lead to sexual conversations over the computer. And if you’re not sure what to look out for, you might not even notice what your teen is saying right under your nose. Sneaky little boogers.

Drug conversations are also something you need to be aware of. Here are some teen slang words that may indicate your teen is being pressured or experimenting with sex, drugs and alcohol.

  • CU46 – See you for sex
  • GNOC – Get naked on camera
  • Molly – MDMA, a dangerous party drug
  • NIFOC – Naked in front of the computer
  • Netflix and Chill – Used as a front for inviting someone over to make out (or maybe more)
  • Smash – Casual sex
  • Turnt Up – To be high or drunk
  • Tweaking= high, usually on amphetamines
  • Zip Ghost – Someone who is high on marijuana and having a hard time functioning
  • Dexing – Abusing cough syrup
  • Crunk – Getting high and drunk at the same time
  • X – Ecstasy
  • 53X – Sex
  • WTTP – Want to trade photos?
  • LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life

Not going to lie, I check my kids’ phones every night. They are still pretty young. We’re at the beginning and I’d rather be a smother than be sorry. I’m totally upfront about it so I’m not invading their privacy all sneaky squirrel. They know I check their phones. This is not to be nosey, this is to make sure they are safe.

Sometimes kids wander into unfamiliar territory and, believe it or not, they want someone to put the brakes on because then they can hide behind their “mean mom” saying no, rather than having to tell someone that they don’t want to do something because they feel uneasy or too young. I’m fine with being the bad guy.

Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words You Need to Know, teen slang words, slang words, parents guide, teens, mom of teens, teenagers, slang for dummiesI made this Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words so we can understand and communicate with our teens.

I’m sure you already know this, but some parents don’t, beware of Finsta accounts on Insta. You know, you think that you are watching your kid’s account but really you are only watching the one they want you to see. They’ve got 2 more that you have no idea exist and they are doing crazy sh*t like having full on conversations full of innuendo with strangers and taking pictures half naked with suggestive faces and captions. The point is that teens these days are so smart and tech savvy but they are still young and naïve to how the world works so it is our job to keep them safe not give them enough social media rope to hang themselves.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Pt.3

Another good idea, check out Gryphon. It’s a smart home device that allows you to monitor, block, and even turn off the internet on your child’s device, all from your phone. (Yup, you can turn off their internet during dinner time, homework time, etc. so you no longer have to nag them to put down their devices). I like to turn off the Internet when the girls are supposed to be in bed because I don’t want them up getting into trouble. I’ve noticed that kids seem to get a little braver when they have sleepovers and are staying up. This is when prank calls and text take place. I get it. We used to do it but we didn’t have sexting and the Internet. It wasn’t forever, just for a while. I need to think of their future and their safety even when they aren’t. Sometimes we need to save our kids from themselves.

Are there any words that I forgot on the Parents Guide to Teen Slang Words or that you have heard your kid use and need an explanation

 

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kixteen period proof panties, The Ever Changing Rules and Regulations of Being a Teen Girl

My oldest is 13-years-old. Where did the time go? They are growing up faster than I feel like I can let go. Pretty soon, they are going to have to pry themselves from my cold dead hands. Then they’ll still probably have to break them in order for me to release, I’m just holding on that hard.

But the Big Guy, for as liberal as he pretends to be, is going to have an even harder time than me. He’s actually told the girls that they can’t date until they are 18 and he.was.serious. I just laughed. I told him that’s what my dad said too but I started dating when I was 15. I just didn’t tell my dad. That’s not what I want for our girls so we’re all easing into it.

READ ALSO: My Daughter Loves Me

The kids at school are all pairing up. 13-years-old, for me, is a bit young to be paired up BUT I do remember being that age and having crushes. In fact, I think somewhere in 8th grade is where I lost my mind and went completely boy crazy. At least that is what my 8th-grade diary would have me believe.  #SoEmbarassing

Bella’s always been too involved with ballet to have time to care about boys. But recently, there has been KJ Apa, Cole Sprouse and Robert Pattinson screensavers where there once was unicorns. But apparently, this is the case for the entire eighth-grade girl population.

A couple weeks ago she was homesick and instead of binge watching funny fails on Youtube she binge-watched the entire Twilight series and can’t stop talking Jacob’s chest. Kiss/Kill/Marry is the new favorite pastime with the girls.

I just watch and listen and let them know that it’s all normal. I don’t encourage or discourage. I simply pay attention and try to guide them through these confusing times of hormones and puberty.

There have been a couple boys and I can tell by my daughter’s sheepish smile and sparkly eyes that these boys are as good as KJ Apa and Cole Sprouse. But I don’t push. I don’t want them to feel like I’m pushing them to like boys (or girls) but I also don’t want them to feel like I am holding them back. I want them to know that as long as they respect themselves and aren’t cruel to anyone, it’s their choice to make. It’s a natural part of growing up.

Obviously, they are too young to actually date anyone but I can’t stop them from growing up. I can’t stop them from having feelings or wanting to get to know someone better. I can only encourage them to do it in a respectful, honest and dignified way.

A few weeks ago, when I picked Bella up from school, she excitedly recounted the day’s events which to my surprise involved a certain young man who knows how to use his words. It was a dress-up day and this boy, very sweetly pulled up his pant legs to reveal to my daughter a pair of socks with hearts on them. Then, he says, “I wore these just for you, Bella.”

She turned 50 shades of red and changed the subject. I know this because it’s exactly what she did when she told me about it. She’s shy, especially in this situation. What new teen wouldn’t be? Though I’m not quite ready for this next phase, the story was very sweet.

She’s starting to embrace becoming a teen and all which that entails; the good, the bad and the terrible. She’s even looking forward to high school when just this past summer, she wasn’t. She really is growing up so fast.

I’d like to think it has something to do with our style of parenting; let them know your love is unconditional and you will always be there to listen with understanding ears and an open heart but really, I think we just got lucky with a couple of good girls.

READ ALSO: Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon

Just a few months ago, puberty was barely on the horizon, off in the not so far distance. But that milestone has come and gone. We’ve got puberty covered. Thanks to lots of reading, lots of remembering my own teen years, lots of understanding and Knixteen’s period proof underwear and bras. Things are different from when I was 13-years-old.

Apparently, the teen years are a roller coaster of emotions and feelings and parents and kids alike are strapped in for the duration. All we can do is hold on to one another and try to enjoy the ride together. Never stop talking and more importantly, never stop listening. You never know what you might hear or what they might need you to say.

I know these sweet moments of blushing and sparkly eyes are just the beginning of what will become her long, complicated and beautiful story. I just hope she writes it down somewhere so when she’s a mom, she can look back and remember she was once at the beginning when things were confusing and new and scary and that will help her have the patience and courage and love it takes to get back on that roller coaster with her own daughter.

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the conjuring, Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls

I’ve been waiting for his moment for 13 years; the moment that I could watch horror movies with my daughters. I’ve been into the horror genre since I was about 7-years-old. It was the early 80’s and parenting was different back then. I’ve compiled this list of the best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies.

Ok, I’ll back up because I know that there is no world where I would allow my 7-year-old to watch horror movies. I had an aunt who was 17 when I was 7 and she would let me read her horror novels and even took me to see Friday the 13th in the movie theater. If you think that’s bad, she took my brother too, who was 5-years-old. If it makes it any better, she was married with a baby. She’d swap her baby for two of my mom’s kids. That was irresponsible babysitting swapping of the early 80’s.

I tried it and I loved it. Soon I was watching horror movies all the times. I was renting videotapes of horror movies for sleepovers.  I read all the Steven King books before I watched the movies.

READ ALSO: Most Bingeworthy Halloween Shows to get Your Fright On

Anyways, I still love the horror genre and can be found watching horror movies from June through November. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

Until this year, going into the Halloween Store scared my oldest so badly, she’d cry when the animatronics would activate. I figured I was doomed to a life of streaming horror movies after the kids went to sleep but this year, that all changed. My oldest asked to watch horror movies with me. A horror fans dream come true.

At first, I was leery because you all remember my girls co-slept? I totally don’t want them back in my bed long term. It feels like I just got them out. She seemed serious and really wanted to try it so we started with some silly ones. One night after being terrified of clowns for the past year from the promo for IT by Stephen King last year, Bella asked if I’d watch it with her.

Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls

I said sure because, full disclosure, I don’t find IT scary. I find it more silly and funny like Ghoulies or Gremlins. Clowns don’t scare me. We watched the new IT and it’s been popcorn and teen horror movies ever since. In fact, we just took her and her bestie to see The Nun when it came out.

Here are my best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies.

1.Friday the 13th  1980 Rated-R

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child’s drowning.

Basically, this horror movie is a tale of the ultimate helicopter mom. These counselors let her son drown. I find it completely acceptable that she’d go all crazy bear mom on them. In her mind, if they weren’t so busy making out and were watching the kids, her Jason would still be alive.

Let that be a lesson folks. In fact, I told my daughter ( teachable moment), “That’s why when you babysit, you pay attention to the kid you’re babysitting and don’t answer the phone.” Which brings me to the next movie.

2. When a Stranger Calls 1979 Rated-R

A psychopathic killer terrorizes a babysitter, then returns seven years later to menace her again.

This movie really used to freak me out because obviously anytime you would babysit in the 80’s your stupid friends would call the house line and breathe heavy and ask you, “Have you checked on the children?” It was completely freaky and anytime I watch this movie, if the phone rings, I still jump.

*Also, if you like this one, be sure to watch the horror movie Black Christmas ( 1974).

Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls

3. Halloween 1978 Rated- R

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Halloween, the original, is definitely one of my favorite horror movies of all time. I love the music. I love the idea. I love the cheesy screaming and gasping. I love the whole concept of a horror film about a child who is capable of such depravity. It is creepy.

All that being said, I hate most of the sequels. Stand-alone, some of them are interesting and funny but they don’t follow the story and they just seem absurd. Though I am looking forward to the latest installment with Jamie Lee Curtis.

If we are being honest, I totally love the 2 Halloween remakes made by Rob Zombie. The story is more cohesive and makes more sense.

4. The Omen 1976 Rated-R

Mysterious deaths surround an American ambassador. Could the child that he is raising actually be the Antichrist? The Devil’s own son?

The Omen is an interesting take on horror because it insinuates that even something as innocent as a child could be the anti-christ. It’s also scary to think that a child could be so malevolent that he would attempt to murder his own mother.

Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls

5. Carrie 1976 Rated-R

Carrie White, a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother, unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom.

This movie is completely different than any other horror movie because it’s basically about a fundamentalist Christian girl who has telekinesis. That in itself wouldn’t be so scary except she is relentlessly bullied by everyone in her life, including her mother.  The girl reaches a breaking point and instead of killing herself, she goes crazy on everyone else. I think of it more as a cautionary tale than a horror movie. It was a great teachable moment to remind my girls that this is why we don’t make fun of people.

Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls

6. The Exorcist 1973 Rated-R

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Not going to lie, I am Catholic so possession horror is really the only kind of horror that scares me. The Exorcist terrified me because she was just a kid and she got possessed, meaning demons do not discriminate. I found her vulgarity, spider walking and head spinning vomiting to be particularly terrifying.

If you want to see a more contemporary possession that will truly haunt you ( but I would not recommend for your teens because it actually terrified me and I haven’t been able to watch it again) watch The Conjuring. The whole series is scary but the original Conjuring is still the one I find the most frightening.

READ ALSO: The True Story Behind my Ghost Photo

7. Poltergeist 1982 Rated-PG

A family’s home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

This is a good movie to introduce your teen to the horror genre because it is very PG. If you are afraid of clowns and televisions, it might keep you up at night but really it’s very mild. Of course, a little girl is imprisoned into another dimension via her tv so that was a little disturbing.

The creepiest thing about the whole movie was the fact that the house was built on a burial ground and apparently, no one bothered to move the bodies. Yikes. Buyer beware.

8. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 Rated- NR

Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

This is one of the most macabre horror movies, I’ve ever watched. I don’t know if it’s the fact that the Leatherface character is based on the serial killer, Ed Gein, the fact that they preface it by saying its a true story or just how creepy it is to think that something not supernatural but just evil could actually happen. Another good teachable moment for your teens.

I know one thing it taught me to never pick up hitchhikers, never go wandering off in Texas and always wear gym shoes so that I can run away from maniacs with chainsaws.

9. Nightmare on Elm Street 1984 Rated-R 

The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Firstly, a teenaged Johnny Depp is in this horror movie so you have to watch it.  This is the perfect horror movie for teens because it is their age demographic. It was unique too in that it made us believe that the horrors we dream of in our nightmares could actually come true. It also made us feel isolated because no matter who the teens told, none of the adults seemed to believe them.

I don’t know about you but if I thought a burnt dude with daggers for fingers could attack and kill me while being a pervert in my nightmares and I could wake up dead, I’d be afraid to go to sleep too.

Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls

10. The Amityville Horror 1979 Rated-R

Newlyweds move into a large house where a mass murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away.

This is the ultimate buyer beware story. Newlywed couple knowingly buys a house where a mass murder was committed because the price was so great. Unfortunately for them, it was too good to be true and the house came with a demon.

READ ALSO: The Walking Dead Season Premiere Gave me PTSD

Dad gets possessed. Mom is seeing things. The priest comes to bless the house and almost doesn’t live to tell the tale. The boys are maimed. The little girl is hanging with a demon pig and even the dog is being assaulted. The whole thing is a sh*t show but it’s scary because it was also touted as a “true story”.

 These are my best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies.

This is the list we started with because they’re classics. They are scary but they don’t have the special effects and gore of some of the newer ones. I feel like introducing teens to horror movies should be like lowering yourself into a warm bath, not too fast and not too sudden so no one gets hurt.

Best Horror movies, teen horror movies, best horror movies streaming, Best horror movies to introduce your teen to scary movies, Halloween, the Exorcist, Amityville horror, carrie, poltergeist, texas chainsaw massacre, nightmare on elm street, Friday the 13th, When a stranger calls, best horror movies to watch with your teens

Also, it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyways, watch the movies with your kids. Don’t let them watch them alone. You need to be there for moral support, to explain some of the themes and possibly the lingo back in the day.

Do you watch horror movies with your teens? What are your favorite teen horror movies?

 

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adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney

Anyone who knows me knows that my dream would be to gift to my girls the world; a life filled with adventures. Of all the things I could give them, aside from kindness and tolerance, I’d love to introduce them to different cultures. I’d love to raise good human beings who were strong, independent.  Teen travel is so important. Start them young as babies and your vacation with teens will be an adventure you can share together.

It’s a very different life when you live in a bubble compared to when you’ve seen the world. I know it’s not possible or probable for most and I know that some people don’t care about global citizenship the way or to the degree that I do. It probably has a lot to do with my father not being from this country. It probably has more to do with spending my summers in Mexico.

This has always caused me to be more enthusiastic and open to adventure. Having a father whose first language was not English, made me more patient and tolerant of those who didn’t speak English. It made me want to learn other languages so that I could understand and communicate with others. This is why I spoke 4 languages by the time I graduated from college.

I appreciate the differences in people, places, and things. It’s more interesting to be surrounded by difference than sameness. My girls are falling into this same pattern. They see differences as an endless possibility for adventure and travel as the ultimate exploration. This is why I am so excited for Adventures by Disney. They have something for every family member.

READ ALSO: Top  Secret Tips to Rock Your Disney Vacation

As you know as a reader of my multiple posts about our trips to Disney World, Disneyland and on Disney Cruise line, we love Disney. The thing is you can take a short escape or a long one. You can travel in the United States or internationally. It really is a choose your own adventure Disney style and as anyone who has ever been to the happiest place on earth can attest to every adventure by Disney is different. Make of it what you and your family will.

Adventures by Disney offers many different destinations and new ways for travelers to experience the world’s most remarkable destinations with guidance, which is always nice especially if it’s your first time in a city or country. Teen travel is exciting and hectic because not only are our children changing at a dizzying pace, showing them the world is amazing. Adding a guided vacation with teens allows you to eliminate the frustration and just enjoy your time together.

In 2019, Adventures by Disney travelers will experience the captivating culture and rich diversity of Japan during a brand-new itinerary, with expeditions ranging from ancient locales steeped in tradition to fast-paced modern cities. Adventures by Disney collaborated with the Japan National Tourism Organization to create a trip that is both culturally authentic and deeply immersive. Whether exploring a breathtaking bamboo forest, centuries-old temple or high-tech metropolis, vacationers will be fully immersed in the ancient customs and storied traditions deeply rooted within this cultural wonderland.
During this 11-day, 10-night itinerary, travelers will visit Kyoto, Osaka, Takayama, Hakone and Tokyo.

In 2019, a reimagined Alberta, Canada itinerary will offer all-new adventures in Calgary, before traveling to breathtaking Banff National Park and the stunning Lake Louise. In Calgary, travelers will be welcomed as honorary citizens during a traditional ceremony before visiting some of the area’s ranches and farms.

Banff is one of the most beautiful places in the world that I’ve ever traveled to. I’ve not taken my family there yet. When I went I came home with an entirely new outlook on life and appreciation for natural beauty. There is something about standing amongst ancient glaciers and surrounded by pristine nature that makes you feel so small and lucky at the same time. Banff is on my family travel bucket list. I think this Adventure by Disney would be perfect for my family.

Adventures by Disney also recently announced an array of offerings that can be added to a Disney Cruise sailing. Talk about the ultimate land and sea vacation. In 2019, travelers can journey to unforgettable locales such as Barcelona and Copenhagen. All while enjoying renowned Disney service and storytelling. Can you even imagine?

READ ALSO: Everything You Need to Know about the Disney Dream. 

These unforgettable trips join dozens of Adventures by Disney vacations worldwide, including a new itinerary on France’s Seine River. Revel in the beauty of the sites of Paris while engaging in immersive activities for the whole family. Paris has been on my travel bucket list since I was in 7th grade.

adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney, Paris

The 2019 Adventures by Disney land tours feature a wide variety of vacation destination options, something for every traveler. Families will find a wealth of unforgettable moments imbued with special touches that are uniquely Disney.

READ ALSO: Free Tips for Maximizing your Disney World Trip

If you prefer s short trip how about a best of Boston adventure? Treasured American history and contemporary culture come to life in Boston on the new Short Escape itinerary.

adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney, boston

Guests are immersed in the city’s legendary stories. During a privately guided tour along the Freedom Trail, families follow 18th-century costumed guides back in time. A private, after-hours tour of the Old North Church places travelers in the famed footsteps of Paul Revere, while another special after-hours visit to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum concludes with a private dinner steeped in the city’s storied roots.

Other family-friendly excursions and activities include rowing along the Charles River and biking the city on a private sightseeing tour. Perfect for teens are exploring the grounds of Harvard Yard. Perfect for the entire family, indulging at a private New England clambake on Thompson Island.

I can tell you from going here every year with our children, there is no shortage of things to do in Boston. You could go back time and time again and still find things to do.

adventures by Disney, Japan, Teen Travel, vacation with teens, see the world, have teens will travel, family adventure, disney, banff

Looking for the ultimate family vacation that’s teen friendly?  Whether you prefer beaches resorts or outdoor adventure, Adventures by Disney has you covered. What are you waiting for?

What Adventures by Disney trip would be perfect for you and your teens?

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parent and teen communication, center for parent and teen communication, raising teens, teenagers, tweens, raising girls

Ever wonder why parent and teen communication is so important? Remember all of those years of talking about everything and nothing, when your kids were little. Answering ” why?” about everything and anything they asked, for hours and days on end. There was a reason, at least for me there was. I listen and answer everything then so that now, they feel comfortable enough to ask me anything. I listen to the mundane and every single thing that happened to every friend that day, just so I don’t miss the important things that happen to my daughters.

This post is sponsored by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication.  All memories are my own.

Then

When Bella was younger she was timid. She was always cautiously aware of consequences, unlike her baby sister, but she never let that stop her from pursuing what she wanted to do. She wanted a juice box, she pulled a chair over to the refrigerator and got one. She wanted to perform in the Nutcracker even though hundreds of people were watching and she was terrified? She auditioned. She went to every single rehearsal and she performed her heart out in every single production. And on her first day of kindergarten, when it was time for me to leave, her lip quivered and she gave me her nervous little smile but she sucked it up and she walked chin up right into that class like she belonged. She has never let fear stand between her and what she wants.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls

Now

center for parent and teen communication, raising teens, teenagers, tweens, raising girls

While all of her friends are trying to fit in, Bella doesn’t care if she stands out. She doesn’t overly concern herself with what everyone else thinks about her. She cares about what she thinks about her. She’s always known we have her back and as long as she respects herself and is respectful of others, she knows the only person she needs to make happy is herself. She still kisses me goodbye at school, hugs me goodnight and tells me she loves me no matter who hears. She’s had friends who’ve wanted her to be someone she isn’t and instead of giving in to the pressure, she’s walked away from the friendship and I couldn’t be prouder of her. I love what a great example of independence and self-confidence she is or her little sister.

READ ALSO: How to Talk to Your Tween about Everything

The video goes hand-in-hand with this piece from Dr. Ken Ginsburg at the Center for Parent and Teen Communication.  It helps to reflect upon all the things I loved about my girls when they were little and see that a lot of that behavior is repeating in their teen years. Please check out this new resource as a guide on your parenting journey.

What are your favorite memories of your child when they were little? What amazing things are they doing as teens?

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tips for raising teenage girls, teenage girls, Signature swing park, Boston

It’s summertime and I’ve been spending a lot of time in close quarters with my tween and teenage girls. Not going to lie, being present all the time for girls this age is challenging ( they have a lot to say, all the time) but if you can just listen through the noise that surrounds all the very important things they are trying to tell you, you will find that these young ladies are pretty freaking amazing.

Not in a hokey, sugary sweet way but in a fierce, no none sense, stand up, speak up soul beauty that sees love and wonder in the world. Teenage girls intuitively seek the good and they are not taking the other bull ish. These girls are powerful and they have voices they are not afraid to use and I’d like to think we, the women who came before them; their mothers, sisters, grandmothers and aunts who busted their butts to be seen have empowered them to fight back. Maybe we couldn’t make the world exactly what they deserve but we’ve raised them to be fierce enough to survive it and continue the work to make the world better for their daughters.

tips for raising teenage girls, teenage girls, Signature swing park, Boston

READ ALSOTips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Part 1

Teenage girls are by far the most powerful force and resource our world has to offer. They are change makers and a force to be reckoned with. As parents, we have to ensure that they never lose that. I want to lift my girls up to always keep that fire burning inside of them. I never want them to be afraid to speak their truth. I want them to know that their words, thoughts, beliefs and ideas are important and worth being heard.

“If you have something worth saying, stand up and tell your truth. Never be afraid to speak up and stand up for what’s important to you!” My dad taught me this. ” Where there is a will, there is a way. You can be and do anything you want to if you are willing to work for it. No dream is too big.” My mom taught me this. These are words that carry me through my life. These are the gifts I want to give my girls and all the little girls and teenage girls and women of the world. “You are amazing and you are stronger than you know. You can do anything you want to. You are worth it. Don’t let anyone else steal your joy. The only person you need to make happy is you. You have to live with the woman in the mirror. Be your best version of you. Nobody’s opinion counts.”

tips for raising teenage girls, teenage girls, Signature swing park, Boston

These are  my tips for raising teenage girls and not damaging your relationship Part 3

Teach them respect; of others and most importantly of themselves.

My dad was all about respect and I never fully understood his obsession with his need for us to be respectful. He wanted us to respect ourselves and respect others, especially our parents. Then, I realized that the respect you have for yourself sets the bar for how others treat you. If you don’t respect yourself enough to make good choices and be willing to walk away from people who don’t respect you, you will never be able to live your best life. You will be at the mercy of other people’s opinions of you. Treating others with respect is a reflection of who you are as a human being. I teach my girls to treat everyone with human decency but reverent respect has to be earned. Parents you also need to remember to respect your teenage girls. They need to feel like they have a say. They are no longer toddlers, they are an active part of the family and as such their thoughts and opinions do matter.

Let them know that you don’t give a damn what everyone else is doing.

I tell my girls daily, “I don’t care about other people’s kids.” I do. But my point is, if Claire wants to vape and send sexts to the entire 7th-grade male population, that does not make it ok or acceptable.  I’ve taught my girls since they were babies not to compare themselves to others so I hope it works out in the end. I know everyone feels peer pressure but I’m hoping that I’ve raised the girls with enough self-respect and confidence that the need to like themselves trumps the need for others to approve of who they are.

Family time.

This is so important. Teenage girls need family time. Don’t be fooled by the devil may care, self-absorbed persona they’ve taken on recently, they still need that touchstone of family. They need to be able to let down the façade of coolness that all teenage girls put up to fit in. They need time to be goofy and funny and imperfect with the people who will love them no matter what. These moments playing games, traveling, telling jokes, being silly, doing face masks or just watching movies or going for walks are where the memories are made. This is the downtime they need in their life to survive the stresses of being teenage girls.  It’s hard. Remember?

Limit screen time.

Not because you are mean and you hate devices but because time is precious and it’s moving a million miles a minute at this phase, give them space and respect their ideas but make sure they know how to interact socially with people face-to-face before you send them out into the world. So many children have their faces stuck in a device from toddlerhood, it’s just a symptom of the world we live in today but I refuse to let the girls be so digitally engaged that they are not physically engaged with the world around them. I want my girls to talk to people, look them in the eye and be present in those moments. You can’t do that when you are distracted by your phone, iPad, social media or the online world. I want them to live and act in the real world because those experiences with people, even the bad ones, are worth living.

Don’t be afraid.

Teenage girls can sense fear. Just kidding, they’re not bears.  But I do have to say, I am really loving this phase of raising teenage girls. Like I said it’s just begun but I feel that we are growing closer. I am the welcoming wagon for womanhood and I feel like I’m a pretty damn good party thrower. Just remember beneath all those gangly body parts, confused skin, hormones, and eye rolling is buried that newborn baby they laid on your chest all those years ago and they need you, even if it seems like on some days they don’t want you. Don’t be afraid just love the shit out of them, all day and every day. At the end of the day, you are doing the right thing.

READ ALSO: Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship Part 2

Well, these are the last of my Tips for Raising Teenage Girls and Not Damaging Your Relationship for now, what are yours?

 

 

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raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

If you read last week’s part 1 of tips for raising teenage girls and you’ve returned, welcome back. You are certainly among friends. Raising teen girls is difficult regardless of how the kid behaves. She can be the most complacent, compliant, sweet teenage girl of all teenage girls and you will still need to know these tips because there is a hormonal storm brewing inside that child and it is our responsibility as parents, to try and make the transition as easy as possible.

Not like we can have any kind of control of what they are thinking or how they are feeling or how any of it is going to land on them. Just remember puberty is like a bomb going off inside of a girl. She has no idea how to deal with all of these emotions, her body and the sexual way she might be feeling towards boys (or girls). It’s all okay. We don’t have to fix it. We just have to be there to listen and understand.

READ ALSO: Faster than a Speeding Bullet.

I know you are going to have days where you feel at your wits end. I’ve got a tween and a teenage girl, so this happens to me quite a bit these days. I’ve learned to try and not take it personally. The truth is it hurts. There is nothing wrong with taking a minute to react. Sometimes you just have to step back, take a breath and think about what you are about to do because blowing up at a teenage girl is about as helpful as carrying a paper umbrella in a monsoon.It’s actually ridiculous and someone might get hurt.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

Here are my Next 5 Tips for Raising Teenage Girls

The time for catching your teenager when they fall is over. It’s time to help them up when they stumble because they have to learn some lessons on their own.

Obviously, no one wants to watch their child get hurt. When they were learning to walk, I sheltered them; catching them before they fell. But as parents to teenage girls, you have to let go a little. This is when they learn to make good choices on their own. This is when we have to have a little faith in all the parenting we have done up until now. We have to teach them to live in this world without us, so we have to learn to trust them to make those good choices.

READ ALSO: Parent the Kids You Have

Alone time with your teenager.

Bella hit 13 and it suddenly became abundantly clear to me that our time together under the same roof, seeing her sweet sleepy face stumble into my kitchen every morning and kissing me good morning are coming quickly to an end. I have 5 years and it is not enough so make time to have alone time with your teenage girls. They may not seem like they need or want it but they do, more than ever. These alone times are when they feel free to ask you questions and talk freely. Do something they like. It doesn’t even matter what it is. It’s not about what you do or where you go, it’s about the time together. Always remember that.

Privacy for your teenager.

They are no longer children. My tween and teenage girls are starting to look a lot more like young ladies and a lot less like children but they still need parental guidance. At the same time, they need and deserve privacy to think and be alone with their thoughts. This is a delicate balance of letting go and holding on. Check-in. I know my girls need space sometimes, so do I. They are trying to figure out all of this too. Their bodies are changing. Their minds are focusing on different things. It’s like being reborn and your own skin doesn’t feel like it fits anymore and everyone you know is going through the same thing. You love it but you kind of hate it but mostly, you need space to figure it all out without someone over your shoulder at every moment. But remember to let them know you are still there, whenever they need you.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

Love your teenager for who they are, not who you want them to be. They are a person, they have free thought and you have to give them the independence to explore who they are becoming.

Just love them no matter what even when you don’t completely understand or you think they are overreacting to something you know will pass. You know because you’ve already lived through it. Remember, when you are a teenage girl and going through these things for the first time, you don’t have the benefit of experience or wisdom. It is huge. Also, the teen years are for figuring out what you like and believe independent of your parents and those around you, so give them that space and don’t discourage them because they aren’t just like you were or are. Just remember how much you love them and remind them that you will keep on loving them, no matter what. Love them unconditionally. No matter how big they get, they are still your child and will always need your love and support.

READ ALSO: What to do when You Catch a Child Lying

Listen to your teenager.

Teenage girls like to talk a lot. A lot of it is not relevant to your life. I can tell you my girls love to share with me all the business of everyone they know or will ever know and everything that is going on in their world. 95% of it is not that pertinent to my life but what is very important to my life is them and keeping those lines of communication open. Sometimes you have to listen to a lot of stories about Kayley’s sister’s best friend’s boyfriend to hear one nugget of who your own teenage daughter is crushing on and how she is feeling and what is going on with that. You need to be there for that and they need to know you are listening so put on your best “interested” face and listen because it’s worth it when they talk to you about the important things.

Hope you’ll come back next week when I’ll share the last of my 5 tips for raising teenage girls (so far).

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raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls, Madison Hu, Olivia Rodrigo, #DisneySMMC

I’m officially the mom of a tween girl and a teen girl and honestly, I’ve been afraid of raising teenage girls ever since I was a teenage girl. Hormones make teenage girls feel crazy and I was awful in so many ways. I occasionally read my old diaries to remind myself that I was the worst. This allows me to have some patience with my own teenage girl.

Don’t get me wrong, I got straight A’s and I didn’t smoke or drink or do drugs but I was driving at 13 and going to clubs in downtown Chicago since I was 14. But it was very innocent because I was so naïve. I know how ridiculous it sounds.

We’ve hit that point in raising teenage girls where I can’t say, “When I was your age…” because I’ll be ratting myself out and giving them too many bad ideas. I would die if Bella wanted to drive my car or, heaven forbid, asked to go to a club in the city. I’d be too worried. Apparently, I am way less cool than my mom must have been. I want to tell my girls to keep singing at the top of their lungs when the rest of the world tells them to be quiet. That’s the kind of mom I want to be.

What were my parents thinking? Maybe I didn’t even ask. Maybe I bent the truth as to where I was going and what I was doing. I can’t even remember. I’m sure my teen brain rationalized it somehow. I just know I was doing a lot of things that could have gone really terribly and been pretty dangerous, only I was too stupid and pumped up on hormones to realize it.

READ ALSO: Dear Me: A Love Letter to my 13-Year-Old Self

My youth was not misspent, it was very much lived and I have no regrets but the thought of my girls doing some of the things that I did, scares the hell out of me. I’ve spent some time reflecting on what it really means to be raising teenage girls and figuring out how to get through this phase with our relationship intact and without them doing anything that puts their lives in too much extraneous danger.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

Here are my tips for raising teenage girls (and tween girls) that I’ve learned so far.

Let them be who they are meant to become.

You have to stand back to give them space to make mistakes and not judge them and tell them that you told them so. You’re a parent so your main job is to love unconditionally and support them, even when they don’t make the choice you would’ve recommended. The difficulty of this task is not lost on this reformed helicopter mom.

Speak positively.

As a mom, for the past 13 years, I’ve had to learn to lose the sarcasm and learn to speak more positively. Thankfully, for all of us, I was getting my Masters in Elementary Education when I got pregnant with Bella and so I had a couple years of actual courses that taught me how to interact with small children. Positive reinforcement is always better than punishment, so moms, always look for the sunny side, even in the teen years.

Remember to breathe and count to ten.

This one is hard for me sometimes. Patience is not something that comes naturally to me. I am very much a speak first then think kind of person. But, especially since entering the tween years, I’ve made it a point to stop and step back for a moment before reacting. That doesn’t always work because I’m a human but just the fact that I am cognizant of the situation helps me to react better to my girls.

READ ALSO: How to Talk to your Tween about Everything

See past the eye rolls.

Oh, the amount and severity of eye rolls that I have endured while on my journey to raising teen girls has been head spinning. I find this tween/ teen habit to be particularly offensive but I try to remember how often I rolled my eyes at my parents (and still do to people on a daily basis) and I try not to be too offended. I know it’s not personal, teen girls think everyone and everything is stupid. This is their defense for when they don’t understand, don’t approve or don’t know what else to say. I’m not even sure they know they are doing it anymore so don’t take it personally and if you can, ignore it. Easier said than done.

raising teenage girls, teen girls, tween girls, teenage girls, parenting teenage girls

It’s good to have expectations but don’t force your agenda on them. You can’t relive your life through them.

Your teenage daughter is not your chance to relive your youth. Don’t force them to be who you were; who you wish you were or who you could never have been. My philosophy is that they are people and by the time they are teenagers, they have formed some thoughts and beliefs of their own. You have acquired wisdom from living through it already once so be there to guide them and offer advice but you cannot tell them what to like or enjoy. They are their own people. Let them be fierce. 

These are my tips for raising teenage girls (and tween girls) that I’ve learned so far.

Well, I started writing this post and it ended up being very long, so I am making it a 3 part series. I will publish the rest of the 15 tips over the next weeks.

What are your tips for raising teenage girls?

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