It’s not a secret that teenagers can be a challenge, but come on, toddlers are a challenge too. So really, parenting in general is not for the faint of heart. And when the heaviness of trying to mold those little, or preteen hearts, starts to weigh on you, cut loose a little and have some fun! Parenting doesn’t have to be all rules, and chauffeuring. Because I am in the season where 2 out of 3 of my kids are either a teen or preteen, here is a list of the best ways to have some fun, i.e. annoy your preteens and teens. Because you know they’re doing it to you. And why should they have all the fun?
1. Be, that mom.
My favorite thing to do is holler out the door at school drop off “I love you honey!!!” And I’m not quiet about it, so everyone in the school yard usually hears. My kids start walking faster and don’t look back. But I know they love hearing me say it. I mean, that’s the last thing they hear from me in the morning. Loud and proud kids. I love you loud and proud.
2. Show your love for the Backstreet Boys.
I find myself in the van lets see – probably 25-50% of my day, shuttling those sweet kids to all their extra curricular activities so as to keep them away from filling free time with drugs, sex, and alcohol. And the radio plays an important role in time in the car. My daughter feels like one of her roles in our family is to be our DJ. She sits in the front seat and flips stations, before I can even hear the first couple of notes in the song. But when she hits Magic 104.1 and a good Backstreet Boys song comes on – I’m quick to take control of those buttons, turn it up, and belt it out. I get paid in eye rolls. Cha-Ching! I’ve even been known to sing with friends in the car. You get double the eye rolls. #winning
3. Don’t live under a rock.
I get that I’m a parent, therefore I’m not hip. But back in the day, I promise I was. Or at least I thought I was. So, to try to convince them I’ll latch onto some new “hip” thing, and randomly “whip and nae nae” – oh wait – that’s old now, I mean “juju on that beat” for them. Or “dab” after I tell them to clean their rooms. Ohhh how they love it. (It’s okay if you have to google any of those, I won’t tell)
4. Make sure you have plenty of spare change on hand.
My 14 year old asks for money daily. He actually helps around the house quite a bit so I don’t mind passing it over – but if I only have $5 in change…sorry buddy. Can I get you a baggie to put that in?
5. Bust out the cookie cutters.
I’m that terrible mom who makes her kids make their own lunches for school. But if they are running late and need my help I’m happy to jump in. So when my son asked me to make his sandwich, I said sure! And I cut it out in a big heart. He hasn’t asked me to make his sandwich since.
Mom-ing is hard. But teenager-ing is harder. Don’t be afraid to cut loose with your kids and laugh with them. It can diffuse those stressful moments, show your kids you can have some fun, and give them great material to make fun of you. Relationship building at it’s finest my mom friends. Try it. If nothing else, you’ll have some fun.