My Teen Thinks I’m the “Only Mom” and I’m Okay with That

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In today’s society, it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to be the “bad guy.” We are constantly bombarded with messages telling us that we need to give our children everything they want or they will be unhappy.

However, studies have shown that children who are raised with strict limits are actually happier and more successful in life than those who are given everything they want. This is because children raised with strict limits learn how to manage their expectations and develop a strong work ethic. Additionally, they learn how to be grateful for what they have instead of always wanting more.

My Teen Thinks I’m the “Only Mom” and I’m Okay with That

author: Nancy Reynolds
We have to know in our hearts that one day – maybe not today or tomorrow or even five years from now – our kids will look back on those very moments when we said “no” and say, “Thanks, mom or dad.” Maybe it won’t be until they are parents themselves. Maybe it won’t be until their child asks them if they can do something or go somewhere and their heart skips a beat and they know they just have to say no.

Maybe one day they’ll realize that saying no is simply par for the course when you’re a parent, that it can be the greatest expression of our love, that we always had their very best interest at heart, and that setting boundaries and limitations was a necessary part of their healthy development.

As a parent, I’ve always considered myself far more of a “yes” mom. I get that my kids are adventurous, that they’re craving more independence, and that I need to loosen my grip to let them experience life, make their own decisions and even fail miserably, at times.

We have to protect your kids… because if we don’t who will? In fact, on more occasions than I can count, I’ve said yes when other parents said no.

But I’ve never said yes at the expense of my kids’ safety or the safety of someone else. I’ve never said yes when I felt their morals were in question. I’ve never said yes when an important rule I have in place was being challenged.

My advice to parents of teenagers is this… stand strong, my friends. Don’t worry about what every other parent is doing. Don’t worry about how much your kid dislikes or even hates you today (because, oh, at times they will). Loosen your grip at your own pace… not the pace of everyone else. These are your children to raise and nurture, love and protect.

You know what your heart is telling you. You know your child best. You’re parenting your child through a different lens (based on your own life experiences) than any other parent. Be true to yourself, trust your maternal or paternal instincts, and know that you’re doing far better than you realize.

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