Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for this post. It could not come at a more perfect time. I have a 12 year old daughter and the rollercoaster of emotions over here leaves us all exhausted! It’s certainly a different world than when I was 12 and I know how hard it is for these girls today. I am printing this out and taping it inside my closet door. That way I can start the day with a prayer that will help us all get through. Thank you!

  2. I have also taught this age group and completely agree with your analysis. You put into words what I knew but never could describe very well. Thank you for encouraging all of us to patiently ride out adolescence especially with those close to us.

  3. My kids are 2 and 4 and I can’t fathom them as 12 year olds. But this peek in to the reality of life then helps me to better appreciate life with them now–when they want me close. all. the. time. :)

    • Oh yes, 2 and 4. I thought they would be little forever. Now I only have 4 years left with my eldest at home. It seems as if time went from dragging on to flying by. I won’t tell you to “enjoy them now” because it can seem so patronizing, but I will tell you that this season won’t last forever, hard as that is to believe in the moment.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. As a mother of a teenage daughter…. this REALLY hit home for me. I too will be printing out your St. Francis prayers and referring to them often for reassurance!!!!

  5. As a mother of both adolescents & chickens, I can whole-heartedly agree with everything!

  6. Oh, I am so right there with you. SO RIGHT THERE. And also raised chicks a couple of years ago and can relate to both descriptions. I have a sixth grader in the home and we also are suddenly in that place of my mere presence is annoying to him at times (and it snaps without warning). I wasn’t quite ready for it and was feeling particularly down this morning so thank you for your post. Between yours and Ann Voskamp’s yesterday I can tell I’m very much not alone. Staying the course is the key I think. And you spoke to that too. Just keep on loving, keep on showing up even when you’re being pushed away.

  7. This was great. I have a 12 year old daughter, and although we are very close because we homeschool, I do at times feel her pulling away, and this is hard. I’ve been through this before- she’s the 4th of 11 children, but it doesn’t make this period any easier. Thank you for the reminder that perseverance on my part will inevitably pay off.

    • I was homeschooled at that age and I remember it being a funny dance my mother and I did. Being so close but still wanting independance. We are closer than ever now, so there is hope!

  8. These words really spoke to me, “Even when they bristle at my touch. May my love be tougher than my ego.” My 16 year old son, who use to be such a snuggler, now bristles at my touch. Thank you for reminding me it is still important to hug him and not let my ego get in the way!

    • Mine is almost 14 and I know the pulling away has only begun. There is comfort in knowing that this is normal and that others are going through the same thing.

  9. Right on the money!! And that last line of the prayer: “May my love be tougher than my ego.” WOW!! I need a poster of that in my kitchen so I always remember it, and not just when it comes to dealing with the kids.

  10. My husband taught sixth grade for 31 years, and as spring approached his first year he plaintively asked me, “My little girls were so wonderful at the beginning of the year, and now they are turning into witches. What is happening?” (He was an only child.) “Puberty is hitting them — hard,” I told him. “Do you mean I have this to look forward to every year?” he asked. “Yes.” The year our daughter was in sixth grade was the worst, because her dad was so tired of dealing with the girls at school he didn’t have much patience for the one at home.

    The good news is that, if we just hang in their with them no matter what, they do get more comfortable in their own skins, and most of them turn into pretty cool human beings.

    Thanks for a wonderful post. – Fawn

    • I completely understand – working at a middle school and raising a middle schooler has been challenging! Thanks for the encouragement :)

  11. I do like the last bit, ‘May my love be tougher than my ego’.

    So proud to hear stories of people, who out of their busy schedules, still find the time to be there for others – to shine a light in their lives when change suddenly grabs them.

  12. “May my love be tougher than my ego.” Thank you for giving me my new mantra.
    Mothers of adolescents, unite! We need to be open in admitting that it’s hard. Wonderful, yes. But hard, too.

  13. I am on both sides of the spectrum one grown up baby and one coming around the bend of the storm.
    I have been through the turmoils of a teenager. Lived through the first broken heart, the dissapointment of not getting into the favored college and then seeing the joy of being accepted later into a very good program peppered with working CEOs and causing them to stop and stare at his brilliance. But oh my gravy and biscuits those teen years were tough on this gal.
    Some days I cried because I thought I had failed and then he would call me mama and ask me for an opinion or hang out with me exploring kitchen tools becauase that was our common ground and I would realize at heart he is just a good young man. I am just so damn proud of him.

    The little one is coming around the bend and I am just praying that I have the energy and heart to do it all over again.
    I trust that God will provide me the strength I need to make it through round two.
    Peace and hope.

  14. This post really hit home, thanks for sharing. Though my kids are both young it was great to read and think about what I might be expecting in just a few short years.

    • Thank’s Katie! I cannot believe we are already at this stage and I am so grateful to the mother’s who have gone before me to help me prepare!

  15. This is a blessing in its timing. We have a 15 yr old boy who went from an honor student his freshman year to almost failing this year. We know that it is not because of drugs or anything like that, but because of the influence that school has on kids. Whether it be from other kids whose parents give them way too much freedom or even the school itself. The laptop program is not monitored as tightly as I would like and it makes us look like the bad guys. We only wants what’s best for him and constantly encourage him to be the best that he can be. Technology has been both a blessing and a curse. His cell phone is almost permanently attached to his palm, and we have to constantly tell him to put it away. It is very refreshing to know that we are not the only ones just as frustrated. THANK YOU to all those who share the same beliefs.

  16. I have raised chickens. Your analogy of them is spot on. I was raising them as I was raising my 6 children. You are right, they are much the same. Now I am watching my 13 grandchildren and I still see some of the same things as I did before. Really great post!

  17. Thanks for sharing this! I have a son in puberty and I can really say he is so unpredictable. I didn’t understand what my parents are trying to say to me before not until I became a parent. It is indeed a lifetime commitment to have a family and you truly needs to devote your time.