I’m the Mom of a Teenager

Well. It was bound to happen.

She turned 13.

To celebrate, she hung out with her teen cousins and siblings to spray graffiti at Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. We were there for such a sad reason, but we looked for the joy in the sorrow.

My favorite hoodlums.

She wiped away silent tears at her Aunt’s funeral and carried herself like a lady. She’s deep and soulful.

She wears perfume, saves her babysitting money for manicures and dabbles in eye shadow. She’s taller than I am, her fashion sense puts mine to shame and last week I borrowed something from her.

It’s all happening too fast. I’m trying to soak it in and enjoy the topsy-turvy ride. Thankfully, she still holds fast to “No Boys Allowed.”

RELATED: Now accepting all advice and tips from parents of teens!

Also at (in)Courage:: How to Get the Most Out of Something New


  1. 1

    Deb says

    I have three (19,17, 16), the youngest just got her Permit, the DMV guy told me I should have my head examined……..;) Actually, my teens are a blast, we can have some really deep conversations and they can take ME out for coffee. You still don’t get any sleep because even if you are with them ALL day, the deep conversations always happen late at night, combine that with them driving and being out more without you and sleep deprivation becomes the new norm….but they do sleep through the night. 😉

    Savor every moment to pour your heart into her, it goes by too fast, I never believed it until it happened right before my very eyes!

  2. 2


    Welcome to the teen years, momma! I never would’ve believed it when mine were little, but parenting teens has been far and away my favorite season of parenting.

    My advice is to do at least as much listening as you do talking, laugh a lot, and be intentional about finding ways to gently, gently, but oh-so-surely nudge her out of your nest.

    The best is yet to be!

    (Much love to you, friend, and my heart hurts with you.)

    • 2.1


      Shannon, I LOVE what you wrote! Our little guy (we just have one so far) will be turning 2 next month, and I already feel the years zipping by … It’s nice to hear that you’ve loved parenting teenagers! And I love your advice!

  3. 3


    Pray. Pray often. Pray with her, for her, in front if her. Be willing to listen, willing to stay up late, and be willing to say I’m sorry. Accept her unconditionally. Accept that she is changing, and that she’s no longer a little girl. Be her friend when she needs it, and her mom when she doesn’t. Always be there, even if in spirit. Be the lady you want her to be. Encourage her when you can. Be prepared for mood swings.

    Mine turns 14 in March, and I still can’t believe it. It is without a doubt one of the scariest things I’ve done as an adult. Everything I’ve written here, I try to remember too.

  4. 4


    Kristen, your little lady is beautiful. What a fun way to celebrate her entrance into teenage-hood!

    I’m sorry that there is sorrow mixed in with the joy of her birthday … I pray that your hearts are full with memories and the comfort of being with one another.

  5. 7

    Kim says

    Kristen, I have a daughter (and her twin brother) who are almost exactly a year behind yours. They will be 12 next month. I’ve so enjoyed reading about your experiences and insight so far. Scary and exciting at the same time. Thanks for your words.

  6. 8

    Karen says

    I have LOVED my teens! There is SOOOO much good in those years. My biggest problem is that I don’t always hear what they are trying to communicate and instead of slowing the conversation down and asking questions, I tend to jump to conclusions….doing much better the 3rd time through, but even this morning, I found myself back peddling over what I thought was a request for gas money.

    We read a book called “Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys” and thought it was fantastic. There is a “girl” counter part that we never read because well, we are all testosterone around here.

  7. 9

    Aunt Mel says

    Kristen: LaDonna told me about your blog. I “udderly” a huge fan (can you tell I saw your video? ) I am so proud to be a part of this “THIS FAMILY” as well. You know how crazy this side of the family is…so I will have to share with you all OUR adventure on our return trip from Amarillo in an email. Love you! Aunt Mel

  8. 10


    Happy birthday to your oldest! My oldest turns 13 next week. He is so excited about becoming a teenager. It’s so great to read others on here saying how they enjoyed parenting teens.

  9. 11


    Oh, Happy Birthday to your new teenage girl. I’m glad there was joy even amidst the sorrow of the week. And what a fun way to celebrate. I’m just 5 months away from having a teenage girl of my own. I’ll be watching closely for any an all advice shared.

  10. 12

    SoCalLynn says

    I have a 13 year old daughter, too, and we are having so much fun together. I also have a 27 year old daughter. It’s hard for some to navigate through the later teen years, when they want to be independent but they just aren’t and can’t be, yet. One thing my oldest and I did together was find fun ways to spend time with just each other. One year we decided to have lunch at every sushi restaurant in town (believe me there are a lot!) It wasn’t about the sushi, it was about spending time just the two of us, without baby sister or dad, catching up, laughing, not even talking about the stresses in our relationship but enjoying each other just for those hours. I think it pulled us through and let her know I loved her, no matter what.

  11. 13

    christy says

    My 16yo boy just got his license. He is independent and then at the same time so dependent on us. I agree with a previous comment that all of our meaningful conversations happen late at night. My 14yo girl is so much fun to be with but at the same time starting to pull away when I want to help her the most.

    Being a parent of teens is so hard but I think even harder will be watching them go through trials with their own kids and just having to be on the sidelines watching and praying.

  12. 14

    Heather S. says

    This slays me. I vividly remember reading on here when your daughter was ten. Now my oldest is ten and yours is a teen. It seems very wrong. The years literally fly past. But, really, what a wonderful girl your daughter seems to be. Growing into such a fine young lady. I don’t know you personally, and I realize this blog business can look misleading at times, but it appears to me that you are doing a really great job parenting her. My philosophy is that if we lay the right, solid foundation when they are young, parenting in the teen years CAN be a great joy! I pray it is true for you!

  13. 17

    Beth in the City says

    Welcome to the club! I recently read a great blog post on the subject of raising a daughter…oh yeah! It was yours! :) I happily shared it on my fb page, to the thanks of other teen girl moms. We are navigating carefully, I’m trying to give her space, and she’s falling in love with her daddy as she gains her independence and separate identity from me. I think that part is wonderful!

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