My son is about to turn 14 this July! It’s been a sweet ride for a lot of it with a few bumps along the way. We count our blessings everyday that he is healthy and strong. However, teenage has hit big time! No getting around it, some days are the pits. He doesn’t want to listen to my advice, my music, watch my shows or have much to do with me, except ask for money and rides. Sound familiar?

Well, we have a strategy and it’s called “We’re going to get ya!” Here’s how it works in five steps.

Step one: Keep the conversation going, but it mostly has to be things he wants to talk about and is interested in. I have learned A LOT about paintball equipment, today’s rock bands and a lot of boy stuff, more than I care to know frankly, but it keeps him talking! Watch their eyes light up when they talk about their music and be a good listener.

Step two: This may sound like it’s from the movie FROZEN, but: “Let it go!” Before getting into big disagreements, just walk away. Keep the peace or whatever you want to call it. It’s not worth it and teens are known to dig their heels in, so why fight? Ten minutes later, they make act like nothing happened and we are still gritting our teeth. Let it go! Move on! Forget about it!

Step three is: DO YOUR OWN THING! Take a walk, bike ride, go shopping, garden. Don’t stop you for him! Very important to your own health and happiness is to have a life, or get one if you’ve lost it by your kids teenage years. They want happy parents too!

Step four: SHARE. Don’t be afraid to let your friends know that things might be rocky! Guess what, it may be for them too! It’s not bad to seek counseling or help when things get rough. Another place for support is an Ala-non meeting. You are not alone!

Step five: Last but not least is to BREATHE and LAUGH! Find humor is the small things. Watch some comedies on TV. Meditation will help with breathing or practice being MINDFUL with nature and beauty. Take things day by day. Lower your expectations. So what if their bed isn’t made. So what if they haven’t showered in 3 days. That’s up to them.

I want to add a link to a helpful article called “The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You” by Gretchen Schmelzer that a friend found last week for me to read. I shared it on Facebook and got many comments like: “It made me teary” or “Wow, that’s a great read”. Teenage years are a rough time for most teens, but behind those teens are the parents who suffer along with them. I will never give up!