God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

Magnificent Moms: Parenting Teens

on May 8, 2014

 

I’d like to welcome Kimberly Anderson to today’s edition of Magnificent  Moms.

Today we will be discussing a topic that bewilders, confuses and frustrates even the most seasoned parents: Teenagers!

 

Kimberly Anderson, tell us a little about you, your family and your profession

I have been married for 16 years, I have three children ages 15, 13, and 8.

I am an Army wife and a barista at Starbucks.

I have stayed at home most of my children’s lives and just recently got a job.

What is the biggest challenge (or challenges) you have faced as a  mother of teenagers?

I would say my biggest challenge I have faced as a mom of  teens is judgement of the way consequences are determined and or adults being unforgiving of mistakes my teens have made.

My husband being in the Army also produces a large challenge because he is gone for periods of time.

 

What has been the most rewarding thing about being a  mother of teenagers?

I love talking with my teens about their view of  the world.

I love having the chance to understand them because of the challenges of my own youth.

I love connecting with them when I am able to reveal truths they didn’t know before.

I have learned more about God’s grace and mercy in the last two years than in my whole life combined……that may be the most rewarding part.
I think that when you are the example of mercy and grace to your children you learn more of God’s love for you and also draw nearer to him in the process.
I think that right now having kids that stand up for themselves and others, make mistakes and dust themselves off and move on, and that are doing well in school and socially is rewarding.
 What is one thing you feel you have done (or you are doing) really well?

I think that learning to have mercy and grace with my kids.

When they want to pull away I am determined to not let them.

This is best thing we have done for them and ourselves.

 

What do you wish you had known about being the mother of teens?

I wish that someone would have told me that they are supposed to make mistakes, the teens and us……that when we let them learn from a choice we are giving them the opportunity for wisdom and change.

 

What did you learn the hard way?

When we try to protect them from everything bad or save them from their bad choices we rob them of their opportunity to succeed later.

I learned that lesson the hard way.

Watching my son repeatedly make the same mistakes for  nine months until he said to me, “It’s my mistake, not yours.”

 I think that forgiveness is the most important part of parenting a teen.

 

 If you were sitting face to face with mother of tweens  or children in their early teens what would you say to her?

Sitting with moms of 9-12 year-olds,  I would say, it starts now.

Get your kids talking to you and don’t give up or let up until forever, even when you are mad.

Talk, talk, talk.

I mean get them talking to you and you telling them you love them, no matter what they do.

It would never change….tell them all the time.

Let them, fall and fail now, before high school because the lesson learned now prevents one in high school.

Ask them about their friends, their dreams, their loves.

Take them seriously, because they are.

But don’t take yourself too seriously.

Be silly, enter their world just a bit, learn their language but don’t use it.

 

What or who has been the most important influence to you as a parent?

My biggest influence on my parenting has been God, but he was working through Mark Gregston,

I have read almost all his books.

Mark Gregston also has a Facebook page and podcast.

He changed my authoritative parenting into God inspired parenting.

 

What goals do you have for your children?

My goals for my children are for them to become happy productive adults who love God.

 

I would also like to ask your two teens this question: “What is one thing most teenagers want their parents to understand or know?”

Noah answered the question like this. …”Wow! That’s hard. I guess that we are growing up. I mean we aren’t babies anymore, but we don’t know what we don’t know. It’s a hard question Mom cause we don’t fight like most my friends. ….”

For those of you that don’t speak teen fluently: “Moms please realize we aren’t little kids anymore, but we do need your guidance. There is stuff we don’t know and we want to have a good relationship with you so you can guide us through that stuff.”

 

Resources:

Friends, here are a few of the resources Kimberly Anderson refers to throughout her interview:

http://www.heartlightministries.org – Parenting Today’s Teens

“Tough Guys and Drama Queens”  by Mark Gregston

I would also like to add one of my own:

“Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl” by Dannah Gresh

This has been a great resource for me as I am learning how to best help my 11 year old daughter through her tween years.

 

We hope this interview has encouraged you in your parenting  journey.

Now its your turn!

What has been the most rewarding/challenging  thing for you as you parent tweens/teens?

What is one thing you wish you knew?

What are some great resources you would like to recommend?

 

 

 

 

 

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