The Teen Whisperer

Parenting Teens

I have a new nickname at our house.  Yes, actually even though my husband is the one who usually gives out umpteen nicknames, this time I gave myself a nickname.  You see it stemmed from a program I have seen a few times on cable tv, called the Dog Whisperer.  For some reason this came to my mind one day and I realized I have become the Teen Whisperer.

Let me back up, it wasn’t always this way.  In fact, it was yesterday I wondered if I could ever bear children, because it was 18 months before I was even able to conceive.  It was yesterday when I held my first baby in my arms. It was yesterday that I was pregnant or nursing continuously without a break it seemed.  In fact, that’s often how I date things now…”Who was I pregnant with?”  It was yesterday that I was in the trenches of babyhood. It was yesterday that I did everything in bulk, making 6 plates of peanut butter and jelly at a time, lining them up to load them in the car in formation, brushing their teeth one at a time one, two, three, four….  Yes, life was really hard but when I look back…oh the sweetness!!!

And now?  Here I find myself as the teen whisperer.  And I have exchanged potty training for heart talks, middle of the night feedings, for midnight kitchen conversations.  And I love it.  It’s exhausting but wonderful.

There is a scariness to it all.  Somehow when you are conversing about dating and marriage it hits you that this is a little bigger deal then when you are trying to console a little one who has lost their Matchbox car under the couch.  Being called on the phone and meeting your son at the emergency room after a car wreck is a little bit more worrisome then putting a bandaid on your little girls booboo that she got running outside with her brothers.  And allowing your child to wrestle with the Lord over their beliefs hits your emotions a little more then making your little one go to bed a bit earlier when they argue with you.

So there are two skills that I have learned that come with being a teen whisperer.

  1. First and foremost….PRAYER!  I have never felt so dependent upon the Lord as I do now that my children are spreading their wings and branching out into life.  You know, our children have always been the Lord’s but somewhat when they are all snuggled in safe around us and we can control everything we tend to forget and for a brief moment think that we have it all taken care of.  We’ve always been just as dependent but not we feel it more keenly.  Job prayed for his children and daily I take my children, the big ones as well as the little ones before the throne of grace and intreat the Lord to watch over, guide and bless them.
  2. And Secondly…..Listen.  I have spent hours teasing out problems, heart issues and trials.  So many times our teens just want a listening ear.  More and more the correction time turns to advice and oftentimes our role is silent as we just hear–our teens want to know that we care.  No matter what time of day, even if its in the wee hours of the night, if they are ready to talk…we must be ready to listen.  I posted a post a long time ago in this regard. 

As I type this two of my teens are on a flight home from a visit to their grandparents.  I am so excited to hug their necks and love on my big people.  So I will leave you with this.  No matter if you are diapering or driving with your teens, SAVOR it.  Savor the hard times, find the memories even in the difficulties, because one day you will look back and be thankful for those times.

Love on your babies today… the tiny ones and the big ones!

~Jenny