Support for Raising Teens

This post is sponsored by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication.  All opinions (and memories!) are my own.

She has come so far. When you slow down to think about it, this is nothing short of amazing.


I’ll never forget the day my daughter made her first attempt to communicate using sign language. We had been teaching a few basic signs for the words more, light, eat, drink, and sleep. Those concepts that help parents communicate with babies and toddlers before they can use words and can prevent tantrums and frustration. We really needed that. I was holding her on my hip in her bedroom after a bath. I had flipped on the light to change her diaper and she looked up, her slate blue eyes seeing the shiny overhead light as if for the very first time. She took her tiny fingers, put them in a ball, and then opened them, looking up, and pointing with the other hand. She was making the sign for light. “Yes!” I said, “Light!” Her face lit up (oh yes, I meant that pun!) in understanding. She was glowing, exuberant, satisfied.

We understood each other.


As I watch her sprint toward the finish line at a cross country race, I see all at once this same determination, spirit, and courage. She juggles homework, her love of reading for hours on end, practices, and time with her sister on a daily basis, while remaining curious, open and kind. How incredible is it that these people we helped learned the basics of communication and how the world works can do all of these things at once now?

As she opens up her stride and is pumping toward the finish I see all that she has been, all that she is, and who she is becoming. It is no less magnificent and magical than the moment with the light many years ago.

And while back when she was a baby and toddler I had baby sign language books, what to eat when books, baby sleep books, and many others… there are very few resources for parents of teens. It helps me to remember how far she has come, who she is at her very core, and let these thoughts and memories guide me as I learn to parent a teenager.

Thankfully, we have a new resource just for parenting teens. The Center for Parent and Teen Communication is a new, valuable resource for every parent navigating the teen years.

And this sentence (and article) from Dr. Ken Ginsberg speaks volumes to me as a parent and as an educator:

“Love is seeing someone as they deserve to be seen, rather than seeing them based upon behaviors they might be displaying.”

I need to write that quote somewhere and see it everyday. We need to look for the good in our kids and our students, no matter what behaviors they might be demonstrating.  I’m looking forward to more gems like this one from him and the Center for Parent and Teen Communication. In fact, I just shared the above article and video with a friend who is the parent of a teenager, and hope you will do the same.  

We all need support and guidance with parenting teens every so often.


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