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    Why Raising A Teen Right Now Feels Like A Game Of Survivor & What To Do About It

    The Tribe has Spoken and everyone would like some space.

    The Tribe Has Spoken...

    Maybe things were hard before 2020, but now they seem IMPOSSIBLE with the two (or three, or four) of you sharing the same walls 24/7 and playing in your own version of Survivor. Yet in your version of Survivor, instead of competing for $10,000, you are competing for sanity, the remote, and for your daughter to stop “shopping” your closet and leaving her unwanted items (basically everything) all over the floor…

    Here are a few tips on SURVIVING with any age or stage of your teen:

    Balancing Freedom with your TWEEN...

    It can be difficult to watch your tween become even more infatuated with friends and their iPhones. (Hey, you are bored, too!) You can provide them with low risk "challenges" by letting them invite one or two friends to your house to hang out and walk to a park close by, or by letting your tween stay home alone while you run over to the convenience store or visit a neighbor’s house. The reward is your tween builds their self-esteem and you build a foundation of trust in your relationship as they move into the next teen stage. Bonus - it gives you some alone time, too!

    Balancing Teen Drama as the Cool Mama...

    Ah, this is a tough stage! Your teen may seem to be arguing just for the sake of arguing, jumping to conclusions like it is the new norm, thinking the universe revolves around them AND, you are always at fault - and you weren’t even there!

    It's drama to the nth degree and you are in the thick of the game now! Complete this challenge by changing your lens to acknowledge that teens are growing and learning during this time, all of these behaviors are NORMAL.

    Work to stay connected, as much as you both feel like you may need space right now. You are competing for the reward of a strong relationship with your teen that lasts into adulthood! Keep talking…eat family dinners together…plan outings for just you and your teen - the idea of shopping for something new may be hard for teens to resist right now,…or binge-watch a show together that they get to pick.

    Changing with the Soon to be Full-Grown-Up

    You made it to the end, your teen is now becoming a young adult! Be sure to remind them of the important role they still play in your family, even if they are heading off to college (or for now, just back to their room) and offer new ways they can be included and continue to contribute. As a parent, it may be difficult to relinquish control and move to becoming the person who supports them versus directs them. This final stage is a growth stage for both you and your young adult. Your relationship is evolving and you are solidifying those strong ties that you have been building throughout their teen years.

    Reminder, you can't be perfect but you and your teen can both WIN this game of "Survivor"...

    In the moments when everything seems tough, try to take five deep breaths and use the mantra, "One day, I'll miss this."

    ....the tribe has spoken.