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Mothering Teens - Your Responses

As a convert, I had faced severe consequences when I joined the LDS Church-- my parents made me leave home with the clothes on my back. So when my oldest son reached an age when he too was deciding which faith to choose, I was careful not to demand his allegiance to my chosen faith. One morning he came upstairs and flatly announced, "I'm not sure I wanna be Mormon anymore."

I answered, "Well, what do you want to be?" He responded, "I was thinkin' I'd like to be Taoist." "Taoist? What's a Taoist? What do they believe?", I asked. "Well, they believe that everything has a spirit and you're supposed to be kind to everyone...", he went on.

He said he'd been reading about it online. So I asked him, "Where do they meet?" He didn't know. SO I opened up the phone book, called the number and listened to the pre-recorded message. When I finished, I said, "Well, they meet downtown, midnight on Saturday. So we'll go, K?" "Yeah, right like you'll let me go.", he grumbled. I answered him honestly, "If that's what you choose, then you're going to be the best Taoist in Colorado Springs. Of course I'll take you." He just shook his head, left the kitchen and never uttered another word about it.

Years later, on the eve of his entering the MTC, I recalled that conversation and asked him about it. He said, "I was just yankin' your chain." Nice. We both had a big laugh.
But ya know, what would've happened if I had dug in my heels?

~Dawn from Momza's House



Everyone told you it would go quickly, and you didn’t believe it. But the years that dawdled through toddlerhood suddenly picked up speed and all at once, you’re watching your willowy teen head off to junior prom, or standing in a college parking lot – or on the tarmac of a military base – trying not to weep into your 6-ft. tall baby’s hoodie. All those 2 a.m. feedings, bedtime stories and endless nights of homework supervision end in this, the discovery that your kids have grown into fabulous, intriguing young adults.
Maybe it’s because you spent all those years volunteering in your child’s classroom, those late nights talking or trading text messages, or soliciting their help in setting up your Facebook page or loading your iPod. But despite the challenges – and there are, of course, plenty – those teen years can be spectacular. Slowly, even as the clock runs out on those years of childhood, that 24/7 parenting relationship changes into something new and wonderful, and likely very different from the one you experienced with your parents. Your kids will have become fascinating, opinionated people who know you perhaps better than anybody. And you will be friends.

Jackie Burrell
Guide to Parenting Young Adults | Guidance. Not Guesswork. is part of the New York Times Company

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