How To Stop Mom Guilt With Teenage Children

How To Stop Mom Guilt With Teenage Children
Makeba Giles

Makeba Giles

Content Creator and Curator at MELISASource
Makeba Giles is an Health, Family, and Lifestyle Blogger. She is also a Midwest Mother of four, and the Founder and Creative Director of MELISASource.com. |

EMAIL: [email protected]
Makeba Giles

The time has come to stop Mom guilt. Now.

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There is a radio show in my local area that features an advice segment on the air. Listeners are given the opportunity to write or email the show with life problems that they need advice for. The DJs read the letters on air, as well as posts the letters to the show’s social media pages for the audience to respond with their opinions and advice for the writer.  . Sometimes the issues that are featured are health, career, relationship, or financial-based. However most of the letters are from parents of teens or young adult-aged children, seeking help on how to handle an issue with their kids. Everything from being disrespectful at home, to having a sassy mouth, to misbehaving at school, to secretly dating or being involved with the wrong crowd, acting out on the internet, and much more are all written about in these letters. These types of letters interest me the most because I have teens, and although they are some pretty good kids, they do have their moments. I can certainly relate to the feelings that the parents are going through.

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 Once the letters are posted online, I like to read the responses from the show’s listeners. Some replies give good, sound advice. Others offer a different perspective and alternative, non-traditional ways to deal with family problems. However, there are some who reply simply to scold the parent and make them seem to be the bad guy. These are the responses that push my buttons.

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“If your teenager /young adult is doing that (insert issue here), then you must not have raised them right.”

“Shame on you. It just goes to show that your kid has no home training.”

“It starts at home. You obviously dropped the ball somewhere.”

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Whoa Whoa Whoa – wait just one minute!!! (!!!)

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  When kids are young (let’s say under the age of 13), I can totally see these statements having some merit. Parents have a little more control over their child’s environment, friends, experiences, influences, behaviors, and choices when they are young. They even have more control over their outward appearance, such as clothing and hairstyles. As kids grow into the teenage phase of life, those ‘controls’ slowly shift from parent to child. With everything that goes on from day to day (high school, college, sports, extra-curricular activities, being away from home, etc.) there is no possible that parents would ~always~ know what their child is up to, is watching or reading, is listening to, or is hanging around during every waking moment of the day. It’s just not happening.

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 . How To Stop Mom Guilt With Teenage ChildrenAdditionally, no matter how great of an upbringing they’ve had, no matter how much parents set rules and standards, and strive to teach their kids right from wrong; no matter the neighborhood they live in or the school they attend, no matter how much time and money is invested in them, at the end of the day, teens and young adults have their own minds. They will make their own choices. Mommy and Daddy could have done and said everything right, the ‘village’ could have been in place—everything. But once kids hit the teen stage—especially those latter teen years—one of their ‘choices’ could be to behave the exact opposite of how they were raised. And that choice of theirs has no bearing or reflection on the parent whatsoever. Simply put, Teens and young adult-aged children are going to do what they want to do. Parents can only guard and control so much. Moms tend to hold themselves more accountable, which isn’t right nor fair. Moms need to stop Mom guilt.

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Right now you may be thinking: “Annnnnd………………….what makes you so sure Ms. Smarty-Pants?? How do you know??”

I’m glad you asked! 😉

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 I have a 20 year-old daughter and a 17 year-old son. Next year, I’ll have a 13 year-old daughter. Needless to say, I’ve had my fair share of personal experience in this area of parenting. I am working to stop Mom guilt myself. I also have friends and family members who I’ve closely observed through the years as they raised their children in teen stages. I’ve even seen a host of celebrities go through the same thing with their teenagers. The answer is the same across the board: some teens will stay in-line with how they were raised and follow their parents’ guidance; some will not.

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Last Christmas, I remember spending the day with my Dad. All of my children were with me, and I was going through some rough times in the ‘teenage parenting’ area. I was worn out, worried, and stressed; asking myself over and over again where I had gone wrong as a parent. In ‘parental distress,’ I laid my head on my Dad and began to pour out everything that his teen grandchildren were doing, everything that I was going through, and every emotion that I was feeling about myself as a Mom. I told him that I needed his advice.  . He looked at me with those old, wise eyes of his and said this:

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  “Listen little girl. You did fine. Those kids are getting older now so they’re gonna make their own choices. You gotta let that guilt go. Some kids get out there, fall on their (behind), and then they get that they made a mistake. Some kids live their whole lives and they NEVER get it. But don’t let that worry you—that ain’t got nothing to do with you. You raised them right. As long as you know you did the best you could do and you raised them right, then you’re alright. Let that guilt go little girl.”

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And you know what: he was absolutely right. 🙂

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Sooooooo…………………………………………What am I saying??

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 This is to all of the parents out there—especially the Moms—with teen or young adult-aged children: take my Dad’s advice and stop Mom guilt! Parenting doesn’t get any easier as kids get older. That being said, never let anyone try to shame you or make you feel that you ‘failed’ as a parent, or that you are to blame just because your soon-to-be-adult offspring makes some mistakes or unhealthy choices, or behaves in a way that is opposite of their upbringing. If you did the very best that you could do to raise them properly, don’t you dare walk around feeling embarrassed or guilty! Instead, keep your head up. Continue to do your job as their parent: love them unconditionally, try to help them see the right direction if you can, be there for them when they need you, and just like the parents who write in to the radio show, seek advice from others when there is a situation happening with your teen that you need help with handling. Remember: in parenting, the only failure comes in not having done anything at all ~ there is absolutely no failure in having done your best.

Stop Mom Guilt

How To Stop Mom Guilt With Teenage Children

Stop Mom Guilt

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Do you have teen children? What are some of the experiences you’ve had in raising them? Has someone ever tried to make you feel guilty as a parent about something your teenage/young adult child had done? What do you do to stop Mom guilt with your teen? Share with me below or tell me about it at: [email protected].

Stop Mom Guilt

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