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Light at the end of the teenage tunnel

Light at the end of the teenage tunnel

They do grow up.  I know some people say this about their children with a tear in their eye, but I am saying it full of joy!  I want this article to give hope to those of you with teenagers.  I have a daughter who has just come into her teenage years.   I have mourned the loss of the talkative and cheerful person she was just a year ago.  With the holidays, her older siblings came home from college.  I can confirm to all of you that there is a light at the end of the teenage tunnel.

Pinch me

Am I dreaming or is the bed made in my oldest daughter’s room?  We have photographs of her bedroom when she was a teenager – so messy that you couldn’t see the floor.  My husband took a big black garbage bag and scooped everything off the floor in her bedroom to make a point.  Another daughter who was a habitual curfew breaker told us she was going out with friends for the evening.  I was set to hear her come home on the far side of midnight, but then here she is home at 10 pm.    When I looked surprised, she said, “Mom, you know we are leaving early in the morning for our visit to Grandma’s.”   Well, yes, but when did she start thinking of the “day after” when it came to going out?

Together again

I must admit I like to test this new found togetherness.  Today I spontaneously asked my 18 year old, who is home from her first freshman semester at college, if she wanted to go for a walk around the neighborhood.  She said yes!  She probably doesn’t realize it, but this is the first time in years that we were allowed to be seen together.  I recall one time I asked if she wanted to go work out at the gym with me.  She said, no, someone might see her.  Ouch!


Another older daughter heard me ask our youngest (the teenager) how her day was at school.  She witnessed the eye roll and incoherent mumbled response.  The older sister couldn’t believe how the younger one was acting and asked me what’s wrong with her.  I got a kick out of that!  As if my older daughter had not gone through that same teenage stage.

We do forgive and forget as we see our children get to the other side of their teenage phase.    In the meantime:

🙂  Hold on – it is just a few years.  Don’t take their behavior personally.  They will come back to you.

🙂  Keep the faith – don’t let up on the standards you have for them.  The day will come when they will make the bed and take the dishes out of the dishwasher without being asked.  Really!

🙂  If there ever was a time to practice unconditional love, this is it.

Believe me it does happen – they will return to you as sane human beings.  Hang in there, if I can do it, you can do it!


  1. Karen, your account of family relationships as our children enter, exist and then exit the teenage tunnel resonated with my own eperiences raising two daughters.When I happend to overhear a snippet of conversation between my elder daughter on her first break from her freshman year at college sharing with her high-school aged sister, “You should listen to mom & dad. They really know what they are talking about..”, I almost …. .. pants! Congrats on a great article!

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