When John and I got married a little over 25 years ago we had no idea what we were getting ourselves in to as it regards to parenting. And I would guess that most couples feel the same.
Marriage can be hard, yes.. but parenting?
And how about parenting two teens…that just happen to be girls.
Oh, God. <Literally>
We’ve got two girls. Honestly we wouldn’t trade them for anything but I would be lying if I told you it’s been easy. Because it hasn’t.
My oldest little is a freshman in college this year and my youngest is a sophomore in high school.
The last 4-6 years have been a bit challenging for us to say the least. We’ve had some hard years, just like most parents.
But I’m not here to talk about parenting teens, instead I want to talk to you about loving your spouse well during the sometimes rocky teenage years.
Parenting teens naturally adds a certain kind of stress to marriage.
And once children enter into the family your marriage matters MORE, not less. Sometimes I think couples get it backwards. They pour every ounce of energy into their kids, and neglect their spouse. But actually, in doing this they are indirectly neglecting their kids and their futures.
When you put your spouse and marriage before your kids, you’re doing them a favor. You’re actually putting them first.
You are literally their example of what their marriage could look like in the future.
I strongly believe that teens who come from a happy home life in which their mom and dad have happy marriages are more likely to have happy marriages themselves.
And that’s the ultimate goal when we have children right? To raise them up to be happy, well adjusted adults.
Here are a few things I’ve learned a long the way in my own marriage when parenting teens:
Be a team
You’re in this together. I see so many marriages suffer and fail and the primary reason is that they are competing with each other rather than working together.
Raising our daughters has been a monumental task and it’s one we both take very seriously. We realize that it can’t be done with just one of us. It takes BOTH of us, working together as a team.
It’s true that John and I don’t always see eye to eye on everything. And that’s okay. Being on the same team does not necessarily mean that you see eye to eye. In fact, a team is stronger when they don’t think a like.
John and I have two different thought processes in parenting. And although the two are different, we have managed to blend them together as a team to raise our girls the best possible way we know how. Our parenting styles are so different yet they mesh together into something pretty cool. I make up for his weaknesses and he makes up for mine. The result is a really strong parenting style between the two of us.
Celebrate key milestones together
Knowing that every perfect and good gift comes from Him, we also take pride in knowing that our DNA combined formed two beautiful female humans. Have you ever just thought about how cool that is?
So when milestones such as the first prom, homecoming, academic and/or athletic ability, come around, we take it seriously. Whatever those milestones may be, we celebrate them together as a couple.
I have fond memories of my oldest’s first prom. It was a huge moment for me and John. One in which we celebrated together. We both looked on with pride as parents because everything that we’d been through as a couple had brought us to that huge moment in her life and we didn’t take it lightly.