The Adventures Of Fatherhood – November 11, 2022

The headline read, “We need teen showers to be a thing.”

It did what it was supposed to do – got me to click the online story by Laura Hanby Hudgens on grownandflown.com.

Contrary to what initially was thought, the headline has to do with the need for parents of teens – moms specifically – to get together more often and bond. I do find commiserating about the positives and negatives of parents with buddies to be cathartic.

Rather than being competitive and judgmental, parents need to support each other and be a resource for good. All too often this is not the case, but it’s been my experience families who surround themselves with similar mindsets find it rewarding, rather than challenging, to discussion things openly. The opposite is just plain exhausting and a waste of time. Raising kids through the teen years is challenging, no matter the family dynamics. Mistakes and errors in judgments are inevitable and parts of life. What we pray and hope over is lessons are learned and the missteps do not come with horrible consequences. The maturation process can be worrisome and support is a huge help along the way.

Some excerpts from the well-written article:

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Remember when you had your first baby? And remember how, to help you prepare for this life-changing experience, friends and family showered you with gifts? From the adorable to the practical, you got virtually everything you would need to help you through that challenging first year of motherhood.

We need “teen showers” to be a thing.

It has been over 20 years since my first baby shower, and I still appreciate that outpouring of generosity. So, I hope it doesn’t sound too greedy when I say this, but I wish teenager showers were a thing. I wish that sometime around my eldest child’s twelfth birthday, a few of my girlfriends had gotten together and planned a shower.

Of course, registering would be tricky. So many of the things moms of teenagers need are too intangible (and too illusive) to be found on the shelves of Target. But as long as we are fantasizing, (and let’s face it, a teenager shower is a total fantasy) why not dream big?

14 must-haves for every mom of teens

  1. A group. This is absolutely crucial. Every mom … needs a group of moms who will not judge her when her child is the one who got a speeding ticket, flunked a class, dyed her hair pink, or snuck beer into the party.

Said group should also be willing to commiserate or celebrate as needed and be eager to just to go out and have fun once in a while and not worry about the kids–because it is mom’s night out!

  1. A list of TV shows and movies to watch with your kids that are sophisticated enough for young adults but that are free from awkward and embarrassing love scenes and language that would make a sailor blush.
  2. Fast food coupons. While my younger, more idealistic self would surely have balked at such an unhealthy gift, my tired, driving-home-from-a-ballgame-late-at-night self could really go for a burger and fries. Oh, and the kids are probably hungry too.
  3. Air freshener. Dirty diapers have nothing on sweaty gym socks.
  4. A really, really good planner that keeps track of soccer practice, basketball practice, dance lessons, band rehearsal, dentist appointments, and meetings and that fits into a small, lightweight purse that doesn’t hurt my bad shoulder.
  5. Good books. These are particularly useful when waiting outside the gym for volleyball practice to just hurry up and be over already or when waiting up late for her teenager to get home.
  6. Kleenex. Because there will be A LOT of crying–happy tears, sad tears, angry tears, bittersweet tears, tears of joy, and tears of fear and frustration. Seriously, A LOT of crying.
  7. A dog. Like your teenager, your dog will love you and depend on you, but he never roll his eyes at you. And he will always want to snuggle.
  8. Thick skin. I’m not sure which is worse, when someone is mean to your child or when your child is mean to you. It doesn’t matter. You can pretty much count on both scenarios if you are raising teenagers.
  9. Go-to, crowd-pleasing recipes. The ones you need to feed a mob of hungry kids, for ensuring everyone is home for dinner, or for spoiling your “baby” just a little. When it comes to teenagers, food is their love language.
  10. Extra phone chargers. The need for these cannot be overstated.
  11. An awesome playlist of songs from your high school and college years. When you play this in the car, your kids will complain. When you sing along, they will groan and roll their eyes. But when they get to college and they know all the words to Sweet Child O Mine or Under the Bridge, they will thank you.
  12. A photo album. You will take hundreds of pictures of your teens. They will take hundreds more of themselves. They will be the most photographed generation in history. And it is possible that when they leave home, you will have less than a couple dozen snapshots of your kids.
  13. The wisdom of 1,000 generations. No doubt our foremothers have some tips and tricks for raising teenagers. After all, if they didn’t, we might not be here to worry about raising our own kids. …

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.