changing motherhood from child to teen

Teenager in the house: becoming mum to a teen

We now have a teenager in the house. Although he doesn’t really feature on the blog anymore, and this was the first birthday I didn’t ask him the birthday questions (which he mentioned he was pleased he didn’t have to do!).

Moving from having a child to a teenager I thought might feel different. But of course it doesn’t really.

It’s just another step in parenthood. As the weeks go by, that step is growing bigger.

changing motherhood from child to teen

Social media (ok so he had it a bit before), but now I have less say so as he is now of age to (hopefully responsibly) use it.

The issue that Google Family link which was so good before at helping manage screen time, app downloads, and tracking if needed (always helpful when the bus tracker stops working so I know when to time pick up). Once the 13th birthday is passed, that’s it. Evidently they’re an adult and you’re on your own. So I’m trying to get Life360 to work – especially if he’s out and about with friends somewhere I’m not nearby. It doesn’t like that I use battery saver, and the notifications can be annoying.

More independence. Arranging to go into town with friends, organising going out for food and activities.  It seemed so much easier when we were teens even in pre mobile phone days – one parent just dropped us off in town, we’d go trying clothes on in Tammy Girl or River Island, then we’d get picked up again.

Different conversations. Now I get tested on the nitty gritty of footballers and matches that I’ve not watched or only have a vague interest in the final result.  Or I get critiqued on my cooking, and compared to Youtube ‘chefs’ methods.

I also need to make sure he’s aware of the bigger more important watch outs. Dangers to watch out for, topics that you really don’t want to have to tell children about. County lines, consent, standing up for themselves and friends, keeping safe when out and about. 

Then there’s the rapidly approaching GCSEs in 2 years time. He’ll do one early which is standard at their school (probably not the best subject for him to be doing early but hopefully he’ll start reading more by then!). But it’s already time to choose subjects for Year 9 next year in preparation for trying subjects ahead of picking GCSEs.

Along with that, this year they start looking at career fair and next step options. Schools these days are so much better at this type of thing than even my university was. They have regular career days – gradually ramping up the further through the year they go. So they’re already thinking about whether they’ll continue to 6th form, or think about apprenticeships or non A level courses. It feels really early, but makes sense if they’re not planning the extra 3 years at uni, to ensure they’re exploring options and know the timings and options for applying for apprenticeships.

The sport continues.  Thankfully I enjoy watching matches and taking him to practice. I get to chat to other parents (it is my social life!), get to see how much the team progresses as they practice and compete. And for tennis, get to be amused by the comedy that is their ‘lessons’ which are more a lesson in teen boys chit chat and humour than actually progressing their tennis.

So far, we don’t have a ‘sleeping til late morning’ teen. So nothing’s changed there.

Food is still fuel…and a lot of it. But now he’s more confident cooking. I can rely on him to help out with dinner – either offering to make something he wants to try. Or if I’m in a meeting, he’ll cook what I’ve prepared, or can prepare bits himself.

Cows are top of his mind – whether it’s about his own, or ones he wants to buy, how he wants to grow his little herd, what business ideas he comes up with for the future. 

It’s interesting having discussions. I’m told off for going on, for nagging, for interfering.  It’s hard to step back. As a mum you want to share tips especially for school work. But teens have their own opinions and they need to make their mistakes or successes themselves in the end. However hard it is to keep out.

But there’s also the joyful conversations, about music, singing along, lots of laughing about cute dog videos, or re-telling of funny stories.

They might only be a year older and into the teen years, but there’s so much more to come and discover. As a teen. And as a parent.

To look back, I always have the birthday interviews from prior years.

How have you found the move to having a teenager in the house? What tips do you have for those of us just moving into those years?

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  1. It’s reflects on the changes and adjustments that come with having a teenager at home, from navigating new dynamics to cherishing moments of connection and growth. It’s refreshing to see honest reflections on the ups and downs of parenting during this stage of life. Sharing experiences like these helps build a supportive community and reminds us that we’re not alone in the journey of raising teenagers.

  2. It seems so stressful. My son is only 3 and I’m already really worried about phones and social media. I want to try and delay it as soon as possible. I feel like there’s a bit of a shift and more parents are being stricter with it so I hope that when he’s older, it will be more common for kids not to have free access to it. Scary world!


    1. I think by the time yours is older, there may have been more rules put in place, and social media will likely be dying a death compared with now. It’s the videos that are the worst, just scrolling all the short videos – on loops. Yawn. I think as long as both parents agree it makes it easier (we don’t here as I’m the strict one who’s more aware/aware at all!)

  3. I have loved and I’m loving parenting teenagers!
    That is a bit rubbish Google Family link thinks 13 is an adult. Eek! I turned the notifications off on Life360 and ignore the battery saver warnings and it still seems to work OK.
    Teenagers can be savage when they critique the cooking and even worse fashion choices but I think that is just a girl thing. lol My girls can be a bit too honest when I wear something they don’t like.
    Good luck to N with his options and GCSE’s. My eldest did her English Literature exam a year early and got a decent grade as they mostly focused on that in lessons.
    It sounds like N is a great help in the kitchen and enjoys it! My two hate helping in the kitchen!
    It is so hard to let them make mistakes! I hate having to step back and let them happen but it is part of them growing up. x

    1. Good to know about the enlglish lit. I think ours do the same. Thankfully I don’t get the clothing critique although he has got more prescriptive about what he wants to wear.

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