What's the big deal about Young Living

Navigating the Road From Teen to Adult

*Disclaimer: I have three teens and zero adult children. I'm only guessing and copying what I see has worked for others before me. Follow at your own risk.

The Smockity Family is navigating new territory these days, the road that leaves the teen years behind and embraces adulthood.

We have 3 teens now!

And we have no idea what we're doing.

Well, we have ideas that we have seen others implement, but that's all we've got. No handbook. No map. No guarantees.

And it's kind of scary. But isn't all parenthood that way? New, untraveled?

We know what our goals are:

Toward those ends, in particular toward the responsible adult goal, we try to let our teens make many of their own decisions and reap the benefits or suffer the consequences. Of course, we are taking an incremental approach and allowing more decisions to be made as they get older.

We realize that one day very soon these teens, who will be adults, will be making all of their own decisions, whether we approve or not. So, right now we are trying to walk them through these decisions, while not restricting them, and talk about possible or probable outcomes, consequences, and rewards that may come from those decisions.

Recently, one of our teens stated that he felt a requirement we were putting forth was unfair to him. We listened to his opinion, considered it, and my husband very calmly told him the choices he had. In this case, since the requirement in question was a school assignment, the choices consisted of completing it as asked or giving up all extra-curricular activities for a month.

Happily, the assignment was completed and no teens perished in the excruciating rigors of it.

Our teens are aware that living in a house that you do not own comes with responsibilities on the part of the "tenant". The traditional tenant would pay rent in exchange for room and board. In our case, we expect our "tenants" to do chores, participate in family events, and be pleasant roommates. If those expectations seem oppressive, we expect them to find other living arrangements when they are of legal age.

We do have a very jolly relationship most of the time with our teens, but occasionally we butt heads, and they come to know that, although one day very soon they will be able to decide for themselves whether they would follow our chosen course of action, that day is not today.

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  1. Connie, I admire you forthcoming of the family dynamics! We had 4 teenage daughters one year and I have to say it was the her my hair grayed! They were in Catholic schools, but to in the same ones and I was teaching in another! Life was crazy, but the rules you have sat forth are the same that we did and it worked!

    I pray for you and the times to come……saying thti believe that now that all of mine are out of the house, that these are definitely the hardest years….not the teenagers , but having them as adults where you are no longer in control!

  2. Your words are such an inspiration to me. We are in a holding pattern for another year until the second wave of teens begins. Our oldest has graduated and moved out. She is a fiercely independent young woman and is finding her own way. We too had the “rule” that if our adult children find us oppressive, they must move on. That was the case with her. It was our hardest parenting moment yet, but she now has a healthy respect for herself and us. Our relationship is so much better and we have all learned so much.
    Thanks for sharing your life with all of us and confirming that those hard decisions are worth it.

  3. Congratulations!!! We have 3 kids in their 30’s who were once all teens at the same time. Currently we have 6 teens at home….5 of which are girls. We have one preteen and a 9 year old that is chomping at the bit and can’t wait to be a preteen. Out of all the kids my 16 year old son is the easiest most laid back of all my kids and always has been. I have to say that I enjoy the teen years for the most part. I miss the baby, toddler, and elementary years tremendously though.

    One thing we can remind ourselves often….our just rewards for not killing our teens is grandkids :) Our 3 oldest kids have given us 9 grandkids and they are loads of fun even when they hit the preteen and upcoming teen years :) (my oldest grandchild is almost 12).

    God’s Blessings. Enjoy those teens, those years are just as fleeting as the baby/toddler years….some even come with the same temperment LOL


  4. My grandpa always told my dad, who always told me, “If we can talk, we’ll be okay.” Clamming up was not allowed. That has really held true for me and my brothers–nearly every time we had a disagreement, since we were both willing to talk it through, we ended up on the same page, even if those pages were different from where we started out. I hope to have the same open relationship with our children as they reach talking age! :)

  5. I’m a little behind you – our oldest girl will become our 2nd teenager in a couple weeks – but it’s really helped our kids to talk about responsibility going hand in hand with privilege. The 14 month old has absolutely no jobs (she’s not walking yet), but she also has absolutely no choices either, and so on up the ladder of kids.

    I like how you describe it with your oldest son feeling he had an unfair requirement – that’s a great example.

    God gives us wisdom when we ask for it – and the longer I’m a mom, the more I realize I need to spend lots of time on my knees doing just that. Especially since I’ll have at least 2 teenagers in the house (and for a few years, as many as 4) every day for the next 19 years. Hmmm….

  6. WE have two teenagers and its a dangerous and scary territory. Some days they just dont see what life really entails. As a sahm mom they see how hard my job is. I just want them to be productive and happy with the choices they make in life. We only do the best we can with what we have. Thaks for sharing your story.