What Mama Learned Last Week: On Parenting

Motherhood is full of lessons and sometimes, I’m open to learning them. Here’s what I picked up last week in the newest edition of  What Mama Learned.

Parenting teens ain’t no joke.

I thought parenting toddlers was hard work, but I gotta tell you, when I put that up against trying to understand my teenager, I’d much rather be chasing a 2 year-old, and saying “no, stop, don’t touch.”

Back then, the expectation was much clearer–feed them, change them, make sure they sleep and keep them from eating, touching or playing with anything that could do them harm. Now, things are complicated–these people talk, they don’t always listen, and they have opinions that rarely line up with mine. I might be oversimplifying that a bit, but the point is, it was easier for me to protect and teach my kids when their vocabulary was limited to one-syllable words.

These days, life is filled with questions and objections and challenges that are getting harder (and scarier) to navigate. That realization hit me hard last week, and sent me to my knees and to the bookstore, where I combed through the parenting section for some much-needed help. Keep an eye on the Books section to find out what I’m reading. I’m determined to get some help to love and parent these kids without losing my mind.

The MamaZone: Parenting TeensScreens are evil.

We let screen-time get way out of hand over Christmas break. Now, the gaming and streaming zombies in our house have us saying, “Get up and go find something else to do” four or five times a day. Redirecting them has been like trying to pry raw meat from a lion’s mouth (I’ve never tried that, but it sounds like it’d be nearly impossible to pull off.). So, it’s time to get back to putting the proverbial foot down. If you want screen time, you’ll have to earn it. This is a great way to get them to dust off all those books they used to enjoy reading and, if my husband and I are lucky, we’ll get our TV back in the process!

We’re fighting this in our home right now. Anyone else?

Posted by The MamaZone on Sunday, January 17, 2016


And those are my weekly woes (and lessons). I promise to keep you updated on our progress, and if you have some wise tips on teens or tech, let’s chat about them in the comments below! More next week…

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  • I don’t have a teen yet. My sister raised one. He didn’t do any screen time until school and chores were done. He did have a set time and a set amount of time he could play. That’s all I remember. He turned out very well and is a grown man with a great job so I have hope.

    • zonemom

      It’s good to know there’s hope for them to turn out just fine!

  • Kylie

    oh I feel your pain. We just had a 2 week vacation with very little screen time. It was amazing to see the difference in my teen and his interactions with the family.

    • zonemom

      I’m glad someone else can relate! They definitely need those little breaks, don’t they?!

  • Wendy @ ladybugdaydreams.com

    My kids aren’t teens yet (they range from 2 months to 12 years), but I agree with you that screen time is a big problem. We try to limit it to just a couple of movies a week (plus videos for school), but it doesn’t always work out that way.

    Thanks for the encouragement to put a stop to overuse of the TV.

    • zonemom

      Thanks for stopping by!! It really is hard to regulate it.

  • CherryBlossomMJ

    My 6-year-old second grader could care less about screen time until she started reading, and now uses a kindle for book exploration. But my 4-year-old has fast become a screen time zombie and a cranky one at that with no gauge for limits. I have to set all the time frames on hers and she still whines about it. Hers is taken away more often than not, because I’m not going to have her waste precious imagination hours! (She only gets one half-hour a day for apps.)

    • zonemom

      Makes me long for the good ol days when books were actually books lol. I love technology, but it’s one more thing on our parenting list!

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