2013: The Year of the Teenagers (PHOTO)

Celebrity Moms 215

The older I get, and the older my kids grow right before my eyes, I realize that their teen years are just around the corner. This fact panics me -- greatly, immensely, and stupendously. At one time, when someone blurted out, “Oh -- you think you have your hands full NOW, you just wait,” then followed it with a knowing, almost evil “I know something as a parent of a TEENAGER that you don't know” kind of laugh, I'd run, almost literally.

I may even be guilty of having made the ultimately immature “blah, blah, blah” sound while plugging my ears ... I didn't want to hear all of your horror stories, you parents of teenagers. I didn't want my beautiful, yet still busy and stressful, years with eight kids to be overshadowed by “the dreaded teenage years” you all so badly wanted to tell me about ... because I, quite simply, had my hands full doing my thing as a mom of many elementary school kids.

And, quite frankly, that was as much fun and “horror” as I could balance at the time.

Don't get me wrong ... I am a HUGE advocate of taking advice from parents who have “gone before me.” I've done it repeatedly over the years, with very receptive ears, as my kids have gone from babies to toddlers and then on to school age children. Some of the very best advice I've ever received has come from close friends who observe the workings of my household and offer their opinions on how to handle different situations. I deeply appreciate their willingness to impart their seasoned advice to me, and quite honestly, I lap it up! I certainly don't have all the answers and would never claim to be an expert on the parenting subject -- despite having more than double the average number of kids that a “typical” family has! I just wasn't, until NOW, ready to face the fact that my sweet girls (and then my younger six!) will become hormonal and, therefore, difficult at times.

BUT, that has all changed ...

Welcoming in the year of 2013 and all of its promise (and perhaps a bit of dread and trepidation for mom?) also brings with it a birthday that in one fell swoop will take ME into the realm of parenting teenagers ... times TWO. Basically what I'm saying is ... I need advice and I need it NOW!! Can you read my panic, here? Help me!!!

At this point, my 12-year-old twins are still responsible, lovely, helpful, respectful girls who do extremely well in school. I know that hormones will get the best of them at some point (soon?) and I'll be dealing with some bigger girl issues shortly. And perhaps those issues will come fast and furious -- and may even have the potential to take away my sweet girls and turn them into TEENAGERS who know it all!

I clearly don't know what lies ahead for me as a parent of teens. What I DO know is that with each passing day, I'm embracing this concept, and by October, I’ll be set and ready, as always, to love them right on through it all. They know that, come what may, mom will be there to guide them, support them, and help them, even when their attitudes flare and they aren't so “lovable.”

No worries! I'm already armed with many strategically placed photos of them as fresh faced smiling 3-year-olds to remind me of who exactly is underneath all those hormones and drama displays!

For years, I've signed little love notes to them -- exactly as I signed their love letters in my most recent book, I Just Want You to Know, “Love, forever and always, no matter what, Mommy” ... and the coming years will no doubt put that to the ultimate test.

I'm ready. Bring it on.

Do you have teens? What advice would you give me for my inevitable fate, as a parent to teenagers?


Image via Kate Gosselin

teens, behavior, puberty


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Nativ... Native1111

Omg kate- this is private stuff - way to embarrass them more- maybe if they didn't have so many chores they could have had a childhood-" all I know is work" from maddie herself- stop writing kate you embarrass yourself.

nonmember avatar Marie

I would say parent them out of the public eye. Put the focus on them and not yourself. Stop acting like this is some change that happens over night and being over dramatic.

nonmember avatar A Special Guest

HOLY CRAP! You are already complaining about something that hasn't happen, and that you don't expect to happen, but may happen, but you know you will do better at surviving, and you want advice, but you will probably put your fingers in your ears and Blah Blah Blah all the way through it?
I'm so sad for your girls and this blog post. It's horrible and completely inappropriate. My teenage daughter would have cringed if I had written something like this on my own blog.

Mocha... MochaCocoaBean

nerdyOoo, the comments are already rolling in! This will be an afternoons' worth of entertainment!

DebaLa DebaLa

...because the most sensitive, turbulent time in your child's life is all about YOU.

She just. doesn't. get it. And never will.

Think... ThinkSnow

Dear Mady and Cara,  I hope you have at least one adult person besides your dad that you can speak for frankly and will give you some great advise. Your mother is the worst person on earth to take any advise from.  It is unfortunate you can't speak to your beloved Aunt Jodi or grandmother on your mother's side. Maybe your paternal grandma can be as Dr. Phil would say - a warm place to fall. Because the world knows, your mother will never be that. We can see it in your eyes. The world feels for your heart break and sadness. You should be able to have a private life, not  every one of your personal moments fodder for her twitter account, or blog, or the next way for her to earn a buck because she is to lazy to hold down an actual JOB.  Maybe you have someone at school you can speak to confidentially, a school counselor. Ask about being emancipated from your mother. You need to be free of her if you have any hope of having a college fund in a few short years. She should be supporting you and your brothers and sisters. It is not your job to support her mentally and physically.  Please seek out some adults you can trust.

nonmember avatar gobsmacked

As we saw the other night, Mom "will be there" to hire them out, exhaust them with endless chores, and wring every last penny out of their long-lost childhoods that she can. Kate is beyond shameless and will do anything, including embarrass herself and her children in ways we probably cannot even yet imagine, to keep her face on TV. If the children are really begging her, as she's repeatedly claimed, to find a new mate, it's because they need a witness for the next time CPS comes calling.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

I wish that people would stop being so negative. This woman is a good mom. There are so many parents out there who have kids and think their job is over once the baby is out. All of us make mistakes, especially as parents. So stop being so uppity and sanctimonious. As for Kate's question- there really is no way to be prepared for raising a teenager. You learn from other parents stories, your own judgement and your mistakes. It is what it is. No one can really tell you the best way to do it. Your kids are happy & healthy and that's the best you can do at the end of the day. And no matter what you do, they will always love you. I remember as a teen hating my parents for every little thing. They didn't understand me or love me or respect me! Well, now I know better lol. I know they were doing what they thought was best. They got me nice clothes, good food and a roof over my head. I got a good education and they supported my interests. Thats what really counts. 

jayha... jayhawk00

I love Kate! Right on for having a great attitude about the years to come.  All the haters here are just jealous that she has an organized family and kids who are going to be able to survive in the the real world without the "world owes me" attitude so many kids of the last few decades have.  And how is she embarrassing her kids here?  She just said they are great kids?!   At least Kate is an involved parent.  Jeez, lay off her. 

nonmember avatar SadforG8

Kate, do you ever consider how your kids might feel about you blabbing personal things about them on the internet?

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