Raising Teens

A site for parents of teens striving for sanity

Category: Parent Perspective (page 1 of 14)

How to Parent a Teenager Whose Personality Differs From Yours

As parents, we recognize how each of our children are different, or similar. Sometimes our personality is so different from our child’s that it is challenging to relate. So, when Jeannette Rivera-Lyles proposed an blog post on raising an introvert, I LOVED the idea. As a mom, I have struggled with how to relate to an introvert. Jeannette tells us her experience and brings in an expert. I think you will enjoy her post.

 

parenting an introverted teenager

Jeannette and her two teenage sons

 

 

 

Your Teen’s Introversion is Just Who He is, Embrace it

By: Jeannette Rivera-Lyles

If you are parenting an introverted teenager, chances are you often feel like you’d do better if you could read minds or even tea leaves. Either one could offer more insight into what’s going on inside his head than asking “How are you?”.

I know it because if have an introverted 15-year-old son, James. He spends lots of time in his room drawing or playing in his computer, prefers to socialize with a small group of friends, and often can be a complete enigma as he is not one to verbalize his thoughts regularly.

At times, I have been worried about him. I have feared the possibility that his behavior may stem from depression or insecurity. But for the most, though, he seems happy, is caring, eats and sleeps well, and is a good student who stays on top of an overwhelming amount of homework. So, I reached out to my friend Dr. Kathy McHugh, an Orlando-based licensed psychologist who treats adolescents, to help me sort out what is going on.

Here’s the takeaway from Dr. McHugh:

  1. Introverts draw their energy from solitude. They are depleted by too much external stimulus and thrive in reflection and solitude. By contrast, extraverts’ energy is increased by spending time in busy, stimulating places often with lots of people. Understanding this difference is key. Resist the urge to force your introvert teen out of his room or to make him socialize more than he wants. “Wanting to be alone isn’t the same as withdrawing, which could be a sign of depression,” Kathy said. “If he has dinner with the family, comes out to watch a TV show with his siblings and participates in family activities, he’s not withdrawing but seeking time alone. This is how an introvert decompresses and recharges.”
  2. Do not try to change an introvert. This is not a phase, it’s who they are. Let them know you respect that. There’s a false notion that a healthy teenager is only the one who socializes regularly, has tons of friends and is involved in many activities. This just isn’t true, Kathy explained. “It is just as fine to be a reserved person, who enjoys introspection, and prefers to have just a few friends with whom to share meaningful connections,” she said.
  3. Allow an introvert to decompress first before attempting conversation. When she arrives home from school, after hours with hundreds of kids and loud hallways, she’s likely craving time alone. This may not be the best time to start asking questions. Your introverted teenager may be more responsive if you engage her in conversation after she’s had some time alone. And when she opens up, don’t interrupt while she’s talking.
  4. Be aware that intelligence, wisdom and success aren’t exclusive to extraverted personalities. Some of the most successful introverts in history include Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, J.K. Rowling and Meryl Streep, according to Inc. Magazine.

A teenager’s introversion may be problematic at times for me and you as parents, but not for the teen. I have learned to be patient, take the time to look at things from my son’s perspective. To do this, we may need to allowing our teen to spend more time secluded in his room. My son, like many other introverts, see his room as a peaceful haven. I’ve learned that it is okay for him to spend extended periods of time behind closed doors, as long as I know what he is doing and that he is safe. I drop by periodically to check on him, and use the opportunity to allow him to have a private space that everyone in the family respects.

One more thing, our introverted teens must be ready for a world in which at least 75% of individuals are extroverts. I realize I can’t  shield my son from the different personalities types in his environment. I am very much an extrovert and I have found that sharing with James my personality needs (I like people, parties, music) and how these things fill me with joy and positive energy, helps him understand the uniqueness and positive attributes of both approaches.

Have faith. Your introverted teenager can thrive and accomplish as successfully as any outgoing kid. I truly believe it!

Jeannette Rivera-LylesAbout Jeannette Rivera-Lyles: Jeannette is a born storyteller. She knew that she wanted to write professionally as early as the first grade and she followed her dream. Jeannette is the founder of Accent Communications, a strategic communications consulting firm in Central Florida. Previously, she worked in print and broadcast journalism at places like the NBC News Channel,  El Nuevo Herald and The Miami Herald and the Orlando Sentinel. Additionally, Jeannette has freelanced for BBC Mundo, Florida Politics.com, AhoraMismo.com, and MSN Latino. Jeannette enjoys the challenges of parenting two teenage boys, ages 13 and 15. She also loves wine, foreign films and taking naps in the backyard.

 

We Are ALL Parkland Parents

With tears rolling down her face, Lori Alhadeff looked into the CNN camera, screamed into a microphone and begged President Trump to do something about the nation’s deadly gun epidemic. As she shouted, “President Trump, please do something!”  her powerful statement, her anger and her raw emotions brought me to tears. Watching her, I became her. I felt her feelings of overwhelming sadness. I wanted to hug that mother and tell her I understood her grief and anger. I wanted to shout alongside her. After all, regardless of where we live, we are all Parkland parents.

I am certain all mothers of teenagers who read the articles, watched the news reports and saw the social media posts on the Parkland shooting have felt every ounce of emotion that the community’s parents have experienced in the last week. We are parents who love our teenagers and send them to high school believing they are going home for dinner, just like Parkland parents believed. Had Nikolas Cruz attended our teen’s high school, the victim could have been our child.

Like the parents we see burying their children, we are horrified and numb. Like the Parkland parents whose surviving teenagers are traumatized, we are appalled at what they witnessed.  This isn’t the first time for us, though.  As parents, we have been here before. We have seen the faces on television of parents who lost children during other horrific school shootings.

But this time is different.

This time, a socially conscious, action-oriented generation of teenagers is determined to evoke change and ensure these 17 victims are remembered.  With a social media campaign now known as #NeverAgain, these teenagers and student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are making plans and taking action.  They are leading protest against gun violence in front of the White House. They are holding rallies to demand leaders make school safety a top priority. They have organized #MarchForOurLives, a national event to honor the victims of gun violence with action.

On March 24, 2018, students will rally in Washington D.C and in local communities across the country to demand action from  leaders and fight for an America that is free from gun violence.
#MarchForOurLives campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politicians are offering them resources.

congresswoman offers help with #MarchForOurLives

 

 

Celebrities are recognizing their efforts.

Amy Schumer posts about #MarchForOurLives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a parent, I could not be prouder of these teenagers.  They need our support in any way we can give it to them. Spread their messages on social media. Give to their fundraising campaigns. Show them love by marching alongside them and inspiring your teenager to participate in activities that draw attention to creating positive change toward school safety. And, continue to send prayers to those families of victims and those of survivors.

As they lead the way to change, let’s support those who are working to make a difference. We are all Parkland parents. We are all in pain and we all want desperately to believe in #NeverAgain.

How to Know When Your Teenager Wants to Talk

Last weekend, my teenage son Garret and I were driving to a food festival. My cell phone rang and I answered the call. It was my daughter at college with a big story to tell me. As I spoke to her, I didn’t notice how annoyed Garret was getting until he screamed out, “Enough talking on your phone mom!”

I hung up with my daughter and asked Garret what was going on. He told me he just wanted to talk to me. “I don’t understand why you have to be on the phone when we’re in the car together,” he said.

I felt like a bad mom. I had totally missed that signs that Garret want to talk to me. He actually had something specific he wanted to talk about, but I had no idea when we got in the car. Usually, Garret blasts his rap music when we are driving somewhere together. A lot of the time when I want him to open up to me, he gets annoyed by my prodding.

Because Garret is my third child, I should know the signs by now when a teenager wants to talk to his or her parent. But even as a seasoned veteran, I was off my game.

talking to a teenager

Seize the moment

If you want good communication with your teen, it’s important to seize the moment when you can to have a conversation rather than a lecture. Car rides are great places for that opportunity — and by talking on the phone, I had almost squandered it.  The next car ride alone with your teenager, turn off the radio, don’t answer your phone and it’s likely your teenager will surprise you with candid conversation.

Do something together

Another sign your teenager wants to talk is when he or she asks you to do an activity together. When my son Jake was home from college, he asked me if I wanted to go on a bike ride. Jake rarely opens up. But during the bike ride, he had lots to say and actually talked to me about his girlfriend.

When I watched the television show “13 Reasons Why” one of the things I found scary was how the teenagers shrugged off their parents’ efforts at conversation.  At times, my teenagers have shrugged me off the same way. It feels as if they want to talk when they want to talk and they don’t want to talk when you want to talk. The definitely don’t want you asking them questions.

Be available

A spontaneous conversation in the car or in their bedrooms late at night — any time when you’re not rushed — can make for some of the warmest, most rewarding moments with a teenager, according to Laurence Steinberg, an expert in adolescent behavior.  I have learned that those moments happen when your teen can tell they have your attention and when you listen more than you speak.

On WebMD, Steinberg said. “I think for parents, one of the key parts of having good communication with kids is being around enough to capitalize on these moments that invariably don’t come up when you expect them to.”

Be aware of location

As toddlers, the spontaneous hugs and “guess what mom?” seemed to come so easily. Now, my teenagers have a life that I’m not fully a part of and connecting is much more complicated. I noticed with Garret, and with my older teenagers, that they don’t like to have those deeper, bonding conversations in their bedrooms. It’s almost like I have invaded their personal space. So, if Garret comes into my bedroom or my home office or into the kitchen while I’m cooking, it is a sign he has something to tell me or is  open to conversation.

As parents, I feel we need to know what our kids are doing and thinking. Teenagers see it differently.  They don’t want us to know everything going on in their lives.  Still, the teen years are such a crucial time and just because they aren’t willing to open up to us as much as when they were younger, doesn’t mean we can’t keep working on ways to have those important talks. Next time I’m in the car alone with Garret, he gets priority over phone calls.  While, it took a harsh reminder  to get me to realize it, not only do those bonding conversations mean a lot to me, they mean a lot to our teenagers, even if our teens don’t always admit it.

Related:

Are you a Spy Mom? What some moms have learned about their teens on Facebook

Why are teens so annoyed?

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You are definitely my friend! Period.

Over the holiday break, my daughter and I were going to do something together and I was so looking forward to it. What is it you ask? We were going to try the Knixteen & Knixwear underwear. The Knixteen underwear was for her and the Knixwear was for me.   When I first approached my daughter about trying them to give our reviews, she was a little apprehensive. I told her to keep an open mind and that the underwear will not be like anything she has ever tried on before.

Why is that you ask?  Because they are period panties! Awkward right? Well, that is what we thought! Olivia really did not want to try these at all because she had it in her mind that these will look like “granny panties” and feel like them as well. She was not looking forward to wearing them, but I told her I would be trying them out, too. I was excited for us to be trying out the Knixwear panties at the same time and discussing what we thought about it. I was more excited that these were period panties and could not wait to see whether they really worked.

The package arrived during winter break. I went into Olivia’s room with a big smile and said, “Guess what came in?”   Her face quickly transformed into a look of despair.

I took them out of the package and much to my surprise and amazement; they were the silkiest, smoothest, softest feeling panties I have ever felt. I am talking Victoria’s Secret-needs-to-worry soft!

Did I mention they also look quite sexy and NOT a granny panty like Olivia thought? She looked at them and said, “Oh wow, this is not what I envisioned at all.”  I could not wait to try them, but more so, I could not wait for Olivia to wear them and give her opinion. Olivia is very high maintenance, and very particular and specific with everything she wears. She does not buy just anything. She likes to buy quality and does her research on whatever she purchases.

Well, we wore the panties and I asked her what she thought. She said, “Mom, I cannot believe how comfortable and form fitting these panties are! I can wear them with clothes that I would normally wear a thong with.  They are so soft, and they conform to my butt.”

Did I mention the best part of these panties? We all know how we feel and what underwear we wear when we have our periods, and let me tell you, they do not look or feel like Knixwear or Knixteen panties. I absolutely loved how comfortable they felt. Whether you wear them during your period, or to prevent an accident leak, this underwear will make you feel amazing!

I asked Olivia how she felt wearing them during her period and she said,  “At first with my period I thought it was weird because I felt so comfortable and worried about an accident, but I was so wrong for worrying. I loved them. Are you buying me more?”

This was such a fun experience for Olivia and I, and I hope you all do the same kind of experiment with your teen, or at the very least, have your teen daughter try  Knixteen. She will love them!

 

Can you understand teenage slang?

 

I’m in the kitchen getting dinner together and my 16-year-old son Garret looks at my new sneakers and says, “Mom, your sneakers are fresh.”

“They’re fresh?”

When I say this back to him, my son laughs. He finds my lack of knowledge of teenage slang to be hysterical.  A few days earlier, Garret told me he was going to a party and not to worry whether it was going to be hot at the party because he had his ice. Then, he showed me his watch. Cool watches, big gold chains…it’s all called ice in rapper talk, he explained to me. My son LOVES rapper talk.

Slowly, I am starting to figure out popular slang, however it seems as soon as I decipher the lingo,  the meanings change or new words pop up. My daughter recently told me not to use the word “relevant” because today, teens use it to mean the opposite. Who knew?

Has your teenager told you something was popular AF or awesome AF or anything AF? Teens use this expression to emphasize something , and that something could be really good, or really bad. (short for As F—K).  For example, being told you are stupid AF is not something you want said about you.

Here’s another example of how my inability to keep up with teen slang played out.  A few days ago, I overheard a bunch of Garret’s friends referring to some basketball player as the GOAT.  I made the mistake later of asking my son whether that was the player’s nickname. What do you think happened? Hysterical laughter.

GOAT,  he explained to me, means “Greatest Of All Time.” Apparently, it is accompanied by a goat emoji when texted. “Oh, so I am a GOAT,” I said to Garret. His response: “Sure mom.”

Now, let’s not forget the word Garret and his friends use often: lit. “Lit”  usually means cool — especially when it comes to parties or a new song.  But I found out lit has another meaning when it’s used a certain way. “To get lit” means to get drunk or high.  I’m all over that one and I’ve told my son not to even think about getting lit.

And, just when I figured out what the trendy phrase “on fleek” is all about, the phrase is not cool anymore. Nope, don’t even think about telling your teen her new hair style is on fleek. Instead, you will need to tell her it is snatched.  You use “snatched” in the same way, basically to describe things (especially style) as cool or on point. According to Refinery29.com it means, “damn you look good.”  Next time your daughter heads out the door,  try telling her, “your outfit is snatched.”  She will either think you are hip, or that you are old and trying too hard.

I recently read a good slange primer online  of 20 popular slang words. With text lingo and cool words surfacing in viral videos, it’s pretty darn hard to stay ahead of the vocab, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Let’s just say…I’m trying. Just yesterday, Garret asked me if I wanted him to play me the new Gucci Mane song. “It’s a banger,” he said. “Oh, it’s a banger? Sure I want to hear it,” I replied, not knowing what to expect.  I have since learned banger means it’s unbelievably awesome.

In some ways, I feel fortunate to have teenagers around to keep me on top of all the words young people say.  As Refinery29.com  pointed out: “We’re not getting any younger, and the wild world of viral words is not one to be afraid of — it’s one to embrace.”

So, please make me feel better…what word has your teenager recently said to you that you had no idea what it meant?

 

Teenage Boys Must Learn: Real Men Apologize

 

For teenagers, one of the hardest lessons to learn is how and when to apologize. For teenage boys, it’s particularly challenging because ego can often get in the way of an apology.

Yesterday, my son came home from high school upset. After school, he had bumped into a girl he hadn’t seen in a few months and she told him she was mad at him.  She had spoken about her eating disorder to a small group of friends, in which he had been included. However,  my son repeated the information to a few of his girl friends. Of course, they went right back to the girl with the eating disorder and told her my son had told people about her issue.

When the girl confronted my son, he was horrified that he came across as a gossip and was naive in thinking that what he repeated wouldn’t be repeated again. He told me “Mom, I apologized to her. I told her what I had done was wrong, that I hadn’t been a good friend to her, and that I was sorry.”

I wasn’t proud that my son repeated what was told to him. Even if he was unaware it was said in confidence, he should have known better. However, I was proud that he apologized. All afternoon, he repeated to me that he hoped the girl would accept his apology and forgive him.

This morning, I watched on television as Los Angeles Times Columnist David Horsey apologized for writing that Trump’s chief spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders looks less like a sleek beauty and more like a slightly chunky soccer mom who organizes snacks for the kids’ games. His comments angered many people who called the columnist sexist and accused him of body shaming.

Horsey said he received some email and comments in support of what he wrote, but he realized he was wrong and told  TV news personality Megyn Kelly, “Real men apologize.”

Today when my son came home I talked to him about how it takes a big person to admit a mistake and apologize. I told him to never let his ego get in the way of fessing up to a mistake.  Research shows men aren’t socialized to apologize.  Often, they think it shows vulnerability or weakness.   Sometimes, they give mealy mouthed apologies that make a situation even worse, or they avoid an apology and it hurts a relationship.

If there is a silver lining in my son’s fiasco, it’s that he now understands the importance of keeping friends’ secrets. More important,  it has made me hopeful that there’s a future generation of young men who embrace the “real men apologize” motto, recognize when they hurt someone’s feelings, and try to right a wrong — and parents who encourage them to do so.

I’d like to believe the experience of offering an honest apology will set my son on the right path for future relationships — and for life.

Should Teenagers Trick or Treat?

teenagers trick or treating

 

It’s absolutely adorable when a 2-year-old dressed as a pumpkin knocks on your door on Halloween night and says “trick or treat.”  It’s not quite as adorable when a pack of teenagers knock on your door in regular clothes, maybe wearing masks, and say “trick or treat.”  Some people will flat out let the teenagers know it.

It’s the time of year when kids are deciding which costumes to wear for trick-or-treating on Halloween. But while teens and tweens may be deciding between dressing as zombies or sexy witches, some people  are asking how old do kids have to be before they’re considered “too old” to trick-or-treat?

Should high schoolers trick or treat?

This year my son is 16 and he thinks he may be too old. He tells me, “I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do.”  I told him he can pass out candy with me, but he says he probably is going to walk around the neighborhood for a little while with friends, just socializing.  I informed him that if he is going to knock on doors, he has to wear of costume. “Just being a cool teenager and asking for candy isn’t going to cut it,” I informed him.

With my older kids, I remember the first year they felt too old to trick or treat. They sat outside with me passing out candy with a wistful look on their faces, happy to be maturing, yet kind of sad that the exhilaration of running door to door with friends in their costumes was behind them.

When a group of teenagers come to my house on Halloween night, I happily give them candy. I think as long as teens are dressed in costumes and respectful, they should go for it and enjoy the fun night.  But I know other people aren’t as friendly when teenagers come around trick or treating. Last year, my son was 15 and he went out trick or treating with friends. He said some homeowners were downright nasty to them and flat out told them they were too old and that the candy was for the younger kids.

This year,  the Canadian city of New Brunswick banned kids older than 16 from trick or treating. Anyone over 16 caught knocking on doors looking for candy, or wearing a “facial disguise” after curfew, could be forced to shell out for a $200 fine, the Today Show reported.  That’s pretty drastic, don’t you think?

The Today Show did a segment on the topic and a poll asking: How old is too old for Trick-or-Treating on Halloween? One responder said: “By 16, you’re old enough to work, so get a job and buy your own candy.”  That’s a harsh take isn’t it? While parents in the poll couldn’t agree on a specific cut-off age, they did specify a range. Seventy-three percent of more than 2,000 respondents said kids should stop trick-or-treating between the ages of 12 and 17.

Personally, I don’t think there should be a cut off age. I completely agree with the perspective of one Facebook mom:

“Just take a second to think … would you rather them (teenagers) be out drinking and driving putting not only their life in danger but possibly you and/or your child’s life in danger? Or would you rather them be knocking on your door getting candy? Just think about that before you turn down candy to one of them. I’d rather see my teen doing this rather than something dangerous. Just because they’re 16 doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a little safe, legal fun.”

I am just as happy to give a teen a candy bar as I am a 3-year-old on Halloween night. Most likely, he or she will enjoy it more. There  will be no teen shaming at my house!

What are your thoughts: Should teenagers trick or treat?  If so, how old is too old?

Will moms of teenagers ever be able to exhale? Why do we worry so much?

Sometimes I feel like I am holding my breath while raising my teen.  I am hoping I will be able to exhale once the coast is clear and the teen years are behind me.

But for now, it feels like the worries of raising a teenager never end or go away.

I try not to worry.  but, it’s in my DNA..

With my son, I worry about all kinds of things….

  1. Are his grades slipping?
  2. Is he eating properly?
  3. Is he happy?
  4. Is he depressed?
  5. Will he go to a good college?
  6. Will he do well on his SAT?
  7. Will he be more social as he gets older?
  8. Is he getting bullied?
  9. Is he having sex?
  10. Is he wearing a condom?
  11. Is he lying to me?
  12. Is he keeping things from me?
  13. Did he try any drugs? Will he?

Crazy right?

I long for the day when all my worries are gone, and I can exhale and breathe and say to myself, “Okay, now you can relax.” But, to be honest, I don’t see that  day arriving any time soon. So for now, I take life one day at a time, one breath at a time, one prayer at a time.

Do you worry, too? I would love to get your feedback and hear whether other parents of teens feel this way? Any advice?

 

Homecoming has me stressed

 

My son, a high school junior, was invited by a girl to the homecoming dance. I don’t know the girl at all and he just met her a month ago in school.  She is a senior, so going to homecoming is a BIG deal to her.

First of all, I think it takes a lot of guts for a  teenager, male or female, to ask someone to homecoming. Immediately, I told my son that I admire the girl for asking him.  But then, I started to worry, not only about her, but also her friend group.

Does she drink?  Does she do drugs? Do her friends? Am I overreacting and looking unnecessarily for trouble?

Second, I wanted my son to know homecoming can be expensive. I told him he needs to find out if her friend group has rented a party bus or some other transportation that he will be expected to contribute money. (Or is he expected to drive?) He also  needs to know if she plans to pay for his ticket. On top of those costs, he probably needs to buy her corsage, and he needs something nice to wear. So, there is a potentially high cost involved and my son should come up with at least some of the money for it, right?

Lastly, I’m completely stressed about “the after party.”  Yes, the girl told him she wants him to go with her to an after party.  Even parents who trust their kids should worry about the after party, right? I can’t imagine a high school after party without alcohol. Will I make him look like a baby if I call the girl’s parents to find out info on the after party? Right now, that’s my plan.

So these are the conversations going on in my home this week. I’d love to hear how other parents navigate homecoming. It’s such a fun part of high school, but it’s also such a worrisome event for parents.  How do you handle homecoming…the costs, the transportation and the after party?

How does a mom connect with her teenage son?

So sophomore year has started for my teenage son and yet another year of high school has begun.  When my daughter was in high school I could rely on her telling me about all the school drama, her teachers, what’s happening in school. But, with my son, I get… crickets crickets (silence). I have to probe, pull, nag, or interrogate just to find out what is going on? Every time I ask a questions I am “annoying” or  I am “bothering” him. I have never felt so disconnected from my teen son. I know high school years are not easy for teen boys, but does he really have to shut mom out?

Matthew tells me school is hard and stressful and not like it was in the 70s when I went to school. Hello…. I graduated high school in 1985, thank you very much. I am NOT that old.  I just want to be closer to my son, but the closer I try to get, the more he pushes away. I try to give him his space, but anytime I enter his room he doesn’t want to talk. He would rather play video games,  or talk with his friends on the phone. I know this is a phase, but I really don’t  like it  at all!!!

I try to tell myself that I went through this with Olivia and this too shall pass. When I drive Matthew to school it’s dead silence in the car. I try to start a conversation, but he uses one word answers. I know it’s an awkward stage, but I’m your mom! The person you looked up to and couldn’t live without just five years ago.

There are rare moments when Matthew will open up. But those are few and far between. If he texts me, it’s about  food or clothes he wants me to get for him. It’s funny how Olivia will text me all day long from college, and yet my son won’t text me at all. I guess the level of communication is the difference between having a teenage daughter and son.

I guess I am struggling with giving him space, but not too much space, because in the end it’s my responsibility to make sure he makes smart choices and does the right things.

I enter his room every day when I get home and give him a hug. When he hugs me back, it makes me feel so happy. I need him to know how much I love him, even though it’s awkward for him now. I usually go in his room a few more times  before I go to bed and I’ll even get in a kiss on  his head. I know he loves me, and I truly believe he feels awkward showing affection to me.  I  just want to connect with him and for the life of me, I just can’t figure out how?

I would love to hear if any other moms or dads have had this issue with their teen son, and what you did to overcome it?

I know just this stage in my son’s life will pass, and I will get my Matthew back, but in the meantime,  I will breathe,  be patient, take one day at a time and  make sure he stays on the right path.

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