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Moms of little ones blog. How happy, that they do! I wish, HOW I wish, there had been a blogopshere circa mid nineties, when I was a new mom in desperate need of perspective, advice, laughs, and an authentic sense of solidarity.

What I find myself wanting now is the conversation about our teens, whom we love just as fiercely even though our interactions with them can sometimes be more fraught. If that conversation is happening somewhere and I haven’t joined in, please, someone, point me toward it! Don’t we all need illumination??

Moreover, I find myself wanting that conversation to focus on how we’re succeeding in spite of the many influences out there that tend to sour parent-teen relationships and erode our teens’ confidence. Because when we succeed, what’s really happening is that love carried the day. And given all that goes on in the lives of teens and their parents, a return to love in its many forms is perhaps the most important thing we could aspire to.

Two things I know for sure (to borrow a phrase from Oprah): successful families are not immune to confusion and heartache. We never know what challenges face the families we imagine to be perfect, and comparing our family to someone else’s is a recipe for unhappiness. Two. We all can create success through the ways we work at loving. Traditions, I suppose we could call them. The most successful families I know of have a commitment to practicing love through traditions that eventually take hold and bear fruit, often in unexpected ways. Those rituals that make our family uniquely ours can be a powerful force for good in the lives of our teens.

So: let’s share ideas about our habits and traditions–the practices that, through their very repetition, function to knit us together, the weave ultimately becoming tighter and more lovely than we have the capacity to imagine.

Moms of teens. And Dads of teens. Time for illumination! How do you work to love? Let’s index our ideas and strengthen our teens in the process!

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