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Teenage Trials and Transitions

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Raising a teenager is no joke. The past few weeks I have been up to my elbows trying to parenting a sane teen. I have finally realized the public school system is just too much for my empathic, emotional teen boy. Keenan has always been a little “different”, and I mean that in the best of ways. From his early childhood, I felt an alternative education– Montessori, Waldorf, or homeschool would be the way to go for him. We did Montessori for a brief time, however, circumstances had us join the public school system in West Virginia, and it was actually quite wonderful for him.

He met great friends, he had great teachers that really resonated with him, and he generally thrived with the routine and structure. We moved to Florida the last half of his fifth-grade year, and things have not been the same. Yes, I know he was going through his tween years, middle school and all of the difficult transitions that we all generally face. He adapted okay– until this year. The first year of high school.

The social pressures are too much for him. He’s hearing and seeing things that he can not process. Sex, drugs, gun threats, to name a few. Initially, my husband and I thought these were “normal” teenage behaviors and talk and he would get used to it. He has not. He says he’s shaky all of the time, he’s angry and has outbursts when he’s home because he can’t seem to release the pressure, along with a few other challenges that are concerning.

We’ve been working to help him adjust by giving tools to release his anxiety and it isn’t giving him long-term relief. Today, I applied for virtual school so now we are waiting to see what happens next. This was an extreme remedy from our end. My guess is he will be accepted and we will have to find a new family rhythm with him schooling at home. This piece worries me, however I know we will adjust (if this scenario is best) and find ways to meet all of his needs– academically, socially, and emotionally.

So, this is our latest update and one reason this blog has taken the back burner. I am going to share some of the tools we’ve been using to calm his anxiety and unwind his day.

The Emotion Code by Bradley Nelson

The Reconnect Kit which is an essential oil kit that helps him feel grounded and focused.

Probiotics. Some probiotics have wonderful mental health strains of bacteria that helps calm his nervous system (this is major for me too!)

Keenan does well when he is consistent with his Tae Kwon Do, we’ve increased his class load with them and when he practices his form daily his mind is more calm and balanced.

Raising teenagers is a whole different ballgame and I remember how difficult it was for me. I am hoping to instill in him some values and tools that can give him a heads up with these trials so that he can lessen his anxiety and allow him to focus on his future and the man he chooses to become.