PARENTING

Navigating the Teen Years

A Montessori Mom’s Insights

Susie Antonia
4 min readNov 20, 2023

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Photo by Aedrian on Unsplash

I never thought anything could’ve prepared me for parenting an adolescent. People congratulated me for having a baby, but no one warned me about the teenage years.

From Montessori Kid to High School Teen

I raised my children in a Montessori school where they thrived academically. My eldest, a voracious reader with braces and glasses, transformed by high school. Her straight teeth now flashed brilliantly, and blue contact lenses replaced the glasses. As she blossomed into an attractive young woman, boys, for the first time, swarmed around her, shifting her focus from books to boys. She maintained high grades, but her social life took center stage.

I expected my child to grow stronger and more “mature,” but her logic seemed to vanish as if sneaking away in the night. Instead, hormones raged, emotions flared, and instability became pronounced. The sweet, cuddly child I knew seemed to have shed her skin, leaving me wondering who she had become.

Dr. Montessori’s writings on adolescence reassured me this was a phase. This understanding became my anchor during those tumultuous years.

Gradually, I learned to see my daughter for who she was becoming. I appreciated her unique perspectives on trends, technology, and ideas. I learned to lecture less and listen more, respecting her burgeoning independence. Parenting a teenager turned into an unexpected adventure.

Adolescent Transformation: Challenges and Discoveries

Adolescents face intense insecurity during growth spurts, often developing an inferiority complex as they scrutinize their every flaw. Experimentation becomes a theme — from hair dyes to piercings and daring fashion choices — all in the quest for identity.

They often take risks, resembling Evel Knievel daredevils. Sports transform into nerve-wracking spectacles, and motorcycles rumbling in the neighborhood become a source of worry.

Yet, amidst this volatility, there are treasures to be discovered. Just like a child exploring a new world, parents can see life through new lenses, marveling and supporting…

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Susie Antonia

Susie Antonia. Educator. Avid storyteller. Parent. Artist. Photographer. Susie believes children are our future heroes. www.thegoodapple.ca