Parenting Teens: When Teenagers Take a Step Back to Their Childhood It’s Joy & Heartbreak All at Once by Dawn Taylor

Teens Parenting
5 years ago

Parenting Teens: When Teenagers Take a Step Back to Their Childhood It’s Joy & Heartbreak All at Once

My youngest children are 13 and 14. Both daughters, they are caught up most days in group chats, discussing who their latest crush is and making plans for movies with their friends. Today they pulled out all their stuffed animals, and with one of their closest friends, played adoption center.

Happiness washed over me seeing they still long for imaginative and creative play that had all but disappeared. Toys and games are all but replaced by smartphones and gossip. As my 14-year-old gathered up the stuffed animals for adoption, she wasn’t the least bit embarrassed to tell me what they were doing and my heart was full hearing it.

My sons, when they were around the same age, played with their action figures from time to time and it broke my heart then, too. I wondered if it made them feel safe to revisit a childhood activity. I wanted to stop time and say, “Just play,” and have them stay in that moment.

Sadness today, knowing this game is fleeting. Before I know it, the toys will be back in a basket, maybe forgotten this time forever. All I can say to comfort my own heart, is that these moments might cease soon but somewhere in their hearts the childhood memories will stay.

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Elisa Schmitz
Oh, how I love this, Dawn Taylor . We just moved my 19-year-old daughter into her college apartment, and she brought along two laundry baskets filled with her stuffed animals. Just knowing she has them to cuddle up with gives me comfort. They're not grown up yet, phew! Hugs!

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