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Why It is OK for Mothers to Ask for Assist When Parenting Teenagers

Do you ever wrestle to ask for assist? You’re not alone. 

As a mother of 4 daughters (ages 21, 20, 10, and 4) and because the founding father of a world neighborhood for mothers, I’ve realized that all of us wrestle with asking for assist, even after we most want it. 

Once we are new mothers and our youngsters are small, everybody gives steering, recommendation, ideas, methods, and hacks. Generally it may be irritating as a result of everyone seems to be chiming in to let you know what to do, however it additionally feels very supportive. 

I bear in mind feeling very overwhelmed as a brand-new mother. My research and my company profession had been my foremost focus after I lived in my house nation, the Dominican Republic, so I didn’t have any expertise in caring for infants. 

I learn as many books as I might and I took benefit of the navy parenting lessons supplied on base, however I felt like I’d by no means know what I used to be doing. All of my household was again house and never solely video calls had been one thing we solely knew from the Jetsons, however even an everyday telephone name was outrageously costly and if you happen to had been fortunate to get a calling card, it was actually far means and I didn’t know find out how to drive. 

When Issues Start to Change

As youngsters develop, you grow to be this “veteran mother.” It turns into tougher to ask for assist since you’re purported to have all of it collectively, and “you’ve bought this.” 

We tackle so much and impose unfair expectations on ourselves. By this level, only a few persons are fast to supply help, and we’re overcome with guilt and disgrace, feeling like we’ve dug our personal gap.

Though rationally, I do know the outlet is just not ideally the place I wish to be, it’s acquainted. Plus, I’m so exhausted that attempting to get out feels too laborious, and typically not possible. 

However the fact is… we don’t belong within the gap, and isolating ourselves is just not the answer.

Why Mothers of Teenagers Ought to Ask for Assist

Parenting was by no means meant to be a solo endeavor. The previous saying, “It takes a village to lift a baby,” is just not cliché – it’s a warning that may assist us navigate motherhood with extra ease and style, not just for ourselves as mothers, however for our youngsters, as nicely. 

Whereas most acknowledge that parenting is a difficult journey that advantages from collaboration, help, and shared experiences, we don’t usually admit it to others.

Nevertheless, it’s not our fault. Listed here are the three foremost limitations that may get in the way in which:

  1. Societal stigma
  2. Trauma
  3. Ephebiphobia

Let’s unpack them one after the other!

Societal Stigma

We usually don’t ask for assist as a result of we concern criticism and judgment from different mothers and even our circle of relatives members. 

Society has conditioned us to consider that asking for assistance is for the weak and an indication of failure. In actuality, it’s the other. Asking for assist is an indication of energy.

We regularly expertise guilt and really feel we’re being seen as insufficient or incapable due to a societal or cultural perception that “a mom ought to know” or that we should be self-reliant, self-sufficient, and self-sacrificial. 

These traits might be noble, however in my expertise, they are often inappropriate and detrimental except there’s a stability. As an immigrant to the U.S., it feels overwhelming to be in the midst of two totally different cultures and taxing to wish to conform to at least one, not to mention each.

One other side of this concern is that we satisfaction ourselves on being “supermoms,” which is definitely code for “perfection.” Of all of the legendary creatures we consider in, the “good mother” is essentially the most damaging to our shallowness and our youngsters, particularly within the adolescent years, when they’re growing their sense of identification.

Trauma Triggers

Once we’ve been by means of Hostile Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and different traumas, it’s regular to wish to have a way of management by doing all of it ourselves, and it’s pure to grow to be perfectionistic. These trauma signs can result in isolation and make asking for assist really feel further uncomfortable and awkward so we attempt to keep away from that feeling in any respect prices. 

As well as, we’re inspired to disclaim, dismiss, and downplay our ache, and this could result in illness, dysfunction, and disconnection. 

As a multiple-trauma survivor with an ACEs rating of 9 out of 10, I’ve struggled with harmful hyperindependence since my youth and I’ve realized how a lot I suppressed and bypassed my emotional struggling, attempting to be “sturdy” and “optimistic.” 

The ten ACEs had been outlined as the next experiences earlier than one’s 18th birthday:

  • Bodily, sexual or verbal abuse
  • Bodily or emotional neglect
  • Separation or divorce
  • A member of the family with psychological sickness
  • A member of the family hooked on medication or alcohol
  • A member of the family who’s in jail
  • Witnessing a guardian being abused

It has taken plenty of internal work to acknowledge and heal my ACEs and I’m nonetheless very a lot a piece in progress. 

On this course of, I’ve realized that there’s actually energy in numbers. Even the Bible has phrases like “two are higher than one,” (Ecclesiastes 4:9) and predicts higher outcomes when “two or three are gathered” (Matthew 18:20).

I’ve additionally come to know that being optimistic is just not about invalidating our emotional ache, however processing it so we will transfer ahead. 


Ephebiphobia is the “concern of youngsters.” It’s a broadly recognized perception that youngsters are scary and tough. This exaggerated destructive view of teenagers could also be why mothers are supplied little or no to no help through the adolescent years after we want it most. 

Whereas it’s necessary to acknowledge the emotional, social, and psychological challenges distinctive to this developmental stage, we should acknowledge that parenting is difficult irrespective of the kid’s age.

Having daughters at such totally different phases of growth has taught me so much in regards to the misguided methods by which teenagers are perceived and represented. This has led me to grow to be obsessed with spreading consciousness and partnering with organizations just like the Middle for Dad or mum and Teen Communication (CTPC) to make a optimistic distinction on this matter.

These three elements can lead us to really feel alone in parenting our youngsters, and particularly our teenagers. We regularly really feel like we’ve nobody to show to for steering, recommendation, or help. 

The Advantages of Asking for Assist When Elevating Youngsters

Once we drop the outdated facade of the proper mother who has all of it found out and as a substitute are keen to be susceptible and attain out for help, we will:

  • Mannequin wholesome habits that can assist our teenagers of their journey to changing into well-adjusted adults
  • Really feel supported by others, so we’ve the area to behave in additional supportive methods to our teenagers. Supportive parenting begins by being open to receiving help
  • Give our youngsters entry to a community of supportive advisors so they don’t seem to be alone once they resist parental recommendation or path
  • Create a protected area for teenagers to ask for help, serving to them keep away from burnout and educating them the facility of teamwork and collaboration
  • Grow to be in a position to be extra current with our youngsters as a result of we take pleasure in higher psychological and emotional well being
  • Enhance our parenting abilities as we uncover new assets and be taught from different mothers, caregivers, and professionals who share priceless insights about parenting teenagers.

Chances are you’ll begin to really feel like this concept would possibly simply be value it – I guarantee you it certain is.

Watch Out for This Pitfall When Asking for Assist

As you learn the listing of advantages of asking for assist, I’m certain you seen that asking for assistance is a proactive step to guard your bodily, psychological, and emotional well-being. It might provide help to set a optimistic instance to your teenagers, and assist break the stigma round receiving help. 

Nevertheless, as a result of we regularly delay asking for assist till there’s a disaster or breakdown after we do ask, it may possibly come off mistaken.

Via trial and error, I’ve discovered that after we talk about our struggles, it’s important to respect our teenagers’ privateness and to make use of language that doesn’t blame or disgrace them.

 Though nerve-racking at instances, their attitudes and habits are a part of their growth course of. As you ask for assist, concentrate on how you are feeling and how much help you want or would love.

Let’s Begin Asking for Assist in Parenting Teenagers

This isn’t the half the place I’ll let you know that admitting I need assistance has gotten simpler over time. I nonetheless really feel like I would get away in hives each time I do. Ideas of how I’m one way or the other neglecting my duties and the way I shouldn’t delegate my job nearly at all times come up. 

However I’ll let you know this: when we’ve the braveness to ask for assist regardless of the discomfort, we might be more healthy and happier. I at all times say that the very best reward you may give your baby is a more healthy, happier you. 

Asking for assist is just not an indication of weak spot. It’s a strong selection that deepens your connection along with your teenager and demonstrates your energy and dedication to being a optimistic mother.

Elayna is a single mother of 4, an award-winning Storyteller, Story Strategist, and Pupil of Ache. She’s a bestselling writer, internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, and 4x TEDx speaker. Founding father of the Constructive MOM® and creator of the S.T.O.R.Y. System: a blueprint to craft and share highly effective tales that can remodel your outcomes, so you’ll be able to have the wealth, alternatives, and freedom you deserve. Join with Elayna Fernández at and comply with @thepositivemom. To obtain a present from Elayna, click on HERE.

Be Positive and You Will Be Powerful ~ Elayna FernandBe Positive and You Will Be Powerful ~ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMez ~ The Positive MOMBe Positive and You Will Be Powerful ~ Elayna FernandBe Positive and You Will Be Powerful ~ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOMez ~ The Positive MOM
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