We Were All Teenagers Once

I’m here to declare 2020 the year of the teenager!!!

Movements are all over today: March for our Lives, Me Too, and Save the Turtles are just a few recent social movements that are calling for CHANGE for a very important cause. I want to start a global conversation–a new movement, a rally, a campaign– about loving our teens more fully and changing the way we perceive them and, perhaps, how they perceive us. {ORDER SHIRT AT THE BOTTO OF THIS POST}

Instagram Community

This video was first shared on my Instagram  @KristenDukeChats which is the hub for all of the parenting discussions. Follow along there if you aren’t already to catch the weekly topics!

Order a shirt for yourself HERE! We are closing the January orders on Jan. 8th at midnight, and will then open up orders again in early February. We are encouraging everyone to wear their shirts on the last day of each month and discuss how it goes and the conversations started!
You can purchase your shirt here:

WILL YOU HELP ME make this a GLOBAL conversation??? I can’t do this alone, I need you!

You can help spread the word by wearing your t-shirt and start talking about it! Sharing this post with friends, asking others to join with you in making 2020 the year of the teenager and learning to love our teens better.

{PIN the below image to help me spread the message! You can also SHARE this post to your Facebook or Twitter}

We all know that how we think about someone else–over time–can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve seen so much negativity about raising teenagers, I’d love to turn it around. I’d like to encourage the world to focus on the positive, and I believe a more positive experience will produce.

We were all teenagers ONCE, we know it’s hard growing up, let’s help smooth that transitional time with a change in OUR behavior. Let’s Be the ADULT and show more compassion.

Parenting Teens

Yes, raising teens can be gut wrenching, isolating, stressful, even overwhelming at times. But if we simply brace for impact during the teen years it will be very scary for all of us! We will miss out on gems if we are just watching for the problems. Self-fulfilling prophecy again! 

Teens NEED OUR SUPPORT even when they don’t know it. Even when they think we don’t know what they are experiencing.

We need each other! My own teenagers help me with their muscles around the house, offer hugs when I’m overwhelmed, teach me to navigate technology, and make me laugh on a daily basis!

If we believe they have something to offer and treat them as such, we might just see greatness. Lets stop the criticism, the public complaining, they hear it, and i believe it makes them feel less supported, and therefore less trusting of the help we hope to offer them.

Let’s recognize teenagers have a tough job to do. They are stressed with trying to figure out what to do with their lives, peer pressures, social awkwardness, living in a high tech world, while navigating body changes, and that’s no small task!  Surely, you remember all that?? 

So, where do we start? Welcome to the movement!.

 Consider shifting your focus from telling and dismissing to listening and coaching. They NEED to make their own decisions to grow! We could bite our tongues more. Ask for forgiveness more.

Love a Teenager Day

I’m declaring January 31st as LOVE A TEENAGER day!!! But that’s just the beginning, it will kick off a year of Reformation where every last day of every month this year, is a day to unlearn, relearn, and restart new relationships with our teens. I’m inviting you to join this movement!

I’m going to share some prompts on the last day of each month all year long that are specific to ACTION and may challenge you, but also strengthen you. If you don’t have a teenager, i bet you have a niece or nephew, grandchild, neighbor, or friend…mentor a teen and join the movement!

Aside from that monthly challenge, Within our Instagram community, we will have weekly discussions about topics for which parents are searching.

I invite you to participate in these discussions, to listen to the podcast episodes, and then have weekly conversations with the teens in your life about them, and grow together. Join the movement.

Teenager Quote

I’ve often heard this quote “Teenagers: expected to act like adults, but treated like children. I think we have high expectations of our teens, as we should, but WE KNoW there is still some learning and growing going on, but we don’t need to throw it in their face. 

PICTURE THIS: I think of teens as a baby bird…ready to FLY and SPREAD THEIR WINGS, but still a little wobbly and needing a little more practice. Let’s cheer on that baby bird!} 

We were all Teenagers Once T-Shirt

I’ve made myself a little t shirt and I’d love you to have one as well! I wanted to have a symbol for this movement to unite us all together.  We will Wear them on the last day of each month, and hopefully people will ask, but you can TELL them, too! 

We were all teenagers once! Let’s remember how hard it was, and help them succeed.

In the subtle background of this shirt are REMINDER words that we as adults can keep running through our minds as we aim to turn the conversation within our own hearts. MY HOPE IS TO GET THE WORLD THINKING.

Here are some of the Encouraging Words on the shirt:

  • preserve, defend, safeguard
  • protect, shield, watch over
  • trust, assure, mentor
  • encourage, comfort, inspire
  • serve, soothe, care
  • listen, empathize, validate

Let’s flip the narrative, let’s change the conversation. Instead of fear, trust. Instead of neglect, approval. Instead of criticism, awareness. Instead of ignorance, empathy. Instead of denial, a new reality. Join the movement: after all, We were all teenagers once.

Treating Teens with Respect

Two years ago this movement began in my heart, and I created this video with my teens and their friends after the Parkland Florida school shooting and hearing one of my kids say that most adults treat them like idiots, which in turn stresses them out.

Treating Teens with Respect

Build loving connection with your teens

10 unique ways for parents and teens to build a closer relationship

Your Intentional Connection Playbook
For parents who value connection over control
Thank you for joining my email list! I can’t wait to spoil you and promise to keep your email address private

You might also like:

5 Questions to ask to help your teen problem solve
Kristen Duke

5 Questions to Ask to Help Your Teen Problem Solve

Whether they’ve come to you for advice because they’re not sure what to do in a situation, or you see them struggling and want to offer your advice, resist the urge! Ask questions to “get curious“ to guide them to come up with the solution themselves.

Read More »

Build loving connection with your teens

10 unique ways for parents and teens to build a closer relationship

Your Intentional Connection Playbook
For parents who value connection over control
Thank you for joining my email list! I can’t wait to spoil you and promise to keep your email address private