The Rx You’re Not Expecting for Help Raising Your Teenagers

My husband and I were way overdue for a new mattress. We had endured too many months of restless nights, sore backs, and grumpy mornings. Yet once we got started with our day, we forgot all about it. Until bedtime.

So, we finally took the plunge and shopped on-line for a new mattress. (Yes, on-line because you can be middle aged and hip at the same time.) We decided on a Tuft & Needle mattress, which promptly arrived at our door a few days later in a box the size of a third grader. We unrolled it, cut the shrink wrap, watched it suck in the air, and presto, we had a new mattress. The verdict? Heavenly.

It’s amazing the difference a good night’s sleep can have on exhausted, over-stressed parents raising a teenager, or two. We didn’t realize how tired we’d become, and how it had been affecting our relationships with our daughters. Now that we’re sleeping through the night, we wake rested. When we’re rested, we have more patience. When we’re rested, we don’t take offense as easily. When we’re rested, we can hold our tongue.

When we’re rested, we can give more grace.

There’s an added benefit for us. When we took the plunge for a new bed, we dove right into the deep end and upgraded to king size. God bless the husband who waits 27 years to finally get a king size bed. Of course, this has required a new bed frame, all new bedding, and some purging of our bedroom furniture. Mission creep.

But this bed instantly became a 42-square foot place of refuge for our teens. We go there when they want to “talk” and there’s room for everyone to pile on board: two grown-ups, two teens, two dogs, and a cat. We sit there amidst the rumpled sheets and listen to the frustrations of their day, the things that cracked them up in science class; they share their worries, we share our encouragement. We just love on them. After a while, everyone gets up and moves on to something else, rested and restored. Everyone except the cat.

So, here’s my Rx for every parent raising teenagers: get a new mattress. Or at least get the rest you need so you can be the kind of parent you want to be and the kind of parent your teenager needs.

Coming Next: How to RESTore your Teenager

*All this week we’ll be exploring the impact rest and sleep have on our relationships with our teens.  Follow along here and on Facebook to learn more.