10 Things You Have So Wrong About Teens

to my teen
Image via To My Teen

Fact: What parents think of their tweens and teens matters to them. This is common sense, right? But somewhere around the time that our kids trade in their little kid status for tween and teen-dom, we parents tend to lose sight of this.

Our kids suddenly seem so different — emotional and sensitive and peer-focused, and parents love talking about these traits, probably because they're new to us and we feel suddenly off-kilter in our parenting.

But the truth is, tweens and teens are also sensitive and kind, funny and ridiculously smart.

And the most important truths are these: They need us and they need to know that we think highly of them.

Kids who are validated by their parents, whose parents have confidence in them, make better decisions. This is the philosophy behind OTCSafety's new initiative #ToMyTeen, a site dedicated to sparking a national conversation about tweens and teens.

Parents are uploading answers to four questions about their tweens and teens directly onto the site. The space has quickly become a place we can gather as parents to send our tweens and teens a united message that they're respected and valued.

This is exactly what I want my kids — and yours — to hear. Because good words, feelings, and actions beget good words, feelings, and actions.

One of the four #ToMyTeen prompts is: My tween/teen isn't … I absolutely love the concept of dispelling myths around this fabulous age group, so I asked 11 moms to answer this question right here.

Click through to see what 10 of them had to say about this, and what one mom just couldn't resist saying that her tween/teen is.

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Image via Andrea Mowery

Andrea Mowery is the sometimes humorous, sometimes heartfelt, and always real writer who punctuates life and parenting topics with her own personal mishaps and deadpan observations on her blog, About 100%.

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Image via Heather Davis

Heather Davis is a momma, a writer and a procrastinator of laundry — read all about her at Minivan Momma.

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Image via Denise Schmidt

Denise Schmidt is a silly and sarcastic lifestyle and mom blogger who wears her heart on her sleeve.

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Image via Angela Youngblood

Angela Youngblood is a freelance writer who documents the often hilarious adventures of her family of six on her blog Jumping With My Fingers Crossed.

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Image via Katrina Anne Willis

Katrina Anne Willis is a wife of one, mom of 4 (ages 17, 15, 14, 12), an essayist, an author, and a blogger.

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Image via Andrea Jarrell

Andrea Jarrell's essays on mothering, relationships, life and love have appeared in The New York Times; The Huffington Post; Brain, Child; Literary Mama; and The Washington Post among other publications. You can find her work here.

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Image via Vikki Reich

Vikki Reich writes about the intersection of contemporary lesbian life, parenthood and pop culture at Up Popped a Fox and is the Managing Editor at Village Q, a site that gives voice to the experience of LGBTQ parents.

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Image via Kari Wagner Hoban

Kari Wagner Hoban writes at A Grace Full Life about her family and how to spray paint an old table to save money but end up spending MORE money in the process because she is an imperfect gal in a “perfect” world.

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Image via K.M. O’Sullivan

K.M. O'Sullivan is a mother and writer who shares her slightly askew view of the world where feminism meets real life (and heels are totally optional).

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Image via Kerry Rossow

Kerry Rossow blogs at HouseTalkN about the houses she loves and the shenanigans that go on inside them and That's What She Said, a springboard for women to exchange stories.

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Image via Amanda Magee

Amanda Magee writes about her life with three daughters, a ridiculously talented husband, a dramatically effeminate cocker spaniel, and an unrelenting delight in finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

{ MORE: When Parents Argue: Tips for Fighting Fair }

Join us in changing the conversation around tweens and teens today. #ToMyTeen's four questions are:

My tween/teen is…

My tween/teen isn't…

Dear parents of younger kids…

Raising tweens/teens today is…

What do real parents think about raising teens today? Add your thoughts in the comments and at #ToMyTeen.

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What do you think?

10 Things You Have So Wrong About Teens

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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