Growing Together: Raising A Teenager




Growing Together: Raising A Teenager
By: Wendy Ray

Growing together as a family can be a challenge, but the teenage girls can get interesting.

When we first met 16-year-old Madalyn Bruegging in February, we found out she keeps things interesting for her mom, Kathryn King.
Maddy may be able to drive herself to the doctor's office, but she still wants her mom by her side for some things. Like many kids her age, Maddy had to get braces. She's also in a youth band at her church. But singing in the youth band is just the beginning for Maddy, and even though school is winding down other things are piling up.

Maddy's about to finish her sophomore year in high school, but that's not the only thing on her mind. "I'm trying to find a job right now, job interviews, planning summer," she says.

Like other teenagers her age, Maddy's found out getting a job isn't easy. "I've put in a couple of job applications, but some places you have to be a certain age and I haven't met that since I'm only 16," Maddy says. Not to mention getting ready for finals. "I need to keep up with everything, keep my grades up," she says.

Maddy's mom, Kathryn, is always there to help. "Maddy and I are pretty close," Kathryn says. "She tells me she tells me everything, but I'm not sure that's true." But Maddy was eager to tell her mom one thing. "She got invited to prom, so she'll be going to prom," her Kathryn says. Now, the search for the perfect dress and hairstyle is on.

Seeing Maddy and her mom together is common. Kathryn keeps an eye on everything she's doing, being a mom and a friend. Kathryn says, "I encourage her to have a passion for something, to do something she really enjoys and do it well." Even though they're always on the go, Maddy and Kathryn make Tuesday night, girl's night, so they can talk about what's going on in their lives. "I'm really proud of her," Kathryn says.

Maddy's also busy, entering the Miss Pre-Teen of America contest. It's based on academics, and requires community involvement.

We'll check in with our five "Growing Together" families again in weeks to come, with a 30 minute special in June. There are still a lot of changes which lie ahead.