Growing Together: Raising a Teenager



Growing Together: Raising a Teenager
By: Wendy Ray

(Cape Girardeau, MO)--Every stage of the growing process can be a challenge, but the teenage years can push the limits for both parents and kids. It's a welcome challenge for one Heartland family as they grow together. Sixte en year old Maddy Bruegging keeps her parents busy. She's always on the go doing something, but now Maddy can drive herself anywhere she needs to be.

Maddy's life changed in October when she got her driver's license. "It was like freedom I guess," she says. "I don't have to have my mom chauffeur me everywhere." Her mom, Kathryn Eastman says, "Big, big change once they get the drivers license. Prior to that you're the one driving them to the orthodontics office, to the dentist."

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. "At first it was a change and I had to get used to it. Now I hardly notice they're there that much." Dealing with braces is just the beginning for this active teen. Maddy is also in a youth band at her church. They practice once a week to sing at church and other places around town. That on top of school, homework, and hanging out with friends means Maddy's not home much.
"Right now, I feel like I never see her," her mom says. "I'm going, she's coming, or I'm coming and she's going."

Another big adjustment recently, after 13 years of it just being her and her mom, Kathryn got remarried. "The timing was good," her mom Kathryn says. "Since I've gotten married, she was ready to spread her wings. She was kind of worried about leaving her mom home alone." "It's been different because I wasn't used to a man in the house, but it's been nice," Maddy says. Her step-father Horace Eastman says, "She's a sweet kid, she really is." The changes are even more of a reason for Maddy and Kathryn to take time out every week to spend time together. Whether it's shopping, or just hanging out, they know they're always there for each other. "Teenagers I feel like really need their parents when they are older and trying to find their wings as they become adults," Kathryn says.