I had a lovely chat with one of my favorite ladies this morning, and we were talking about kiddos and how fast they grow up, and how we moms just aren’t ready for the teen years. And I was inspired.
So here are the ten things I would tell my teenage son, and all my adopted kiddos.
*You are going to have crushes. You’re going to “date” and you’re going to break hearts…and yes, you’ll have your heart broken. You’re going to care about someone and you’re going to get hurt. It may feel like your life is over, but it will really just be beginning.
*It is true what they say, as much as is possible, treat people how you want to be treated. Put all the good karma you can into the world and you shall be handsomely rewarded.
*You will be bullied. When the time comes and you’re the one doing the bullying, remember how it felt when you were in their shoes.
*You will have many “best” friends. When a friendship goes sour, try to leave it on the best terms possible and with your dignity intact. God knows how hard it will be, but always, ALWAYS try to be the better person. You will be glad you did.
*Take pride in yourself and the values you hold dear, but be willing to accept you won’t always be right. Open yourself up to learning new things and revising what you’ve been taught. There isn’t always one right answer. Find what you hold true and stand up for what you believe in.
*There are consequences to each and every action, some good, some bad, and some may not surface immediately. I can’t tell you what choices to make, but please weigh the outcomes beforehand. Even just one minute of thought can save you a lifetime of hurt.
*Dream. Dream loud and dream often. Chase those dreams and dream new ones. Hold onto that wonderful imagination for as long as you can and use it to dream and accomplish the impossible.
*I know it won’t always be popular to make the “right” decision, but please remember that popularity can and will fade and when it does, your virtue will be all that you can hold on to.
*You will get warnings, people will tell you all of the horrible consequences for many of the decisions you will find yourself faced with…and you will tell yourself they won’t happen to you. Please remember, they can ALWAYS happen to ANYONE. Protect yourself and be smart. Naivety and ignorance will only bring you pain.
*Most importantly, don’t forget to smile, laugh, and LIVE. You are only young with minimal cares for this short period of time. Enjoy every last second; I can promise you, you will be glad you did.
What advice would you give to teenagers?
**This post is adapted from a post I wrote in 2012 for The Band Back Together Project. I certify that I am the sole author of both posts, though they are written under different names. I retain all rights to these words, in both posts.