Friday, June 30, 2006

Teenagers get a bad rap!
I say this with force, with exclamation points and with volume! I am the mother of 2 full fledged teens and one who is 12. I hear the groans when I say I have 3 teens, I hear the people say they want to lock them up and throw away the key, I hear the people who tell me they dread these years. I feel so sorry for them. I LOVE my teenagers. They are wonderful, so idealistic and foolish yes, but also clear eyed and unsullied by life. Filled with dreams and energy and a desire to do everything that comes to them. I see their hunger for love and acceptance while they try to forge their way in the world before them. I see their tenderness and childlike qualities when they see an injured animal while they still try to "toughen up" and act like grown ups over disappointments. They bring me joy and make me feel alive. They challenge me and test me and they make my life so much richer!

Now I admit when your daughter starts to hit "that time" in her life the Pod People do show up and kidnap her, replacing her with a pod like exterior of herself that some hormonal wild child lives in; However after about 7 days your child does return! Your son may start to get pretty strange and rushing a wall to try to walk up it sideways is not unheard of (so far we at least have been lucky enough to have not dealt with stitches or broken bones in the pursuit of this hobby), this too does pass.

Last night I sat up reading for awhile and when I laid down to go to sleep all I could think was, why did everyone tell me this would be the worst years? My husband and I love to be with our children and even the "prickly" one is a delight most of the time. Do I think everyone is so blessed, no I am a realist, but I do know, if we spent as much time just enjoying and getting to know our teenagers as we do complaining about them, they may not be so bad. What we say about them and to them has a major impact on who and what they are becoming. What do you want YOUR indelible mark on their life to be???? Take some time, do something silly and teen like with them (okay here it is a shaving cream battle....You just never know when one will break out) and don't try to be like them, enjoy the differences you are not their buddy you are their guidance, their parent! These years are flying by me and I know they will leave home but o the joy of having them now!


Dell said...

AMEN! I just get eye rolls when I reply to people who say, "Oh, just wait until they are teens" with, "I plan to ENJOY them as teenagers."

Since mine are little I know they think my head's just in the clouds, but I know so many teens who are a delight to their parents.

It stings my heart to hear how so many parents put down their children. And it makes me rejoice and encourages me beyond measure to hear of relationships such as you and your teenagers share!

Thank you for sharing! It gives great encouragement to those of us still drowning in diapers. (Although I enjoy these precious early years too!)

Each age has its joys!

Bernice said...

I agree wholeheartedly!!! We play with our teens on the spur of the yesterday I was doing a poor job of dance dance revolution on playstation with my 14yr old daughter. Today I strolled through the Peddler's mall with my two teen daughter's with them hanging on my arms walking 3 abreast down the isles....just don't tell my hubby...he hates it when ppl crowd the isles LOL

Terri said...

Hope you don't mind, Coleen, you've been tagged!

Gina said...

That was beautiful and sweet! I only have one teen and I REALLY like him! I think sometimes you simply get what you've put into them and if they know you not only love them, but have INVESTED into them...they almost always like you back and respect you. Loved what you wrote here!

Anne said...

I think you're doing a great job with your kids - I love your attitude and your love shines through your words!!!

BTW - you've been tagged!!
(Don't ask me what it means because I don't - just go to my site and copy the topics and answer them)

MInTheGap said...

Our Sunday School class is going through a series on raising teens-- something I don't have yet-- and our Pastor sounds much like you. He's constantly emphasizing that the teen years can be a great time and that a lot of those years are determined by how we act around them and how involved we are with them. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

isn't it wonderful to delight in your is a joyous feeling..."The Lord delights in knowing His children delight"...

young birds sometime need encouragement to leave the nest while others can't wait even if they are not ready...sounds like yours are right on target... and yet our words help create or destroy young when you give the term "pricky one" to one teen you may be making things worse...perhaps "assertive" (verses aggressive) term (or highly committed to his/her desires) for a teen is a more positive term of endearment...

maybe grandmother (or significant other) needs to talk with somebody more often ... something to ponder or just skip over this part.

my teen was that way and people tried to tell me do this or do that and quite frankly you just have to do what you need to do because everything is it is ment to be.

keep up the great parenting cause it certainly seems to be working.