Sometimes I get a little like whoah when I realize my oldest is only a few months away from turning thirteen. She likes to tell me I’m getting old and I’m like hey, I’m only thirty two! There are tons of moms my age where their oldest is only about six or so and I feel like they’re younger than I am because their kids are younger.
On the plus side of things, I have a babysitter. I don’t have to worry about running out during the day or for a coffee and having to haul all the kids out. I did for years and I am so glad those years are over. That was some hard stuff. Road-trips are a lot easier than they were. But where some things are easier, some are harder.
I’m going to just go ahead and say I’m an old fashioned parent. Because “times have changed” and kids how have iPhones. Mine don’t. We have a family phone, my old iPhone, which I let them use for games or for when I’m out so they can get ahold of me. But my oldest is really on my case about getting her own iPhone because “all of her friends have one and also they all have Instagram and their parents don’t care”. I have so many issues with both of those things that I can’t even. Regardless, I see no point in a child having an iPhone before they can drive or have a job. None whatsoever. So yes, old fashioned me! I won’t even discuss Instagram. Not a place for kids. Or teens. Ha, probably not anyone honestly.
There are tons of things I’m trying to teach my kids about life and people in general. But the teen years are a whole different league. I know with that age, the last thing they want to do is listen to their mom. So I am just hoping I can have taught them enough for them to know to think before they act.
I want them to understand that they do not need to be like anyone else. They do not need to feel the need to dress like their peers, which is so far so good. Thank goodness. They can have their own sense of style, likes, and dislikes. About the worst thing you can do is alter yourself to fit in or get certain people to like you. Terrible waste of years. And it seems girls are more into looking or acting like everyone else than boys.
I want them to understand that you can be friends with anyone, no matter what. If you get along well and you’re happy in each others company, be friends. Please. There are too many people who didn’t understand that and ended up sucked in with people who were not good for them. And then it’s too late. Never ever ever deny good healthy friendships.
I want them to understand that if they’re in a bad situation, either speak up to friends. Or call me or a trusted adult. I actually get terrified thinking of the teen years when they’re out driving and being young and free. It wasn’t that long ago that I was that age and maybe that’s a good thing. I still have fresh memories of then. Sometimes it seems a lot of the older parents have forgotten either what it’s like to be a teen or they trust their teens way too much. I had an instance where I ended up at a party with friends, and they all started drinking. I went outside and sat on the steps and called a different friend, because I kind of felt dumb I was the odd one out and because I felt I needed someone to talk to. And a nice kid that was at the party and not drinking either, came and kept me company.
I want them to understand that anything can happen. There is no rule saying it won’t be you. Don’t do dumb stuff. Use your head. If others want to do dumb stuff, say your piece, and if they don’t listen, whatever. But you. Don’t do it.
I want them to understand that people can be manipulative and deceitful. Even people they think they know. My mom once gave me a good piece of advise, maybe when I was about sixteen and getting into relationships. She said “anyone can fake it for a year, but nobody can fake it for a lifetime”. Too accurate. I can’t say I listened to her because I quite believed people were who they said or showed they were. I have since learned and it’s something I want all my kids to know. Be watchful. Its a hard thing to have to teach. I still give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that they’re good until proven otherwise.
I want them to understand that empathy, kindness, and love win always. And if people reject that, they’re not for you. Be kind to everyone. Feel the feels. Everyone has had some hurt. Everybody deserves to be treated well. Be the one who does that.
The teen years can really be a fun time! I loved that time of my life. I do have regrets from then like most people probably do, but overall it was amazing. I had the best friends that I wish were still a part of my life today. Those friends changed my life. And were only a part of it for a short time. Biggest mistake was not holding on to those people. I hope I can teach my kids to hold onto good people.
Oh and also, please don’t rush to get married.
There’s so many more things I could add, but that’s a start! If you have any things you’d love to go back and tell your teen self, or that you want to teach your kids, let me know! I, along with probably lots of parents, need all the help we can get.:)