This week will be a bit unusual at The 7 Year Adventure. I am participating in the Intentional Blog 7-Day Challenge issued by Jeff Goins. Today’s assignment was to write a manifesto on what we are about and why we write. So here is my manifesto on why I am writing to you, the parents of teens.
Parenting Your Legacy
Expectation is everything.
A self-fulfilling prophecy is proof of that.
Outcome is determined by a person’s mindset and method of thinking. If he thinks negative thoughts, then negative events emerge. Conversely, positive thoughts and expectations will dictate a more pleasant or desirable end.
This is never truer than with parenting, especially parenting teenagers.
Some parents dread that 13th birthday like it’s the end of the world, the end of their kids as they know them. They see it as a whole new playing field.
It is a whole new playing field.
But why does it have to be bad?
Why do people dread the teen years so much?
With the advent of the teen years, parents are told by society that teens are awful. That these years are to be dreaded, feared, and survived. That no matter what we do or say, it makes no difference and they will just ignore us and do whatever they want.
Parents shrink at the thought of having to deal with such impossible creatures.
Can we handle the inescapable fact that our kids are growing up and turning into teenagers?
Yes! We absolutely can.
Think about all you have been through with your child during his or her life. If you have developed a close relationship with your child, there is no reason for it to evaporate after a birthday.
Yes, it takes effort and hard work to stay in the loop with your teen. It takes discernment and understanding. It takes patience and perseverance.
But isn’t that the case with anything worthwhile?
Don’t give up your authority or your peace of mind to the prophets of doom who want you to believe the teen years are some yawning abyss waiting to swallow your kids after their twelfth year.
Take control of your destiny. Have faith in your ability to be a loving, capable parent. Stand up and make a difference in your teen’s life. He or she is depending on you.
I am the parent of a teen, my third. I feel compelled to write this because I am ready to see things change for teens. We as a society are losing them, mostly because we are allowing them to be taken from us.
Teenagers are capable of love, kindness, and compassion. They can produce beautiful works of art, and music. They can think and work and write and create. I can name numerous examples of amazing teens and what to love about them. See my post 57 Reasons to Love Teenagers.
Yet teens are one of the most maligned groups of people in our culture today. Adults love to talk about how bad kids are.
But we adults continue to set bad examples for them – and low expectations.
So I will ask you as the parent of a teenager, or soon-to-be teenager.
What are your expectations of your child’s teen years?
Do you expect good things to happen, or bad things?
Which do you think will yield the best results?
Another question I want to ask.
What will be your legacy on this earth when you leave it?
Most of us will leave the bulk of our legacy in our children.
What will they say about you?
How will they remember you?
Were you their hero? Their champion?
Could they always count on you to have their back?
Will they cherish the relationship you had together?
Only one person has control of the answers to those questions.
I encourage you to foster that loving, close relationship with your teens. They need it, and you need it.
For weekly help and tips on making the best of your child’s teen years, be sure to subscribe to The 7 Year Adventure.
If you subscribe, you will be able to download a free copy of my ebook parenting guide 12 Keys to Raising Happy, Well-Adjusted Teenagers Without Pulling Your Hair Out. Just go over to the side bar or the field below and enter your first name and your email address.
Also, check out the Resources page. There, you will find lists of helpful reading materials for life with teens.