Don’t Settle for Just Surviving Those Teen Years

Keeping the Adventure Alive!

I have a special friend (you know who you are) whose son is turning 13 in about a month. This post is for you, and anyone else who might need encouragement, anyone who is hanging by fingertips on the leading edge of those teen years, waiting for that dreaded shoe to drop.

You know what I’m going to say.

NO! Don’t dread it. Rather, EMBRACE IT!

You have some of the most potentially exciting years of your child’s life ahead of you. Don’t cheat yourself out of enjoying them by listening to naysayers (I call them the Prophets of Doom, the Cold Water Brigade, etc.) who love to spew negative comments dripping with sarcasm to you about how awful your life is about to get.

Listen to me.

Listen to positive words and affirmations about how your life and your upcoming teen’s life does not have to become something you just survive. On the contrary, your attitude can steer your child’s teen years in a whole, different direction – a thriving, adventurous direction.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, The 7 Year Adventure, helping you make your child’s teen years an adventure is my top priority, not only for you, the reader, but certainly in my own household, as well.

I’ll admit, there are times when it can be a struggle. Fatigue, homework, and other daily activities and responsibilities can sometimes crowd out the resolve to make life an adventure. We can easily find ourselves defaulting into survival mode.

That happens sometimes with our current teenager, and it has happened in the past, as well.

But the key is not to let those occasional struggles and difficulties completely define your child’s entire teenage experience.

I went to a conference last year put on by the wonderful Dan and Joanne Miller, of 48 Days to the Work You Love fame. During Joanne’s presentation, she challenged each participant to take a few minutes and briefly write two versions of his or her life story. One version was to be written from a negative viewpoint, while the other was to be written from a positive viewpoint. At the end, several people shared their stories told from both viewpoints.

It was an amazing exercise – very eye-opening. Both versions were true, of course, but what mattered was which story the person chose to embrace as their own life story – the positive one or the negative one.

The same ideas and principles can be applied to how we view our children’s lives. Our outlook on their teen years can have a dramatic effect on whether the experience is good or bad.

I would challenge you this week to think about your child’s life, and your own life for that matter, in the light of a positive story and a negative story. Choose which version you want to be the real story of your life.

Choose now whether you will proceed into the teen years with misery and dread, or whether you will view it as embarking on an amazing adventure. You have the power to write the story as you go. My hope and prayer is that you will be an awesome author!

Related articles:

Your Child Is Turning 13 – The 7 Year Adventure Begins

Parenting Your Legacy

Love Every Age, Love Every Stage – Living in the NOW With Your Teens

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Settle for Just Surviving Those Teen Years

  1. Thank you for your timely post, Anna. I always look forward to reading your blog on Friday mornings. Its incredibly helpful to learn from someone who sincerely wants to share her experiences about inspiring teens. Your advice is very much appreciated!

    This week, I’ve been reading a book by pastor Joel Osteen called “It’s Your Time” that makes your post especially pertinent to me. In his chapter “Choosing Faith Over Fear”, Joel talks about the various stages of his sons life. He recalls visiting a restaurant when his son was just a few months old. A couple warned them “You just wait till he gets to be about two years old. He’s good now, but those terrible two’s are coming.” After they left, Joel turned to his wife Victoria and said “I am not receiving that. It will not be the terrible twos for us. It will be the terrific twos.” He never had a problem with his son when he was two or three or four. When his son was ten, the naysayers said “Just wait till he becomes a teenager. He will be giving you problems then. You’ll have some headaches”. That wasn’t true. He never had a problem with his young teen. Joel went on to say “Well, the next thing they will be saying is “Just wait until he turns eighteen and gets out on his own. Wait till he hits forty, Joel, watch out when your son gets to be seventy-five…”

    What I have been learning is that we have to expect our children to excel and do great things with their lives. Our children will rise to the level of our expectations. My wife and I have high expectations for my son. He has reached and surpassed every one of them. He is actually becoming a young man that inspires me. I find myself trying to be a better person. I’m striving to met the expectations that he has for me.

    Just as you say, we have to guard the doors of our mind. If we go around thinking about our fears, they will become our reality. We only have to turn to the book of Job to learn more about the danger of living a life of fear and negativity. His words “The thing I feared came upon me” are a constant reminder of how detrimental negative thinking can be to our life.

    Thank you again. Already looking forward to next weeks post.

    • Joel, thank you for your wonderful words. The example you gave about how people not only speak negatively about teens, but any age group is so true, and it permeates our culture and society to the detriment of children and families. I appreciate your attitude toward your own son, and am so happy to hear that he is thriving and becoming an awesome young man. He has you to thank for that.
      Thanks also for your kind words. They keep me going!