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!