I know, it’s that time of year…nearly May.
I'm raising a teenager. What's your super power? Anonymous, but familiar to all parents of teens!
This is the season, many Moms have declared, “This month is busier than December!” Preparations for graduations, class parties, final exams, field days, sports, the list goes on and on. Our two are grown and married, but still, especially as a former teacher, I remember those days!
Even if yours are babies, toddlers, or “just a thought,” if you have dreams of being a parent, it is not too early to be thinking about these things. Children are wet cement, little sponges, and we only get one chance to make the right impression on their unique and beautiful lives. Let’s do this well!
Back in 2002, when ours were just 14 (daughter, Leah) and 11 (son, Walker) I taped the following on a mirror where I get ready for my days.
Walk by faith, even when you cannot see. 2 Corinthians 5:7
I read this list often and I believe it helped me in our raising of two kids. While we always wanted to expect respect from our two, this list served as a good reminder that teens need to know they are respected, as well.
Ten Ways To Value A Teen:
- Frequently applaud and praise your teen
- Encourage decision making
- Support your teen’s good decisions
- Compliment your teen’s appearance
- Look for positive gifts and point them out
- Admire your teen’s gifts
- State your appreciation of your teen
- Ask for your teen’s help and advice
- Express gratitude for your teen often
- List positive qualities of your teen and read them aloud to yourself when times are tough
I hope this list is as helpful to you as it was to me for more than a decade taped to my mirror. We definitely had conflicts, and some of them were really big. That is a normal part of parenting and children who are growing into themselves.
Even amidst the friction, we tried to always love them without condition and affirm them as unique individuals. Whether a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend of the family, your loving presence is the greatest gift you can give a growing child or teen.
Let’s be present in the lives of children.