Potential

Teenager Quote

I’m not trying to be wise and all-knowing, but at the ripe old age of 36, I like to think that I know a few things about life.

  • I know from trial and error that friends and family are more important than things.
  • Money is important, but not at the expense of the more important things in life.
  • My relationship with my Lord is truly priceless.
  • Find a job you love, since you’ll spend at least eight hours a day there.
  • When you know who you are and stand up for what you believe you will always be happier.
  • And most important – Life each day to the fullest, you never know when your life will be cut short.

I kind of thought I had the basics figured out by now.  However, I’m learning a very important lesson right now.

Teenagers aren’t going to make logical decisions – shocking huh!

You can talk and talk until you are blue in the face.  You can yell, you can be gentle and loving, you can lock them down or give them too much freedom (we’ve tried all of the above).  You can give them what if scenarios and have them say all the right things, but when it comes right down to it they aren’t always going to make what you consider to be the right decisions.

Their thought process is kind of short circuited towards the short sided approach to life.  As parent, we can see the long term ramifications of their decisions.  No matter how much you try and explain this to teenagers, they just don’t seem to get it.

I think I was a slightly unusual teenager in the sense that I always wanted to go to college.  I knew I had to get good grades and save my money, so I kind of thought that was just the normal attitude.  Most of my actions as a teenager where geared in that direction.

Having teenage daughters has completely changed my thought process.  They live for the here and now.  They care more about their social life then school.  Their priorities just aren’t things I consider important.  Seeing past the next week just isn’t something they can envision.  They aren’t stupid at all, they just have different priorities then I did at their age.

I’ve had to reconcile my dreams for them with the realities of their personalities and not allow myself to get caught up in the sadness I feel that they aren’t living the dream I want for them.   It is really hard for me to realize that just because I know a route that will work out well for them doesn’t mean that they will see my vision and follow that route.

They have their own personalities and I need to be cultivating those personalities and helping them grow.  At this point I’m not really sure how to even support them beyond just loving them unconditionally.   I doubt I’m doing everything right, but at least I’m trying.  In the mean time I’ll just keep listening and guiding them as best I can.

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