I tease my daughter… I call her “mini-me,” though she’s never seen the Austin Powers movie the silly comment comes from. But I call her that in love, as she has inherited the uncanny ability to mirror my looks in a much more beautiful fashion than I ever sported at her age. It took me most of my life to finally break free of the awkward teenage years – yes – long after I turned 20 something they still haunted me. But her? Just one short year into her “official first year” of being a teen and she is drop dead – head turning – gorgeous. Long red hair, perfect complexion, adorable freckles that smatter across her cheekbones, vibrant green eyes… okay, okay, I’ll stop. I can see her “MOM!” look, now. But that’s what mom’s do, right? They say that gooey stuff about their kid.
But I’m right. I know I am. So I tell her she’s wrong, all the time, when she caves to self loathing, listens to the inner voice that says she’s not got what it takes to make it, and when she lets the world tell her she can’t when I know God has a bright future full of “YES YOU CAN” waiting for her.
It’s hard to be a mom of a teen. It’s hard to combat the world out there who wants to tell our young people that there is only one thing that makes them beautiful… one way to do something, or one thing that is worth doing. But doing hard things are worth doing.
I hear other mom’s around me talking about how “hard it is” and it’s said with a bit of a whine. Yep. You’re darn tootin it is. When did someone tell you this parenting thing was easy? Can I ask you when the last time LIFE was easy? Period? Cause I have not experienced a whole lot of that easy thing lately… and from the look-see I’ve given to the “world” lately, it hasn’t seen much of it either. Something about that whine worries me too… they seem to want to make life too easy for their kids, to take the pain out of it for them, to do the hard things FOR them, and to protect them from it all. I sooooo get that. I do. You can’t imagine how I do, because there’s a journey behind getting to this photo you will never get to hear… but what you will hear is this – Life is hard, and unless you teach that to your kid, you fail them. Yep. You fail as a parent.
I should see some failure freaks sitting up and taking notice now. I should know, I’m one of them. So here’s what to teach your kid if you DONT want to fail them…
The 3 simple things all teens should know
Here’s the secret to all the good things in LIFE and the 3 things every teen needs to know heading out into the real world…
#1 – LIFE is hard. DAMN hard. Period.
#2 – Hard things are worth doing. Period.
#3 – If it was easy, everyone would be doing it… and then you’d just be one of the crowd. In order to STAND OUT and BE someone worth being – you need to go back and re-read #1 & #2 again, stop whining, and decide to go for it.
Yes – it really is that simple. Anything you put your back into, your mind into, your heart, soul, sweat, tears, and work your ass off for will count. It will matter. It will be something you will fight for and protect. If it’s handed to you, it will never hold the same weight in your hand as something you worked for. I don’t care what it is or what we are talking about.
And when in doubt, error on the side of having worked for it anyway. Parents, error on the side of having taught your kids life skills they will be able to make it through the hardest of times with, not ones where they will be left shell shocked and wondering WHY the world is just so mean to them. It is because it is. Period. Not even God promised it will be easy. It’s written no where.
And THAT is what I gently teach my beautiful daughters and son, each day, in a way that will hopefully sink deep into their knowing places. That and Grace – God’s beautiful and healing Grace. It’s this legacy I hope to pass on so that they never look back and hear the whine in my voice and wonder where Life did them wrong.