When I was in my early twenties, one of my role models of motherhood, was my “second mother” (I don’t like the term “step mother.” It’s so controversial and I can’t think of it without thinking WICKED – but that is another article).
In any case, at the time, her children – my siblings, were teenagers. I remember that she was the first person I had heard say that “teenagers are terrific.” She worked in a high school and saw the gifts that teenagers bring, plus she knew as a mother, that this perspective was a powerful one. My own mother thought I was terrific too, but I had never heard this idea stated as a larger perspective about teens.
Prior to that, my exposure to “teenagers,” was that they were difficult – or that was the adult view in our culture. And, from my own experience, I felt that BEING a teenager was no bed of roses either. To hear that teenagers were terrific, was a revelation and it shaped the way I view my teenagers now.
I can say with no hesitation, that yes, teenagers are terrific. And not just my children. Their friends are terrific also. More than that, my expectation is that all teenagers are terrific and that is what they deliver.
Moody? Yes. Challenging at times? Yes. Aren’t we all? But what a wonderful time of life. They are filled with the sparks of interests, careers and loves to come. We have the privilege to witness it all and provide the foundation as they take off and fly into their future.
If you have teenagers, you already know the terrific truth.
If your children are young and you are “worried” about the teenage years, you don’t need to be worried. You have what you need to guide them as long as you assume that they are terrific and stay committed to picking them up and dusting them off when they fall. Just like you did when they were toddlers.
Coach Me Quick Tips for Terrific Teens:
- Let them know what you appreciate twice as often as you give them “constructive feedback.”
- Notice what is unique about them and what they bring to life that you never could have imagined.
- Allow them to be in the “teenage” state of moods; changes, excitement and figuring out who they are.