|Parenting a teen includes special moments...whether they want to be there or not.|
Is there such a thing as a Parenting Boot Camp? If there is, I need to sign up now. Maybe I could even be a guest speaker for this event. The boot camp could meet weekly and cover parenting tips for various ages and stages of the growing child. I’d lead with preparation tips for raising a teen.
Being in the midst of raising teens led me to write today’s blog post about things I wished I’d learned before NOW (or 5 years ago).
1. A two minute warning does not work for teens – in the game of football a two minute warning means there’s two minutes left in the game. I thought I could use this concept in parenting. When asking my son to complete a task, he often moves slowly. So I’ve told him he has two minutes to get moving. However, just like in the game of football, his two minute warning can last five minutes or more.
2. When someone says the teen years can be challenging, believe them – When my boys were 16 and 13 years old they were typical teens who wanted to hang out with their friends. I thought I had it made as I boasted to myself, the teen years aren’t so bad, people exaggerated. No they didn’t. Challenges will come, but you will make it through if you remain grounded in your faith.
3. As your kids grow older so will you – this might sound obvious, but my body was not aware of this. Sometimes I exercise to a work out DVD. During a recent exercise session, the instructor did a lot of kicks and jumping that I had trouble keeping up with. In the past I was able to do the moves without much difficulty, fast forward a couple of years and gravity is now keeping me from flying through the air with ease. The instructor was smiling and talking through the moves. I was panting and reaching for a glass of water.
I have considered writing to someone requesting that a warning label be applied to the DVD packaging. The warning could read: If you’re over 45, you might want to select a different exercise program. Then again this may be covered under the disclaimer we often hear, “consult your physician before beginning…”
4. The high school years go by quickly – One day you’re enrolling your child for high school, then you blink your eye and he’s planning for senior prom. I often heard that “kids grow up so fast” and “enjoy them while they’re young.” All of this is true. My younger teen is still at home so I have another opportunity to experiment and practice raising a teen. Once both my boys are adults, I should be an expert.
5. You’ll make mistakes and it’s ok – love unconditionally.
What things do you wish you’d learned 5 years ago about parenting?