This year has marked a transition for our family. I’m not sure how we got here, but in a blink of an eye we have two teens in high school. Parenting teenagers is not for the faint of heart. It’s also one of the most incredible times in our lives. And to our teens, here are a few thoughts from mom and dad.
TO OUR TEENS
There is no one else like you and that is your superpower. Be you. Unapologetically you. When you tap into the essence of who you really are and share it with the others, it’s the best feeling in the world. Fitting in is overrated. Don’t be afraid to stand out and know that feeling awkward or out of place is completely normal. We all feel that way.
Try new things. Especially if they are hard. If it’s a success, feel the pride. If it’s not, failing forward will teach you more than you’ll ever know.
God poured many talents and capabilities into you. Use them for good. Don’t let them go to waste.
Be the friend who cheers on others. Be the one who fans the flame. This world is full of people who do the opposite. Steer clear of them. Always be the one who builds others up because seeing others shine is a beautiful thing. In raising others up, you will unlock your own potential.
Know that your mom and dad love you more than anything in this world. Our love is unconditional and steadfast. It will not waiver. Every time we say yes or anytime we say no it’s from a place of love. And while we love being your friend, we are your parents first and it is our responsibility to protect that role. You deserve that. And while we know you won’t always like it, when you turn back around many years from now, we pray you’ll respect it.
Please drive carefully and text us when you get there.
Turn off the noise on a daily basis. Put down your phone. You can control what you invite in. Remember that much of what you see is filtered and delivered with an agenda meant to control. Be discerning in what you bring into your life. Joy is the most precious feeling in the world and it is yours to find. Be careful where you search.
Listen to that inner voice of yours. It is the most powerful tool you have and is backed by those who have gone before us and love you with all of their being. God has big plans for you and when your intuition speaks, allow it to guide you. It’s a true gift and should not be ignored.
Your sense of humor and laughter are infectious. Laugh every day. If it’s uncontrollable laughter, it’s even better.
Work hard. Hard work yields a sense of accomplishment that makes times of play so much more fulfilling. If you want something, earn it and take pride in knowing you did it on your own.
Be kind to others always. Be gracious to those who show you kindness. Take a breath before you speak and imagine how your words might land. At the end of the day, life is about our relationships. Care for them and protect them. There will come a time when those relationships carry you through.
Everyone is fighting a battle. Everyone. Show compassion and remember they are worried about their own problems, not yours.
Your father will never stop telling dad jokes and I will never get the lyrics right. The sooner you accept that, the easier life will be.
When people show you who they are, believe them. Give your heart to only those you fully trust.
Go for walks, appreciate the sunset, feel the grass under your feet and marvel at the night sky. Embrace the mountains and the ocean. See the world and all that it has to offer. Remember that nature is the best medicine of all.
If you ever need a bowl or a spoon, try looking in your own room first.
Today is your day. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Praise God and walk in gratitude. While you never know what today brings, you are strong and capable and the joy comes in appreciating all of the little things.
Never ever forget how much we love you and are cheering you on in all that you do. This is your journey and we are so blessed to have a front row seat. We will try our best not to embarrass you.