We’ve all done stupid things when we were young. Heck, sometimes I think back on some of the decisions I made as a teen, and am completely amazed that I never got arrested and am still alive and well! It’s unrealistic to think that our teenagers will avoid such screw-ups by learning from OUR mistakes. They have to make their own. Teens are going to slip up…it’s in their DNA. But instead of turning into Judge Judy, perhaps we, the experienced, insightful, and understanding grown-ups that we are now, can help our teens learn from their mistakes, and move on.
To my 17 year-old-daughter, EVERYTHING qualifies as an emergency. I regularly get calls, sometimes even at work, with her on the other end in a complete panic…”Mom, I left my gym shorts at home and I have gym in 5 minutes, can you bring them now, please?!?” or “Mom, I forgot money for lunch, can you bring me something to eat right NOW, please…I’m starving!?!”
Clearly not every situation warrants a code blue, drop-everything-and-leave-right-now response, but I do want my children to know that they can count on me. Just like the notion of unconditional love where we show our children that we love them no matter what, teens need to know that they can count on their parents, even if it means running around all over town like a crazy person sometimes. It is not easy and can certainly be inconvenient and stressful for us parents, but the positive effects for our kids can be far-reaching and super beneficial!
Despite the ups and downs with my teens, I love them each day with every fiber of my being. The problem is that sometimes I don’t show it. As my son prepares to go into surgery tomorrow, I am reminded of just how important he is to me and how much I value being his mother. Don’t forget to show your kids how much you love them!