Kids these days.
Particularly teenagers. I tell you what!
Well, let me tell you what.
"lol the man registering me for irsc was blown away that I have a job, dual enroll, and bought my own car at 16 years old"
"Why can't my mother see any of that"
We lament that teenagers are the lost generation, and perhaps they are, but whose fault is that? They want to be heard, we don't listen; they do stuff, we don't notice; they ask questions and demand answers, and we say we're too busy now, can you go back to your iPhone like all you teenagers do?
Perhaps, just perhaps, yes, our teenagers are a lost generation (but nobody asks if our generation is 'found' or 'grounded,' do they?), but perhaps our teenagers are, instead, the abandoned generation.
Ever think of it that way?
We've abandoned them to schools, to parties, to technology time-wasters (they aren't the only ones; I'm surrounded by zombie-commuters, their brains sucked out by their twitter feeds and candy crushes), to their amorality (because we taught them none), then we look at them and shake our heads and say, 'Grow up! Keep acting that way, and you'll ruin your life.'
And our lives are so well-put-together, that they can compare theirs to ours and say: 'I wanna be just like Mom; I wanna be just like Dad.'
Some of you are good parents (okay: justify that. By what measure are you good? How much time do you include your teens in your lives, your decisions, your work, your activities, your hopes and dreams?), so you don't have to read this: your kids are going somewhere because you are and they have a good, well-grounded example to follow.
But others of you … shake your heads at your teens and wonder why they are turning out this way.
How about this.
There's a little girl, a teen, who did the dishes and cooked supper and cleaned her room today, and she did all this, and told you, or didn't tell you, and you said, 'well, what about this, this, and this?' or 'Sweetie, I have too much work to do right now, we'll talk later, okay?'
And the thing about 'later,' is that it never, ever comes.
How about this.
Catch your teen doing something really good, really amazing, something you never did when you were 16, and sit down with her, and say, 'Honey, I'm so, so proud of you. You are an amazing, beautiful person and you really did something there. Something I never did." or "Something I didn't know how to/have the courage to do for years after your age."
Do that. Say that. Catch your teen doing something good, instead of catching them doing the same-old or instead of catching them doing something bad and punishing them.
Do you know what a reward for a teen is?
You put your phone down, and you listen to them, and you acknowledge what they do.
Not a car, not a phone, not a latte. Just that.
Sure, you can share a latte if you're both into it, but turn off the phone, and say, 'Hey.'
Just say, 'Hey,' and 'I just noticed how grown up you are, and I'm so proud of you.'
Okay. I'm crying now, because I am so proud of these teens that are stretching themselves to be mature and responsible and hold it all together. And what do we have to say to them for all that they're trying to do and failing, or trying to do and succeeding, and where are we when they shine?
Be there when your teen shines.