“May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true. May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. May you stay forever young.” Bob Dylan
Sigh. Just thinking about my teenage years can make my heart beat faster and my heart heavy. I, unfortunately, didn’t really like my teen years – too many painful memories. Of course, lots of the memories are clouded with alcohol or drugs, but I think you get what I mean.
On January 1, my oldest daughter declared that she was no longer 12, but “almost 13” since her birthday is in March and she will be a teenager. I keep telling her to stop swearing and using the “T” word! Even though I joke about it, I am nervous for her. She is such a strong, independent, creative, beautiful girl. However, the social pressures of the teen years can be debilitating. Fitting in and being popular means everything. Pursuing popularity, could lead to the wrong crowd and harmful situations, which could change the course of her life.
I was talking with a friend’s 15 year old a while ago. She had mentioned how she enjoys partying and drinking with the “cool” crowd. Hmmm, I totally get that. Been there, done that. But I said to her that continuing on that path will eventually lead you into doing something that you will later regret. Almost guaranteed! It will mess you up, you will become depressed, then at 40 years old, you’ll end up writing a blog about it! I joked about the blog thing, but there was an element of truth in my response.
Through my church, I have met some incredible teens. Passionate, respectful, lovely teens who will be great mentors for my kids. People have said that Christianity can be a crutch for parents to use on their kids, so they wait to have sex in marriage. One of my thoughts is… how bad is that? Don’t we all wish for a knight in shining armour, to love and respect our daughters? Or a beautiful, kind, respectful princess to win over the heart of our sons? If it means respecting the bodies that God gave them, and waiting until marriage to enjoy the sexual relationship that God intended for us…how wrong is that?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t live in denial that my kids will do things, experience things and be in situations that they will regret. I get that. I plan to be there for them no matter whatever happens. I hope they can learn and grow from all their experiences in their lives, good or bad.
I used to dread the teen years for my kids, as well as myself as a parent of a teen. Now I plan on heading into them with a sense of adventure.
Are you scared of the teen years for your children? Or how did you survive the teen years with your now adult children?
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”