Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Things I want my teenagers to know.

I think I'm just a kid at heart.  Or I just like teenagers.  I'll go with the latter...  I like #hashtags mostly because it bugs people and connects people.  Work with me.....I try to be in the know on the latest slang in order to stay up to speed with my kids. (and understand their texts and FB status')  Ya know words like totes. (no, that's not referring to the latest handbag)  I guess that's the new lingo for totally.  (which was once cool too like totally dude.....wait that's showing my age...never mind)

(photo credit: JessicaOH Photography)

Recently David and I had the discussion that we'd reached a point in our parenting where we had two sets of kids.  The older 3 and the little 2.  This was a bit of a wake up call for me because Olivia has always been my baby. (they're all my babies, they just hate it when I say that)  I think the day my oldest asked me when I was going to have "the talk" with Liv was the day I felt a slew of gray hairs spring up on my head.  When did we get to this place?  Olivia was the last child I birthed, I remember it like it was yesterday.  I remember how this child was doted on, prayed for, and how TINY she was.  When did it suddenly become time to talk about youth group, growing up, and boys?!  Its taken me awhile to grasp a hold of that concept.  Slowly but surely I'm moving forward, little by little.

As I began to think about my kids getting older, the challenges and joys we'll face together and the ones they'll face on their own I started thinking about the things I wanted them to know most.  The things I wanted to make sure I lived out as an example to them and not just something I said with my mouth.  I want to make sure they know about my mistakes and how God redeems them yet how we can avoid them.  I want to make sure they know they can talk to their dad and I even when they screw up.  I want to be that parent.  As David and I talk through how we're going to maintain these relationships with our kids even as times get tough and communication strains as the kids figure out who they are as people, who they are in Christ, and where they stand on every day issues.

Kids, this is the part where I share the things close to my heart.  The things I want you to know and the things I hope we can always be open about.  Your dad and I haven't always made the best choices and we don't expect you to be perfect.  We do want you to know that we're here for you when you mess up and we'll be there to walk through the crap with you.  We'll always point you to truth and we'll always remind you of who your King is.

The nitty gritty. 

Two of you are in high school now.  Your dad and I didn't go to Public High School....this is new territory for us.  One thing I do know is that the world is the same now as it was 20 years ago, its still full of temptation.  You'll have to choose right from wrong, we won't always be there to remind you of the consequences or to stand next to you telling you to make a wise choice.  We've given you the tools to make wise choices and now you're accountable for those choices.  Something else is also still the same.  Our Savior Jesus Christ and even when we're not there, He is.  Lean in close and depend on His strength and wisdom to guide you.  Remember, growing up is tough and some of the choices you make now will affect you the rest of your life.  Choose wisely.

Girls.......don't be side tracked with boys.  Focus on your studies, boys will always be there and if there's someone really fabulous......he'll still be around when you're done with your book learning.  Should Mr. Fabulous walk in during 5th period your Jr. year of high school lets talk about it.  But please ladies guard yourselves, don't give away pieces of your heart.  The right man is worth the wait.  If he's fabulous he'll wait for you.  Don't let little crushes guide you, use your head, decide now where you're boundaries will be and stick to them.  

Boys.......girls will flaunt themselves at you, be guarded, respect them, keep your hands to yourself, and don't settle.  Guard your thoughts and your eyes, this world is not your home and there are plenty of girls who will try to get your attention.  Pray for your future wife that she would be keeping her eyes fixed on Jesus during her high school years as well.  You've got studying to do, graduation and a job to get before you can even think about supporting a wife.  I'm not saying you won't meet the girl of your dreams in high school, I mean after all your dad did. ;)  I'm just saying be careful.  Be cautious.  Be guarded.  Don't let the temptations of this world overtake you.  Jesus is your King.

Please don't waste your time on drugs and alcohol.  I promise you, its not that great, so not worth it, and you need those brain cells.  When you're 21, you can drink in moderation, in fact I'll be happy to blend up a margarita just for you!  You don't need to worry about such things at 16, you've got Calculus to do, sports to play, and theater to act in.  ENJOY YOUR YOUTH, don't DESTROY IT!

Drama.  Okay ladies....this is for you.  Save the drama for your llama, check it at the door, have no part, RUN from it.  There is no need to care about what Sally Jo said about Sandra Lee, and for the love of pete please be WHO YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE!  Don't change depending on who you're with or the boy you're attempting to impress.  BE YOURSELF!

More then anything kids I want you to know that Dad and I love you.  We're here for you, through thick and through thin.  Good and bad.  We'll listen, we'll give advice when you want it, (and probably even when you don't) we'll point you to Jesus when you seem confused, and we'll love you forever no matter what.  


Shelya said...

This is so sweet Erica! I don't even want to think about my girls at the age where I need to talk about these things. I'm praying that we can now be the parents that are teaching truth so that, like you, when the time is right, I can trust them to make their own wise decisions and lean into Christ.

Cheramy said...

Thank you for this. So much. I have a teen that needs to read this, and 4 more headed that way.....way, way to quickly. Appreciate your heart.

Cheramy said...

Thank you so much for this! I have a teen who needs to read this, and 4 more headed behind him...way too quickly! Appreciate your heart and the Truth written down! Loved it...

Anonymous said...

Erica, you said everything all parents try to communicate to their kids. Nicely done. :)