Dear Teen,

I was sent this video via e-mail and thought it was cute.  I think this is something I would have loved to do as a child, but wouldn’t have thought of it back then as I was very scared to step out of the set boundaries.  Oh, who am I kidding, I was a rebellious little child and teenager.  Stupid teenager would be an accurate summation.

So since I am now raising one of those teenagers myself, I thought I would pass on some of my wisdom for him and for the rest of the teenager world.  Not that he will read this.  So I guess I write it to myself.  Unless somehow I could insert some awesome Halo tips, then maybe I could get him to take a lookie.  Anyways, here we go.

1.  You think you are smart – which may be true when it comes to school stuff and video games – but you have so much life stuff left to learn, it is ridiculous.   You are not yet wise.  That is why parents roll their eyes a lot.  And make you talk to the hand, at least in their minds.  You know how sometimes when we talk all you hear is “wha wha wha wha wha?”  Letting you in on a secret: ditto back at ya.  Some of this stuff, you just gotta let roll of your back.

2.  The kids that surround you are also teenagers.  Think about that little fact next time you think what they are saying is wise.  It might be funny, it may “smart”, it may sound cool, but consider the source. 

3.  Speaking of other teenagers, don’t put too much stock into what they consider time worthy.  Depending on what your life goals are, ya gotta think ahead.  Kids who don’t use their brains and who don’t have a good work ethic will end up working for kids who do.  Nice guys don’t finish last.  To say otherwise is a crock.  Lazy kids finish last.  (Unless, of course, they have helicopter parents, or worse, and yes, there are worse, but that is a whole ‘nother blog.)

4.  Nice guys also don’t sleep alone.  Well, once they grow up anyways.  I hope during the teenage years, everyone is sleeping alone.  I married a nice guy, and right now, while he is sleeping, and I am on the computer, even now, he is not sleeping alone – Lucy is in there too.  Ok, back on topic.  Sleeping with other people (which is a dumbed down way of saying what we all know is the fear of every parent of a teen) rather, having sex with other teens is plain old stupid.  Nothing more to say, just stupid.  Please don’t do it.

5.  Don’t try to take shortcuts.  Work through the process and learn along the way.  Don’t expect THIS mom and dad to make the path easy for you – working through rough spots and tough situations makes you a better person.  Sucks, but it develops your personality.  True.

6.  Don’t touch drugs or alcohol or I will completely kick your butts!  Not really, not in a physical way.  If you need to do those things to fit in or look cool, you are hanging out with the wrong people, and I will help you find new people, before your people are the others at rehab.  Seriously.  It does you no good.  Ask around – not asking other teenagers (remember #2) but maybe an alcoholic, ask him or her about the benefits of drinking.  If he/she lists any, he/she is lying. 

7.  You are going to do dumb things.  Every parent looks forward with anticipation to these teenage years, knowing that some of the stupid things you will do could have life-long consequences.  I look forward to the challenge of getting all four of you through these years with the least amount of damage.  Just tell me the truth about stuff.  I am not dumb, I will always love you, and I, unlike the teenagers you are doing this dumb stuff with, am somewhat wise.  I am wise enough to know that if I don’t have the answer, I can find someone else who does.  On that note, when your dumb-thing-doing goes a bit too far, trust that we will assist you in getting back on track.  You may hate us for it, but it is our job, and some day, you can do the same for your children.  Cycles of life, children, cycles.  Go ahead and make a list of “things not to do when I am a parent” and then see if you can stick to it later in life.  Get back to me with the results.

8.  You are LOADED with potential.  That is what we see as parents.  We see the after life.  We know that when the precious day when you wake up loving us again comes, you will be something absolutely fantastic.  Cant wait to see what that something is, but on the other hand, that means that you will be an adult, and I just don’t see myself enjoying life without my “kids” around here, so slow down and take it easy on me. 

9.  Lastly, make a couple good friends and be respectful of the rest of the kids around you.  That’s it.  You don’t have to like them all; honestly, I don’t like all of them myself.  That is a life lesson that Facebook has taught me.  Feel free to de-friend people who are jerks not impacting your life in a good way.  Make new friends, but keep the old, some are silver and the others are gold?  I think what they meant was “it is ok not to keep ALL the old.”  Especially right now in your life.  People change as they grow up.  Maybe he used to come over and watch Disney with you, but now is a total crap.  Just let him walk away and don’t let him take a single piece of you as he walks.  On the flip side, don’t be that kid who is a total crap.  You are no better than anyone else.  Treat people with respect – even if you don’t get it back right now.  Some day you will.

We are only beginning this stage of our family.  I am sure I will add to this list, take things off this list, edit this list.  For those of you ahead of me in the game, please feel free to share any pointers.  I don’t pretend to know what I am doing.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Missi
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 18:06:10

    Dear Mom of an Almost Teen:

    Your list is awesome. So well thought out… and smart. I mean REALLY smart. You must take after your most favorite SIL in SW GR. If you can “take after” an in-law.

    Even though deep down you are probably scared out of your mind, I bet you think you are “prepared”… because intellectually you are. My words of wisdom? All sense of logic will be thrown out the window once the turbulence hits. It could be a minor blip causing your stomach to feel like you just got on a carnival ride, or you could smash your head into the cabin ceiling because the storm is so rough. You never know when the storm is going to hit… and sometimes almost as soon as it starts, it’s over and you see a beautiful rainbow.

    My advice to you? When the storm hits, buckle your seatbelt and pray for peace. And then call me so we can schedule spa day. 🙂

    Mom of “former teen” and “still a teen”


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