Updated: Feb 2
There are things to teach your son before he turns a teenager.
I don’t know how it happened so quickly, but there we are on the verge of having a teenager in our home. I assumed there would be more time but no, only one year is left for my son to turn into a teenager.
I can’t believe you are less than a year away from being a teenager. It seems like yesterday I was holding you in my arms. People use to tell me not to blink before I knew it, you would be all grown up.
I don’t know how I will handle a teenager, the thought of actually having a parent of a teenager petrifies me.
But before you go thinking, you are all done and free to do anything as a teenager, I have some advice for you. I hope these few bits of advice help you along the way.
1. Respect girls –
Always speak and treat girls respectfully. Take a stand when you are witness to disrespect towards women. Don’t talk about any poop jokes Infront of girls, you can crack these types of jokes with your boys.
2. Happiness is a choice -
Happiness is finding joy in everyday experiences. There's going to be stress in life, but it's your choice whether you let it affect you or not. Choose to see things with a “glass half full” perspective, being happy takes effort. According to our experience of life is determined by us, not by what’s happening around us.
“Joy and misery are coming from within you.”
3. Do something outside your comfort zone -
Closing the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be in life will enable you to step outside your comfort zone. There is no better way to develop self-confidence than to do something that challenges you when it shows you that you are capable of more than you thought you were.
4. Stand up for yourself and what you believe is right-
At this stage of life, you start building an identity for yourself. One should have an identity to stand for oneself, or else you will end-up serving others only. To believe in yourself, live with self-esteem, and stand-up for yourself, it is better to know yourself first. Take some time every day to ponder on 'who you actually are?' know about your background, your ancestors, know your culture, traditions, and history. Knowledge of these aspects can only help you to stand up for yourself because you won’t know when you have to stand for yourself unless you really know who actually you are.
5. Thankfulness Helps with happiness –
Don’t ever waste your time longing for what others have. You come from straight middle-class parents. There will be many things we don’t want you to have or pamper with. But I want you to learn to be truly thankful for what God has given you.
6. Respect your elders –
It’s very important to me that you lead with kindness every day. Though you do a beautiful job of doing this, continue to do this as you grow. Greet your elders and teachers whenever you see them. Hold the door open for elders & women (girls included). Do your best to address a question rather than "Bruh," "nope" or "I don't know". Throw out a "thank you,” & "please" and work on a humble "you're welcome.". I hope you will always see kindness as the correct path and understand the importance of respect for others. Remember the vibes you send out surely come back to you.
7. There will come a time when you are pressured to do something dangerous or just a poor moral choice –
We all make mistakes, so I'm pleading with you to stop and reconsider before doing something that somehow sounds wrong or unjust. There's a moment when you're forced to do things that's risky or lacking moral value. In times of confusion, ask yourself this question “what would my ______ say?” Fill in the blank with my mom, daddy, aunt, uncle, grandma, etc. if the response isn’t, “I’m so proud” or a variation of that, reconsider your decision.
8. Your sibling may get on your nerves, but someday, she will be your best friend –
I know you love your sister and always be the same. She is the only one who will remember what it was like to grow up with crazy parents, so treat her appropriately! She was there by your side, even more than her peers, during the uncomfortable and joyous moments of your life. Stand up for her when we are not around.
9. Stay humble, but confident –
Being Humble will open more doors than kicking one down. Always be respectful to everyone. Be a Gentleman!
10. Always trust your guts -
If you feel like you shouldn’t be doing it, chances are it isn’t a good idea. Never try to do anything just under pressure. It’s O.K. to say NO. If your friends cannot accept your answer then they are not your friends.
11. Be Truthful –
A popular proverb goes like this, "The truth may hurt for a little while, but a lie hurts forever".
So, even if it looks like you could land yourself in trouble, always speak the truth. Remember that once you lay the foundation over a lie, you end up building the entire Castle of lies. It will shatter down one day and hurt the people who trust you the most.
Ask yourself in testing situations; Are you "Lying to save your face" or "Lying to save a life"? I know you would choose the latter.
12. Beware of social Media -
As you already know that social media can expose kids to some potential risks. Beware of social media, don’t share your personal information with strangers on the Internet.
If you remember only one part of this letter, remember this……
13. Your dad and I are always there for you –
Never hesitate to speak to us anytime, regardless of what you’re doing or going through, good or bad, you can always come to us for assistance, warmth, advice, compassion, and love.
Please don’t ever stop talking to me, or asking to spend time with me I know the time will come when you will think yourself cooler than me but I will not able to accept it if you stop wanting to tell me everything that happened at school, or with your friends. I will always & always & always Love you no matter what.
Keep growing, just not too fast & stay cool!
Hopefully, By the time he turns 13, he will have better aim.
If you are travelling with kids first time, do check this out for some tips: