"You're too young! You dont know what's right for you."
"I'm stopping you from making the same mistakes I did!"
"I know you're better than that!"
"If you're going to throw your life away, dont expect any help from me!"
Yup, I've heard them all. Goodness knows, as a teenager I've made my fair share of mistakes - heck, I've probably made a few peoples' shares of mistakes. Some have been a bit more severe than others, some minor, a select few getting me into quite a bit of trouble, but we all know what that's like. Show me a teenager with a perfectly clear record, and I will show you a lier.
Crazy nights, purchases I cannot afford, doubts about college...my mother has nagged me through them all. Yes, I have at one point gone out with friends, made some very bad choices, and later regretted them. Teens: I know when you're out and partying and having fun, being responsible easily gets pushed to the back of your mind, but it's important! Have fun - otherwise there's no point in going out, but think about what you're doing! Are you going to regret it tomorrow? Parents: Yes, sometimes things get out of hand with teen parties, and yes, sometimes teens make bad decisions, but if you're willing to be open, trust your kids. As teens, they are liable to make mistakes, but trust helps. Dont worry that they might get hurt. Yeah, they might, but there's no more risk than when they're driving to work, or when they're out on the football field. And as a last note, if...or when you do catch them in such a sticky situation, try to remember what it was like to be a teen. Try to remember what it was to have that fun. Unrealistic punishments will help nothing.
Yes, I have, at points throughout the years, had trouble staying focussed on school, or have had my doubts about going to college. Teens: if you think you can get somewhere without an education then good luck and all the power to ya. I'm just saying, from what I've seen of life, an education, both highschool and college, seem pretty important. Just dont rule out the idea. Parents: Dont force. Being too pushy may just lead to resistance and you'll wind up with a teen who stops trying simply so he/she can sneer at you. Positive reinforcement and encouragment. A bit of support is what they need, and help along the way. A little uncertainty is bound to happen. As a paernts one must stay focussed and help the teen stay strong.
Yes, I have, at one point recently, dropped several hundred dollars for a car, severely angering my mother, whose argument was that I could not afford a car and the cost would run me dry. Well, she was right. But things get easier. It doesnt necessarily have to be a car, but for almost any teen, money - and what they spend it on - is often a very significant topic. Teens: BE REALISTIC! If buying things, or one specific thing, is really that important - or essential - to you, consider a job. Think about what you really need, and what you can afford. Yes, the shiney set of wheels looks good now, but how good do you think it will look when you cant afford the gas to make the wheels move? Parents: again, dont be too pushy - unless its necessary. Some topics offer a bit of variation. What teens need is guidance. Teach them how to make the right choices, help them decide what they need, and a helpful tip - if your teen has a job, or any source of income, make sure they save money! if need be, sit down and help them draw out a budget plan for their paychecks. I wish I had learned earlier how to budget and save. Any regretful teen can attest that a bit of money in a bank account - over time - will be infinately more helpful than a bit of money in a wallet - soon to end up in a cash register. So parents, just keep an eye on 'em. Dont be too dictator like, but hey, money is money. When it all comes down to it, it's important, and you're gunna do what you're gunna do, and I'm willing to bet it will all work out just fine.
Yes, teens do, at intervals in their lives, make mistakes. Parents: it's up to you to draw the line, but i will say this. Some mistakes just have to be made. That's how we learn, I'm sure you can remember that. Somethings, for the sake of life experiences, have to be sacrificed, and others must be regretted, for there is no better way to learn a lesson. i know I've leanred one or two.