I am the parent of a tween and she is currently practicing hard for becoming a teenager. This has led to lots of conversations recently about attitude, I’ve been trying to explain the difference between true emotions and acting out, how to be assertive but polite, strong and calm. I know some fear the teenage years but I’m looking forward to them, I’ve always worked with teenagers and I think they’re great! Yes, I know they’ll be tears, arguments and utter frustration but that’s family life!
As part of today’s blog I thought I would write some advice to my children about their teenage years,.
1. Be true to yourself, don’t follow others if you don’t want to do what they are doing. That sick feeling in your tummy or nagging worry in your head needs to be listened to.
2. This is the time of your life to experiment. Wear the latest fashions, colour and style your hair as you want (in school holidays), go crazy with make up, it’s part of finding your style, your tribe. Enjoy it!
3. Look after your body. Nourish it with good foods, don’t starve it or abuse it. You’re going to need your body for a long time and it needs to be strong and healthy.
4. Look after your emotional health too, talk to friends, family, teachers, helplines, don’t be afraid to ask for help, people are always here to support you. You are not alone.
5. Use social media wisely. We know you’re going to be curious about your birth family but the rules for finding them are there for your safety. Also be careful what you share on social media, your digital life will stay with you forever and cannot be erased, just ask yourself would I be happy if mum saw this?
6. Live life out of the screen! Be social in real life with real people not via an app. Not everything in life needs to be photographed, filtered and shared.
7. Be passionate. You will start to find new interests and discover your values in your teenage years, don’t let others dampen your enthusiasm. These may be the ideas which shape your life.
8. Work hard at school but have a balanced life. Academic success is not what makes you, its relationships, hobbies, your community. Study but then have time for other activities too.
9. No means no, don’t let others persuade you to do things you don’t want to and respect the right to say no.
10. Embrace life, make the most of opportunities and live life fully. Live fully and joyfully.