I really do wish that I could literally just dump the last 40 years of my life into the brains of my teenage boys!
It’s not that they are stupid, not by a longshot; it’s just that there are so many things that I have lived through that I want to pass on to them so they don’t make the same mistakes I have made.
If only I could teach them all that I have learned about handling objections, working with negative people, treating ladies, shutting down a bully, studying, and on and on.
How do you take your experiences, your knowledge and the results of your blood, sweat and tears and put it into words that they will actually hear and heed?
How do you respond to:
“Dad, why should I study when I can get B’s without cracking a book?”
How do you tell them that the difference between a B and an A is the difference between mediocrity and wildly amazing success?
“Dad, why shouldn’t I hang out with those kids? They haven’t done anything wrong yet?”
How do you tell them that your 40+ years of experience is telling you that those kids might not have done anything wrong yet but they are certainly NOT headed in the direction in their lives that you expect your children to take?
“Dad, why don’t you give me whatever I want…Johnnies parents give him this or that!”
How do you explain to them that being handed everything on a silver platter is not the recipe for a long term successful life? How do you tell them that struggle and sacrifice in life is necessary?
In my last post I used a quote from Zig Ziglar which was “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” which to me is the exact thing that I would most like to teach my boys. My attitude is something I have struggled with for most of my life and if I could figure out a way to teach them to control that one thing their lives would be so much better!
But, how do you teach somebody to check their attitude? Especially as a teenager!
One of my sons is in high school and is dealing with all the wonderful pressures and character defining stuff that occurs during this time, I want so bad to be able to guide him and walk him through the minefield he is in. he is at that stage though where he doesn’t want to hear anything from his “old man” because I never went to high school, I never dealt with all the peer pressure and of course I never had to deal with high school girls!
My other son is a little younger and due to his size he is literally the biggest man on campus and Mr. Popularity. He is struggling less right now but I’m afraid that this extra popularity will cause him issues in high school when he isn’t the biggest kid in the group and he is just another freshman.
This all came about in the last month or so because I have had to change my parenting style because of an argument with my older son. He basically told me that I didn’t trust him, I wasn’t allowing him any room to breathe or grow and that I was smothering him. Now I realized that most likely it was just teenage bluster but some of it actually did sink in.
It brought back memories of when I was a teen and felt that my parents weren’t allowing me any freedom or room to grow into my own man. So, I made a decision to back off a little. To talk to him more and holler at him less, to allow him the opportunity to make some decisions and either enjoy the fruits or pay the consequences.
This is incredibly tough!
For so many years I was able to say do this or don’t do that and they listened…now they are becoming their own men and I have to back off and give them room to grow. It’s not easy to sit back and watch them make decisions that I know is wrong or that I know could be done better but let them figure it out themselves.
How do you do that?
Until next time