We all like to act from time to time that we know it all. Sometimes I will even convince myself that I am in a really good place of knowledge and wisdom. I am not suggesting that I’m the all knowing but I’m saying I get this feeling and then not long after this wonderful feeling arrives… it’s gone. I am back to the drawing board. It’s a good reminder that I am so freakishly far away from knowing much about anything (does that even make sense?).
For the past few days I have had a bit of a glimpse back at my teenage years. I have had to think back what it was like for me and how did I respond. Times were different then, obviously, but some things are still the same. As I have watched some older teenagers this week it has become evident that a lot of them seem to be unprepared to be on their own. I couldn’t wait to get out of the house after graduation and experience the freedom of life. My home life was great, my parents were great, and my life was good but I needed to be on my own. It took a while for it to happen, but when it did I made a gazillion mistakes! I also did a lot of things right because of the lessons my parents taught me.
There were things that my parents had me do while I was a teen, that at the time made me so mad, but as an adult I say Thank you! I was not given a TV in my room because I wanted one. I was not given a phone in my room because I wanted one. I had to have a job in order to pay for the gas and up keep on my first car, which was not a brand new car. It was an old car with no radio, the cloth on the ceiling was coming down, and the car shook when you hit 55 mph. It was freaking awesome! My parents making me get a job at 16 was the best thing that happened to me. It taught me the lesson of earning the things I desired (I totally bought a TV and a phone for my room…. BAM!). These are stupid little things but the point is, the lesson was learned. If I wanted it, I had to earn it.
Life obviously got tougher once I left the nest. I didn’t live in a really nice apartment with the greatest furniture (although I did have my awesome 13″ TV and telephone). I didn’t have everything handed to me… and I loved it. I have loved the experience of figuring out how to “get through this thing we call life”. Sometimes I fall but I pick myself right back up. Take note and try not to make the same mistake again.
I want my kids to know this experience. I make my oldest so mad all of the time because I challenge him a lot about having to earn the things he wants. My youngest is not coping well with the phrase, “What can we do to earn that toy you want?” because he says, “I want it so you get it.” Teaching my kids to respect their elders is so important to me. I have watched so many people think it is okay to take a seat from an older person or not offer theirs up to them that it breaks my heart. If you are young & capable… get up!
Chivalry is sleeping because so many people don’t teach it. We are working hard to to teach our boys manners, kindness, generousity, responsibility, and independence in a world that does not value these things. We have a lot to do and hope to teach it mostly by example (my husband is an awesome example of a good man).
I want to give my kids the world and every little thing they want from the stores. I want to always hold their hand and take care of things for them. I want to keep them from falling down. The biggest thing I want to give them is the gift to be able to learn from their mistakes. They may fall over and over but eventually they will get it. If I always fix it for them, they will never learn to trust themselves and become indepedent. The lesson I am learning this week is to stay on this course. It’s the harder course because you aren’t the most popular parent and you will see your kids struggle in the midst of a battle. You will also see your kids light up with pride that they figured it out and are ready to take on the next thing that comes their way. Their lessons learned are my lessons learned. And we are always learning….