Teenager Lesson #3 -Your Teen Wants Your Time..Believe It or Not!
Time…does it get a bit hazy for you?
Do you often find yourself with that age-old thought…”Where did the time go?”
Did you wake up one day and realize a year has gone by and you can’t remember how?
I’ve been thinking a lot about time these days. With two gone to college and one recently starting to drive…
Because you know, once they get their license, it’s a whole new world…
Here’s something to try to make you realize time gets away from you. Try scanning all your kids’ old baby and school pictures into your computer for safe-keeping. You realize someone has been mysteriously aging your children.
You find out that things like this have happened…
What once was this….
And it’s shocking to realize that it didn’t strike just one child….it got this one too…
She turned into this…
It struck all three of them.
Even my baby.
Look at how precious my baby boy was…
He’s practically a man.
I remember these days oh so well.
So here’s the thing.
Do you want to wake up one day and realize your kids’ time with you is about over? Will you be happy that you spent not just quality, but quantity of time with them?
Have you spent enough of it with them, that they will take goodness away with them when they break out into the world alone?
Working with teenagers has caused me to realize something. Every week, we host 30 kids into our home. We’re not young people. We’re parents, so that comes as a surprise to many. I wonder why they keep coming back?
One of our students came back after the summer break and laid in the middle of our family room and said “I just love this place, there’s so much happiness here.” Of course, he doesn’t see our weekly lives, but for some reason, he feels safe and loved at our house. I can’t figure it out, except that we spend time listening and talking to them about their lives.
Even though the teens we work with gripe a lot about their parents, I can tell you this without a doubt. They would love to have a good relationship with their parents. Many of them don’t eat dinner at home around a a table on a weekly basis. Many of them don’t sit down and watch a movie together.
So here’s a question I leave with you.
Where can you meet your son/daughter half-way? Actually, as a parent, sometimes we have to meet them 90-10 with us being the 90.
What interests your son? If it’s paintball, go paintballing with him. If it’s theater, take him to a play. If it’s sports, throw on a jersey and go watch a ballgame. Even more importantly, if he participates in an activity, please go watch him. I can’t tell you how many young men I’ve heard say their parents never attended a game of theirs in high school. I can’t tell you many boys (and girls) over the years I’ve transported to practice and games because their parents wouldn’t do it. Our boys are the fathers of tomorrow.
Our little girls…
Will soon be mamas…
Parents, your kids need your time. They need to know you love them. They need to know that they are more important than your TV shows, your job and your friends, and even how much time you volunteer at the church.
It’s difficult getting them away from the techno-age right now, but schedule a game night, pop popcorn and get around the kitchen table.
The best purchase we’ve ever made was our boat. All six of our kids of various ages love to head out to the lake on a weekend and tube and ski.
Maybe for you it’s camping.
Got girls? Go to the mall (ugh). Take them to a girly lunch somewhere to make them feel special. Every once in awhile, my girls and I and my mom (when she’s here), go to visit our favorite tea room.
Bring them into the kitchen with you to cook and bake. Get them a cute apron.
My girls have started asking to bake and cook when they come home from college on the weekend. And the boy? Well, he’s making a mean homemade mac & cheese and some pretty doggone good salsa too.
This week, shock the stockings off your teenager and tell them you want to take them somewhere or do something. Start a tradition. Talk to them. Get to know them.
Don’t let your time get ahold of you. Take ahold of it. Set an alarm to remind ya if you need to.
But do it!
Do you have anything super cool family things you do or did with your kids? I’d love to hear them!