It is said that "Our children are our greatest teachers." And if you have kids, no doubt you can attest to this . . . at some point along the way your kids are going to school you in a thing or two.
What I've noticed in the last four years or so however - is that the lessons I'm learning during the teenage years have been really amazing. Which isn't to say they've all been easy (errr no!) - but sometimes our greatest teachable moments are those in which we feel the most uncomfortable, and therefore provide us the biggest opportunity to grow.
So here are a few things I've learned from my kids as they've navigated high-school - that you might find useful as well - whether you have kids or not.:
1. Just because I was a certain way at this age does not mean they will be. I know this is kind of a no brainer, but sometimes it's hard for me to separate what I was doing at 15, and what they are doing at the same age. There's just no way it could even be the same - they aren't me. Also . . . they are boys (I'm not!), they have technology that we didn't at their age, and their confidence is at a level that mine didn't hit until my mid-twenties. (That may be how I've raised them, their gender, or just how they came out? Who knows.) At any rate - I've learned a lot about honoring them for their unique personalities and celebrating their strengths and awesomeness - particularly in the ways that are different from mine.
2. They keep me young with their choice of music (which is not always what I'm drawn to). One of the things I'm lamenting at the moment is that my younger son is learning to drive. Which means we probably won't be hanging out in the car for much longer. I am excited for him to have his independence, and will probably appreciate the break I'll get from having to drive him across town several days a week. AND . . . I will miss our conversations and the exposure I get to the music he likes to listen to, and his take on it.
* sigh *
3. When they do stupid things it does not mean I'm a bad Mom - or that they're bad kids! As they grow into young adults - I've had to watch them make mistakes. It's true I've tried to protect them from doing stupid things . . . and they do them anyway. And at this age even though the temptation is to try and be responsible for ALL THE THINGS . . . I actually get to say "This one is on you." And so much of how we navigate those mistakes determines what their take-aways are. I am particularly grateful for this.
4. It's OK to not like school. I have one kid with a 4.0. I have another kid whose passion is baseball (not school). I come from a family of highly, highly academic people. Learning to say "follow your dreams!" (& "have a plan B!") has been an amazing lesson for me, and I'm so proud of both of them for doing what they love at 100%. I think we can all learn something from that!
5. They are listening - even when I think they're not. I am a Life Coach - which means I get to set an example of living a life where I do work I love, focus on the good, and have an active gratitude practice. (among lots of other cool things.) And every now and then I'll hear something like "Gosh my friend "x" is so negative!", or "I'm going to manifest a great parking spot!" Yup - they're listening. They've got some pretty rad self-awareness, and I'm ridiculously proud of them.
I once received a handwritten letter in the mail from some dear friends of mine whose kids' I had baby-sat for years. In it, the Dad of the family said something about this age like "You can buy them a car, and hand them the keys, but you can't tell them where to drive." Ain't that the Truth! So much of this age is about watching them become these really cool people, and letting go. It's actually really cool.
Do you have young people in your life? (kids of your own, or not?) What are the best lessons you've learned from them? I'd love to hear (because I know there are way more than five!) Send me a note or leave me a comment below!
Love and Light,
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