Posted in Blended Family, Family, Humor, Ideas, Life, parenting, Teenager, Uncategorized

5 Life Changing Experiences All Teenagers Should Have

Time is limited when it comes to making sure your teen doesn’t turn into a douchebag.

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We must act now to stop more entitled teenage brats or even worse, grown up douchebags, from being unleashed upon the world! The quota has been fulfilled. There are a multitude of ways to accomplish this, but the following is a list of experiences that I feel every teenager should experience, for his or her own benefit.

Volunteer

We need to make them understand, aka show them repeatedly and mention it non-stop, that there are people in the world that don’t have it as good as they do. We need to teach them how to give instead of take all the time. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor, but you should also continually strive to help others.

Whether they are helping at the animal shelter or handing out food to the homeless, they need to understand the act of giving is so much more rewarding than just receiving all the time. This understanding can be life changing as a person. Live your life with a servant’s heart and you will never be poor.

Save

Teenagers and young adults should be taught early to save 25% of their income. I know that seems like a lot, but when they don’t have any outside, or aka real, expenses that is a doable figure. Then, when they do eventually move out and pay their own way, they will have to go down from 25% and, hopefully, they will stay around the 10 to 15% range. If they move out. Wink wink.

Healthcare

Having volunteered at a hospital, rehab center, or retirement home. How many teenagers will lose at least one friend in high school due to an accident or car wreck. But they need to understand the fragility of life. They need to treat life with appreciation and understand just one stupid decision can make it end very quickly. The life changing consequences of one bad decision can haunt them forever.

Two young teenage girls on a cell phone smiling and laughing.
Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Phone

I am a firm believer that teenagers should have to pay their own phone bill at a minimum, if not all of their bills. They use their phone for everything, including getting in trouble. It’s also good experience to know what paying a bill feels like and to know the feeling of that reoccurring pressure that they will soon be getting all too familiar with. Then you can just tell them to multiply that by 50. Don’t worry, you cannot make your child too responsible.

Sugar Baby

When I was in high school, I took a home economics class. I learned how to sew, cook a casserole, and balance a checkbook. Of course, if I was allowed to give a review, I would take off some points for not learning about credit scores and debt. But, that’s neither here nor there. By the way, if you put a review on the high school website they will take it off.

Again, I digress. The absolute most impressive thing that they did during this class was to make us care for a 5 pound bag of sugar as if it were a baby. You had to take constant care of it, or get a babysitter and log that, and wake up every two hours to “feed” and change it. And, yes, we had to keep a genuine cloth diaper that was laundered on it. I assume that a disposable diaper was also an option, but not for me. This was extremely aggravating and an accurate display of parenting. It was a genius move that got thrown away sometimes after my experience, but before my own children could benefit.There is no telling how many grandchildren are not being raised by grandparents due to this. I describe that as life changing.


Those items above are what I consider a few good ideas to instill some rapidly dying values into our youth. What are your best parenting tips?



Posted in Life, parenting, Teenager

My Daughter Came Out As Gay At Ten Years Old

In Honor Of My Daughter and Her Courage

It came out of nowhere for me. My daughter had her little, neighborhood friend come over and they asked me to enter her room. She took me into the corner and she was shaking. After a moment she said, “Would you hate me if I liked girls?” And, just like that, my daughter had come out as gay.

Of course I was shocked. At 10, the only thing I liked was dogs and books. Of course, I also hadn’t started my period yet, so I didn’t have the hormones flowing through me that she does. I responded, “There is nothing on the planet that would ever make me hate you. And loving someone is never bad.” I then proceeded to name all the people that I’m friends with that are gay. And then I moved onto athletes and the famous. Then I moved on to people I just speculated might be. Just kidding, I didn’t do that last one.

Photo via Unsplash

I reassured her that no matter what she decided to do regarding her love life, her family will always support her. Beyond that, I really didn’t know what to do. For the millionth time in my career as a parent, I had no idea on the proper way to respond, so I did what I always do. I just continued to wing it as I went.

Tears fell down her cheeks with relief at my response. And she did it did it again and again with her brothers’ support and her sister’s support. One by one, she made the decision to call every family member and everyone was supportive.

So I called upon my best friends mother, who had been like a mother to me my whole life. She actually has been a best friend to me on several occasions and there’s no one I can honestly say I respect more. I remember introducing her to my own husband while we were dating, anxiously awaiting her feedback. She is a lesbian and I knew she would be glad to offer any insight that I could not. And I’ve never been one to feel ashamed if I need to outsource, especially when I’m at a loss. I was right. Even though she lives two hours away, she was in town the next day to handle any questions I couldn’t answer.

Photo Via Unsplash

She spoke with my newly gay daughter and also encouraged her to never be ashamed of what she’s feeling and never to hold back from her family. She reaffirmed that we would all support her no matter what she decided. She also reaffirmed that puberty was a confusing time in someone’s life and that if she changed her mind, then that was fine too.

My daughter vigorously assured me that, although she was not interested in anyone romantically, she knew who she was already. So I told her that I would be leading the gay parade as grand marshal since I am her mother and biggest fan.

No matter what her sexual orientation, people always find a reason to be mean. But as long as I’m alive they’ll have to go through me first. I will continue to look for ways to support her. She will not, as long as I’m alive, think she is any less than anyone else. Love is a beautiful thing. Why it matters to others so much is beyond me.