Friday, June 19, 2009

Lessons from a Teenager...

Each stage of a child’s life is unique and fresh. I remember how thankful I was when my oldest daughter was able to get herself dressed, put on her own shoes and most of all…no more diapers! It seemed I had arrived at a whole new level of motherhood. I rejoiced in the little independent person she was becoming.

Today, that same daughter is 16 years old, gainfully employed, driving my mini van and has a boyfriend. The level of independence has dramatically increased but my rejoicing has diminished considerably. I am now learning to let go once again and find the joy in her independence…but in a whole new way.

When my daughter was recently applying for a job we began discussing what the potential employer might ask her in an interview. Then when they hired her, she had questions about how her first day might transpire. The questions kept coming one right after another. Thankfully I have learned and teach the Model of Human Behavior, so I understand that this daughter is ‘wired to wonder’. She has a natural tendency to need a lot of information, so she can be at peace and feel prepared. I, on the other hand, thought that she should just jump in with both feet because it would be an adventure.

The little voice in my head said, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” The reality is that my daughter had never done anything like this before, so she had no frame of reference to guide her.

When life events happen, there are lessons to be learned. The good news is that I can learn something from everyone…even a 16 year old. As the parent in this situation, what I learned was to adopt some of the ‘BE Attitudes’. In order to best help my daughter, I needed to:
BE Loving – no matter what happened
BE the Adult – answer her questions from my experience
BE Real – let her know that I was nervous too
BE Gracious – allow her to share her fears and her excitement while I LISTEN
BE Creative – give her some examples of how people answer interview questions
BE a Fan – cheer for her through it all

Is there somewhere you can adopt and apply the ‘BE Attitudes’ in your life today? Remember, what you say is important and what you do is significant.

1 comment:

  1. BE Attentive - you must pay attention to use any of the BE Attitudes. It is obvious to this reader that your 16 year old is a lucky young lady as you could not possibily know these details in her life without the caring attention you have shown. Great Insights!