Today's treasure is one that I found way, WAY down in a drawer that was something I got YEARS ago. Reading though it, it does sound a little outdated. But, its still rings true for teenagers. They have their own ideas and as a parent we need to let them soar...as hard as that is and will be for me.
I am sure Mom saved this article for me when Reid was 3. She's good at clipping articles. And now...years later...I need it. I can't believe that I have a teenager....he's a great kid and I hope as a parent, I do right by him. I am so proud of him and hope that I always let him do the things that will make him a great man, like his Dad. Anyway, I thought this was a great read....especially since it comes from the teens point of view. It's a little long...so bear with me. :)
Teenagers Bill of Rights
1. Stand by us not over us. Give us the feeling that we are not alone in the world, that we can always count on you when we are in trouble.
2. Make us feel that we are loved and wanted. We want to love you, not as a duty, but because you love us.
3. Train us by being affectionately firm. You will really achieve more with us through patient teaching than by punishment or preaching. Say "no" when you feel you have to but explain your rules-don't merely impose them.
4. Bring us up so that we will not always need you. Teach us how to take on responsibility and become independent of you. We will learn this faster and better if you will let us question you, your ideas and your standards.
5. Don't act shocked when we do things we shouldn't. It is going to take time to learn how to grow into life properly.
6. Try to be as consistent as possible. If you are mixed up about what you want from us, why shouldn't we be mixed up, too, in what we give you.
7. Don't try to make us feel inferior. We doubt ourselves enough without your confirming it. Predicting failure for us won't help us succeed.
8. Say "nice work" when we do something really good. Don't hold back the praise when we deserve it. That's the way to spur us on.
9. Show respect for our wishes even if you disagree with them. Respect for you will flow from your respect for us.
10. Give us direct answers to direct questions. But don't give us more that we ask for or can understand. When you don't know...say so...but find someone for us who does know.
11. Show interest in what we are doing. Even though by your standards our activities may not be important or interesting, don't reduce them in our eyes by your indifference.
12. Treat us as if we were normal, even if our conduct seems peculiar to you. All God's children have problems; that doesn't mean we are all problem children.
13. Sometimes all of us run into emotional difficulties. Should that happen, obtain for us professional counseling. It isn't always easy for boys and girls to understand themselves or know just what they want. That's why there are specialists in personal adjustments and vocational selection.
14. Teach us by example. What you are speaks louder than your words.
15. Treat each one of us as a person in his own right. Children are people, not carbon copies of grown-ups. Treat all children in your care fairly; that is as of equal value to you. That is how we will learn to respect the rights of other people and treat them fairly.
16. Don't keep us young too long. We want a chance to prove what we can do as soon as we are ready to give proof. Don't hold us back by love which over-protects and paralyzes.
17. We need fun and companionship. Help us share our interests and happy feelings with groups of friends. Give us time to be with them and make them welcome when they come and visit.
18. Make us feel that our home belongs to us. We are at least as important as the furniture. Don't protect things at our expense by making us feel like intruding bulls in a china shop.
19. Don't laugh at us when we use the word love. The need to love and to be loved starts early (and never ends). We have the eternal desire to want to belong to someone and have someone belong to us.
20. Treat us as junior partners in the firm. Democracy starts at home. If you want us to be worthy successors to you, take us into your confidence, and let us help you in managing our family, our school and our community.
21. Make yourself an adult fit for a child to live with. Prove to us "it ain't so" that parents are the worst persons in the world to have children, or that teachers are precisely the people least suited to teach. Show that home and school are not simply places where children learn how to get along with disagreeable adults.
22. . Find out what we can do or want to do before you force us beyond our capacity or make us become what you want us to be.
23. Give us the right to a major voice in our own lives. Decisions that will affect our whole future should be made with us, not for us. We have a right to our kind of future.
24. Let us make our own mistakes. To make wise decisions takes experience. That means we have to try ourselves out and find out for ourselves. We can only learn from our own actions...not yours.
25. Permit us the failings of average children, just as we permit you the failings of average parents. Let us both break the rules sometimes. We can grow only at our own rate, which means in easy stages. We want to become the best we can become, but we would not be human if we were perfect.
"How to Be Happy Though Young"