Monday, January 11, 2010

the learning permit of life

This morning, my husband told Kid2 that experiencing life is like having a drivers permit. Just because you’re driving through your neighbor’s yard doesn’t mean you have to continue. STOP, reassess the situation and start over. Just because you’re speeding along doesn’t mean you can’t slow down.

One drink doesn’t make you an alcoholic. It’s what you do with it after that one drink, its stopping, deciding not to take another, making better choices. Better choices are what count.

As we raise teens in this confusing world I find myself saying to them and their friends often these things: If you’re doing something that you’re not sure you can live with STOP. Take a moment and reassess the situation. I always ask them to ask themselves if they can live with the decisions they’re making. What are the effects of their choices going to be? Lots of kids take one drink and feel like total failures, lots of kids smoke one joint and feel like losers, lots of kids go “too far” with the opposite sex and feel easy and cheap. Your mistakes don’t define you. I try to drill into my kids heads that making a mistake is just simply that, it’s a mistake; it’s not the rest of your life. I try to remind them not to let the choices define them and to adjust the choices that they make so they can live them.

Teenagers automatically get permits to life and as we ride along in the passenger seat nervously guiding them I think it’s important for us as parents to remind ourselves that we too made mistakes but for most of us those mistakes didn’t define who we ended up being and how we have lived our lives. Guide them along, encourage them to make good choices, reassure them when they make mistakes, and love them while you’re doing it. It will all pay off when they’re grown (I hope).

Sound easy? I wish it was!

1 comment:

Brandi said...

No. It doesn't sound easy at all, but it sounds like you guys are doing a great job! ;)