To My (Almost) Teenager: A Quick Pit Stop

To My (Almost) Teenager:  A Quick Pit Stop

Hey Buddy,

So, we’re coming up on your 13th birthday.  Do you believe it?  You’re going to be a teenager.  Time is flashing by like a race car.  I thought we could take a quick pit stop and talk about where we are, how far we’ve come, and our goals and plans for the future.

The way I see it, my job as your Dad is to feed your mind, body, and spirit, and teach you to be a kind, generous, self-confident, and self-reliant man.

These are challenging goals, I know.  I’m still working on them myself, actually.  And, I’m in no hurry, mind you.  But, I think it’s useful to write them down and talk about our plans to achieve them.  Our ultimate goal is for you to be able live independently and build an amazing life and future… whatever you decide that future is.

Kindness has always come easily for you.  You get that from your Mom.  We’re going to continue to work on empathizing with other people and seeing things from different perspectives, but your kind and gentle soul is one of your greatest assets.

You’ve recently embraced the concept of money and earning pay for honest and productive work.  This is huge for us and opens up a whole new bunch of lessons about responsibility, priorities, delaying gratification, saving for the future, and charity.  I’m really excited to teach you about these things and I’m really proud of you for working so hard to understand these critical concepts.

Expectations and concrete plans seem to be really important for you.  They seem to give you a sense of comfort and control over your future.  I totally understand and will continue to honor and build these concepts into our other lessons.  But, sometimes life is random, expectations fall short, and plans have to change.  These are important lessons all of us have to learn.  It’s O.K. to be disappointed and even sad when this happens, but we have to find ways to cope and manage these curve balls when life throws them at us.  I’m going to help you develop some skills and techniques to be resilient and flexible when necessary.

We’re also going to work on expressing our feelings, emotions, fears, and dreams so other people can understand and help us.  We’ve started exploring writing as a possible way for you to express yourself when finding the right words verbally is difficult.  God knows, it sure helped your Dad get through some rough spots in life.  I have a feeling this will open up a whole new world for you.

Another thing we’re going to work on is understanding dangers hiding out there in the world.  That kind and gentle soul that I love so much can be taken advantage of if we’re not careful.  I’m going to teach you to recognize people who may act like your friends but aren’t.  Daddy is still working on this one too.  Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out together.

So, here we are, handsome!  You’re almost thirteen and you are already one of the kindest, most gentle, and generally coolest people I have ever known.  I’m going to take a second to stand with your mom and take pride in the young man we have raised and cry a little bit with joy and wonder.  Then it’s back to the race!  There are so many exciting lessons ahead… for both of us.

Love,

Dad


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