I've got a bunch of random teenager related stuff running around in my brain today.
If you're the parent of a tween or teenager, I hope you've visited Joshshipp.com. Josh was raised in the foster care system and has used his experience as a troubled youth to become a teen advocate and motivational speaker. His mission is to empower teens and help adults understand them better.
Josh's website is full of tons of helpful information including a free video series for parents and a sample cell phone contract (both of my boys signed something similar when they first got phones). There are also videos of some of his speeches, and articles like "The 5 mistakes almost every grown up makes with teens".
I agree with Josh, and think that teenagers often get a bad rap. Yes, they are definitely difficult, and just like any segment of the population, there are a few rotten apples in the bunch. But overall, teenagers are kind, caring human beings just waiting to show you how great they are.
A few examples:
--Several weeks ago, we were discussing T's future college choices, scholarships, and how much it was going to cost to become a veterinarian. Without hesitation, my older son said "if you need help paying for things, you can always ask me". I was floored. By the time T gets to school, C will be done with his college program and working full time, but he will be moving out on his own and taking on his own expenses. To offer to help his little brother pay for college left me speechless, and a little teary.
--It's prom season. Luckily, our high school only has a senior prom so we didn't "have" to participate this year. Which is good news for the wallet. These two prom stories made my heart smile.
When Drew Holm couldn't find a date, his 93 year old great-grandmother jokingly told him she'd go with him. He took her up on her offer, and they had a wonderful time dancing the night away (well, until 9pm - that was grandma's bed time)!
Back in fourth grade, Ben promised Mary, a beautiful young girl with Down's Syndrome, that he would take her to prom someday. Seven years later he made good on his promise.
--And finally, just down the street from my house, two local high school girls saved a man in a McDonald's parking lot by performing CPR. They had stopped to get a snack, and noticed the man lying on the ground, unresponsive. They remembered their recent health class training course, and paramedics said the man would have died if the girls hadn't been there.
Do you have any great teenagers in your life?