Monday, July 18, 2011

Teens are people too...

Some of my daughter's role models are teenagers and I think she has chosen well.

        Did that make you gasp in horror? 

                              Do you now question my parenting abilities? 

I hope not. Some of the sweetest, most thoughtful people I know are teens. I taught a wonderful group of 7th and 8th graders in co-op this year. My daughter's classmates at dance have never been anything but respectful to me (and usually their parents too!) and have shown me that society's denouncing teens is a bit...well, unnecessary.

Why is it that teenagers get such a bad rap in our society? What would cause even Christian friends to give me grave looks when I mention my daughter is 11 and say things like...

                                               Oh, just wait until she is a teenager!

Excuse me?
Did I miss something? 
Why all the dire predictions of trouble and torment over an arbitrary number??! 

On her 13th birthday is my normally sweet and cooperative child going to suddenly become *gasp * difficult?? 

I seriously doubt it.

Besides, isn't the whole concept of "teenager" just a worldly invention anyway? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Bible speaks of "child" and "man" as the only distinctions...

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." 1 Corinthians 13:11

So where did these low expectations come from? Why should we expect that from the ages of 13 - 19 a child will suddenly be rebellious and disrespectful? And why are fellow Christians perpetuating this awful stereotype?

Perhaps some "teens" merely live down to our expectations. 

I intend to welcome the teen years in my children just like any other stage. Each stage so far has had its own share of challenges (potty training - grrr!!) but the rewards are so much greater!! 

I'm certain that I have fallen into the "teen trap" in my thinking. But now that my daughter and quite a few of her friends are so close to 13, I resolve to change my thinking and my expectations. 

By God's grace, our teen years will just be a continuation of the wonderful journey that my sweet Erin and I are on...together - even if she has stopped calling me mommy. *smile*

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