Life Lessons from a Teenager

Posted: October 10, 2007 in Daily Blog

My parenting intuition kicked into high gear last night. Not that it is necessarily good, we all have that super protective instinct that kicks in when we see one of our kids being treated badly or unfairly. I probably didn’t give my daughter the best advice, but it sure felt good. It went something like, “punch her in the nose!”

No it didn’t, honestly. But I did think that to myself, which is probably bad enough. One of my daughters opened up last night that there is a new girl in her class that is calling her names and being mean. I don’t like mean people and if it was up to just me, I might do something stupid to mean people. Thank God it isn’t, but here is what I learned about life from my daughter last night…

1. Love everyone!

Man that is hard to swallow for me. I find it really easy to love those that love me back, how about you? Loving those that are mean is really difficult, I have to swallow a lot of pride and think long and hard about it. Not my daughter though, she is great… she has compassion and caring in bucket loads! This girl that is treating her poorly is missing out on the great friendship my daughter would have for her if she would only be nice…

2. Forgive easily, but don’t be foolish.

My daughter is friends with another girl that stands and watches the mean girl make fun of her. She is so disappointed in her friend, not only for not standing up for her, but also for joining in by laughing at the mean things that are being said. But she easily forgives this girl and stays friends with her. That may not be a good thing. My daughter needs to firm up some boundaries in the friendship. Good friends don’t continue to hurt each other. That being said, if my daughter is keeping all the hurt inside and not telling her friend that what is happening is hurting her feelings, then how will she know to stop? Some people are just oblivious to how their actions impact others.

3. Get help.

I keep going back to this over and over again – life is best lived in relationship. We have to surround ourselves with people that make us better, not drag us down. If we don’t have someone that can help us fight the bullies in our life we will be beat down over and over again and lose our passion for living. There are people around that can help us, a teacher that we can talk to about the things that are happening in the classroom, a parent that can give us good advice, or friends and loved ones that may have insight by having faced a similar situation. Sometimes it is hard to ask for help, but we all need it at some point so we might as well get used to it early on. When we look at people that are successful in life, every one of them has a story about how someone helped them get where they are, and if they don’t, they probably got there by being mean!

Things with my daughter will work out, I am sure of it. The first step was telling us there was a problem, and then we can search for solutions. She will probably come home today in a much better mood, with a huge sigh of relief and the joy back in her heart!

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