Last Updated on September 4, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt
Most of the time the responsibility of setting a good example and shaping my children’s future is the force that drives me. Every once in awhile though, I realize that my kids are affecting who I am just as much as I am influencing them. Most recently, the lessons I’ve learned from my teen son have helped me navigate some crises of self-esteem. So today I’d like to shower him with some public accolades and encourage you to share your own amazing teens and tweens.
This is my beloved boy, still sporting a baby face but nearly as tall as me already. In the midst of this growth spurt, his appetite has doubled. Thankfully, Yoplait has come out with Yoplait Go Big pouches that are large enough to satisfy teen hunger!
And just like traditional Yoplait, Go Big has NO high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors. It contains REAL fruit and is a good source of calcium.
Lesson 1: Be Yourself
Like his appearance, my son’s interests are still youthful and innocent, despite the fact that his peers are in a rush towards maturity.
Rather than changing or hiding his unpopular interests, he pursues them with enthusiasm. Comic books, Nerf wars, WiiU games, and Pokemon card battles are all topics he talks about zealously. Despite my fears that he might be made fun of or rebuffed by his peers, he seems to be admired by many of them for being so unapologetically unique. Although he acts much younger than most kids his age, they often appoint him the leader since he’s comfortable standing out and often has creative ideas.
He doesn’t view being himself as courageous. It’s just who he is. As someone who has always worried about what others think of me, I see him as an icon of bravery. Whenever I find myself conforming to something I don’t agree with, I think of my teen and remember that it’s more important to be true to myself and my values than to gain the approval of someone whose values I don’t agree with in the first place.
Lesson 2: Accept Others for Who They Are
Not only does my son expect acceptance from his peers, he grants it just as easily. If you met his closest friends, you’d be hard pressed to describe the group of them by any single characteristic other than that they are all friendly. The vary in physical appearance, ethnicity, age, interests, and personality. My son doesn’t choose friends based on what they look like, what they say, or what they like to do.
Instead, his only criteria seems to be, “Is this person kind?“. Perhaps due to my own self-esteem struggles, I find myself often making judgments about others and then realizing that I’m doing what I fear others do to me. Each day I strive to follow my son’s example and accept people for who they are. And if what they are is kind and friendly, I make room for them in my life.
I know my teen son isn’t the only inspiring kid out there. I bet your teen is amazing too. Why not let Go Big spotlight that amazingness?
For a chance to win the spotlight for your teen, go to the Go Big Facebook page and share how your teen inspires you. Go Big will select three teens with amazing stories and give them a platform to show the world! For more information, full contest rules can be found on the Go Big Facebook Page.
In lieu of a letter, I wrote this post and created a video with my son to give him some public kudos. Here’s our video:
3 thoughts on “Lessons I’ve Learned From My Teen”
I had planned a trip back to the mid west for my nephew’s wedding this month. I had told my son, Merik I would stop in Missouri to see him at college when I made the trip. About a week ago, or so, I told Merik I wasn’t going to be making the trip. Things were just too hectic here at home. With a firm tone, and an undeniable voice of wisdom he said, “Mom, never allow yourself to believe you’re too busy for family.” Touche.
Kudos to your son for having the strength to be himself -his wonderful, unique, inspiring self. I’ll be looking for these bigger yogurts for my taller-than-me-now “baby” son.
U just learned last week that my 13 yr old likes yogurt pouches.