Jan 122017

Teenager Attitudes







by Stephanie Pletka

Help, I Have a Teenager

What happened to my sweet, precious child? You know, the one that was fun, lovable, a conversationalist and a friend.

It’s a phase, just like everything else.  Seasons of life come and go; it’s their right of passage.  And it too, shall pass. You survived it, and so will they.

Remember, kids actually like discipline, margin and guidance. It’s the world’s best kept secret. They’re trained as teenagers to roll their eyes, cop an attitude, sigh loud enough to break the sound barrier, but it’s all smoke and mirrors.

Their hormones are a mess, as they transition from children to adulthood. I know how they feel. They’ve got the case of the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s but I can’t, going on; testing the waters on every front.

Sweet Attitude Before Teenage Years

Sweet Attitude Before Teenage Years

Notice during game night, they act too old and cool to play, but they hover close enough, as to not miss out on the action.

It’s their job to test the boundaries, as they grow up, seek independence  and figure out who they are in this world.

Don’t you remember what u were like, growing up? 3 times worse. Oh dear God, I can hear the prayers now: please don’t let them be near as bad as I was, you know- you already have a story in your head; and it probably includes the word jail. You’re already calling your parents to say you’re sorry.

By testing the boundaries, they’re walking up to the Electric Fence of life to make sure it’s still there, making them feel safe, secure and cared for.

Guide them now, like bumper cars hitting the rails. Parental Guidance is a safe place for kids to bump life, test drive what works and what doesn’t, take notes and move towards success in a safe, secure area; before they enter harsh reality and life offers fewer soft places to land.

When they act unlovable, lean in, love harder, chase often and pray like there’s no tomorrow.

Like the Olympic sport, Curling, we’re whisking the broom left and right: love, lean in, hug, repeat. Hey, they gotta know we’re either crazy (highly probable) or care about them too much to let them veer off into the ways of the world.

They are your future. Their kids will be your grandkids. You have to fight for the goodness. No one will love, guide and care for your kids like you will.  Stay the course, parents. You got this! Don’t let them fool ya. They love the guidance and margin. Those rolling of the eyes, is just code word for ‘I love you too.’

Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a Father, the son he delights in. Prov 3:12

Jan 032017







     World’s OKAYEST MOM, I’ve seen this sign everywhere; it makes me laugh. In college, my focus was less on education and more on socialization. If you know me and my personality, I whole heartedly scored an A in Fraternizing, Consorting and my dedication to commemorating an occasion. My grades were OK. There are moments when we shine in life and others when we’re just OK. The vital signs on the Monitor are still moving, nothing special, but we’re alive.

Us Moms spend our days beating ourselves up, thinking we’re not Enough. If we don’t have a cooking show or Professional Christmas Cards distributed by Dec. 5th, we’re not enough.

It’s such an immeasurable term. What does Enough look like? It should look like you, the Poster Child for Enough.  Webster’s defines it as: Adequate. And yet somehow, we view it as IN-adequate.

Somewhere between social media and those craft sites, we think, wearing anything less than a Super Hero Cape MUST mean we’re letting the world down. Wow, what was once considered Over Achievement has become the lowly standard. We forget to forgive; providing ourselves a little slack in the “less than” amazing times. And believe me, there are many more “less than” moments. We need to love ourselves through the good and the bad.

When I was young, we weren’t rich, but no one told me. My parents started their own business; finances were tight, but we had love and determination. We spent boo-coos of family time, playing badmitton in the front yard, swimming at the lake, eating ice cream on the trampoline, laughing at each other’s stories, and enjoying Tuesday game night. My parents, at some point, probably felt like they weren’t enough, but we didn’t see it that way. Kids and spouses alike, have this amazing redemptive quality.
They’re just happy you love them!

We tend to be our own worst enemy.

Look at your kids as they skip through the house.  Does this send a message that you’re not enough? Or maybe the teen who half rolls their eyes at a comment you made, yet stays in close proximity of the living room, as to not miss out on the action. Who do they run to for advice, boo boos and heart break, with perfect precision, making a bee line straight for you? It’s because, You’re ENOUGH!

You hold a solid position in those individual lives. No one can take this from you, but YOU. There’s no need for a Harvard resume to apply for this position. You’re here, because God gave you this crazy family that no one else could handle, like you could.

No one can fill the void, soften the blow, heal the heart, fill the wound or love their soul, like you can. Because, Say it: You’re ENOUGH!

A video on upworthy.com was produced, asking moms to describe themselves. They focused mostly on the negative: http://www.upworthy.com/these-kids-finally-say-what-they-really-think-about-mom-and-her-reaction-priceless-9

Mom’s prospective:
I struggle with my temper.
I feel over weight and un-lovable.
I’m a perfectionist.
I wish I was confident, patient, a better listener.
I’m a terrible cook.
I tend to focus on the negative.
I mess up and can’t seem to get ahead of it all.

Kid’s Perspective:
She’s funny.
My mom cooks for me.
She cuddles with me.
She loves me a lot and I feel it.
She gives the best hugs after school.
We go to church together.
She’s my heart.
My mom is my hero.

Hmmm, apparently they view us through Rose Colored Glasses. Maybe we should buy a pair. Perception is Reality folks and Mama, you’re Enough.

At times, we’re a Mess, a Masterpiece, A Success, and a Failure, but most of all, we’re Important and We’re Enough.

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle is the Hand that Rules the World. Here’s to the World’s Okayest Mom. Now go take a deep breath, because guess what – You’re Enough!


 Posted by at 4:19 am