Tag Archives: teens

Life Skills

24 Feb

I volunteered today at an M.U.N. (Model United Nations) conference at Princelightningbolt’s high school.  I didn’t have M.U.N. at my high school so this was all new to me when he first started high school.  This program is right up Sirlightningbolt’s alley (he loves history, politics, being up in front of people and writing a mean essay).  I am impressed I can discuss topics pertinent to the world with him because he is educated about current events.  He now knows that behind the Orange Curtain does not lie the entire world.

What I really enjoy about these conferences is seeing hundreds of smart, educated, interested teens all dressed up at 6:30 in the morning on a weekend day, ready for action.  Why doesn’t this make the news?  Hundreds of sleepy, overworked  teens are up at the crack of dawn, dressed to the nines and ready to debate issues pertinent to our world today.  What could be better?  When I drop Princelightningbolt off in my pajamas and  the sun has barely cracked the horizon, I am impressed.

These kids are going places.  The skills they have as teens will serve them well.  Get up, be prepared, show up, make a good case, dress the part, engage your audience, have the endurance to do it for 10 hours with a small lunch break.  Doesn’t this sound like a day of meetings at a real job?  Follow through, knowledge, preparation and presentation (of both information and of self) are key.  But, more important than all of these life skills, these teens seem happy.  They smile, they joke, they obviously have camaraderie.  This is important stuff.  This is life, this is relationships, this is communication.

We hear there are no jobs, kids are denied college entrance even with GPA’s well above perfect, their majors are impacted and worse.  However, there is a legion of teens out there ready to take on the world…head on.  These kids can dress the part, they can argue a point, they can commit and they can put it all down on paper.  Be ready, they are coming and they are strong.  If they keep developing this skill set, us parents will be in good hands when we age and are depending on someone younger to care for and make decisions for us.

And we will rest easy knowing they are productive, engaged and happy in their lives.  We all need to remember to hone these life skills and validate their importance at a time when most of us are checking their grades daily and forgetting that the grades are a very small part of the package.  Truly, do you even remember your high school GPA?  Probably not.  But, I bet you remember how you felt in high school and what you learned that you still know and utilize to this day.  I bet it mattered if you were happy and involved and I bet that still matters today.

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Pegging Those Teens

7 Feb

Peg Leg here has two teens.  And, even amongst friends, sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable admitting that I really like my teens.  If you listen to the news, most teens are pregnant, drug addicts, drop-outs or gangsters.  If you listen to most of my friends, they are snotty, spoiled, selfish, oblivious, absentminded and irresponsible.  I confess that I can easily jump in and participate with my mom-friends in an hour long conversation about the negative character traits of teens.  You should see how we feed off of each other’s stories…we are like 5th grade girls with girlfriend drama.

In general, though, my kids are pretty awesome.  I am frequently surprised by how much I like them.  When they were sweet babies, toddlers and dirty-faced, school age critters, I never imagined it could be just as good, and, sometimes, better with teenagers.  Yes, they are big, demanding, loud, messy and stinky, but they are also clever, witty, smart and down right hysterical.   Sirskatesalot and I stare at each other wide-eyed when one of our offspring uses an epithet while telling a story at the dinner table, searching the other’s face for how to respond.  But then the punch line is so funny we break into laughter and forget to reprimand the storyteller.  It reminds me of when they were first graders telling jokes they had made up that were so NOT funny, but made us bust out in fits of laughter.  Only now, they are older, wiser, funnier and the jokes and stories are spot on.

While sometimes their decisions or attitudes are maddening, watching my teens grow into themselves is fascinating.  The path from teen to adult is a curvy, windy one filled with hills and valleys, but I think it it is important to let the teens do the driving.  I am enjoying these last, fleeting years with my kiddos.  I’m trying to give them credit, to back off, to let them do the driving, to let them set the pace and to let them choose the destination.

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