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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Advice for a Teenager I Adore

I can deny it all I want but the frightening fact is that one day my four children will be teenagers. Fiesty, hopefully not wearing their pajamas to the mall, snarky 13-19 year olds. Everyone says enjoy the time when they are young because one day, not far from now, you will be waiting  pacing for your child to come home. I sometimes receive texts from my husband's cousin, a 14-year old seeking advice on every teenage issue imaginable. I appreciate that she confides in me and I hope that every teenager has an adult to be open with. I also feel grateful that I do not have to relive those years but it also makes me cringe at the thought that one soon day, I will be riding shot gun on the emotional roller coaster that will come from living in the same house as my future middle and high school students (I know Mom, I know- those days will be payback time).
There is no denying that it is a different day and age then we, as parents, were growing up. My eight-year old knows how to do more on a computer than I did at the age of eighteen. There was no internet, cell phones or social media. Bullying was contained during school hours. It now has no boundaries.  We, as adults, need to do our part to listen, advise and most importantly, be there. Here is the advice that I give to the teenagers that I adore now and will continue to give (with the hope that any single part of it is listened to):

  • Put down your phone.
  • Log-off of Facebook.
  • Texting should not replace face-to-face conversations.
  • Listen to your parents.
  • Listen to your grandparents.
  • You are loved by so many.
  • You are strong, smart and beautiful.
  • Speak with respect.
  • The internet is written in ink.
  • Think before sending.
  • Learn to say sorry, please and thank you.
  • Forgive.
  • Letting go is essential to your future happiness.
  • Doing well in school is essential to your future.
  • Saying no to what everyone else is doing is empowering.
  • Think before piercing.
  • Or tattooing.
  • Use spellcheck.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Dream big.
  • Appreciate it all.
  • Life is colorful. Try not to be beige.
  • Perfection is overrated.
  • Get a job.
  • Do your chores.
  • Ask how you can help.
  • Dance. 
  • Happy people attract happy people. 
  • You can guess what negativity attracts.
  • Try yoga.
  • Try out for a team.
  • Eat foods grown from the ground.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Read books that you love.
  • You have permission to complain about something three times before creating a positive solution for it.
  • Laugh with your friends.
  • Boys do not think with their minds at this age.
  • If someone is hurtful, they are not worth your time.
  • Don't smoke. 
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Learn to play an instrument.
  • Have slumber parties.
  • Recycle.
  • Be grateful.
  • Be you.
  • Last but not at all least, hug your momma.

I would love for this to be a growing list. Please comment below or on my facebook page with your favorite tips for teens. I would absolutely love to hear them and in the meantime, I'm going to go play with blocks with my three-year olds...


  1. This is my most favorite post yet - it brought a tear to my eye! Having 2 little sisters, and little cousins as well, I can really identify with what you wrote about, and I could not have said it better myself. My hope is for all teenagers to open their eyes to the beauty that is in the world around them and not get lost in the less important things in life. It is so important for young girls to have a strong role model to look up to. One that is confident, all the while not afraid to be vulnerable.

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight, dear Katie

    1. Thank you for your gracious words sweet Christina. I am inspired by your words of wisdom. Your sisters are lucky to have you as a strong role model in their world.
      Love and endless thanks to you...

  2. katie, please send this out when our littles reach this age...i am sure it will get lost by then and i think this is a great advice!

  3. Kasey I promise to! Hopefully together one of us will remember to remind me to send it out again :). Thank you so much for reading. And hope you and your littles are having a ball. Miss you...
    xoxo Katie

  4. Teens need to volunteer as often as possible. In a retirement home, homeless shelter, animal shelter, or anything along those lines. They are growing up in a world where many undesirable lifestyles and behaviors are glorified times ten. A nice reality check every so often keeps teens grounded and gives them a better sense of what real life is like.

    Not everyone has iPhones, the latest Jordans, or even their three square. People are suffering, lonely, and struggling each and every day. Be a presence in their lives, show compassion, and display humility. That is the real world. A big slice of humble pie for a teen is a win- win for all!

    1. I love it Kelly. You are absolutely right about volunteering as often as possible and I love the slice of humble pie line. Thank you so much for your valuable thoughts...