What percent of the cost should teenagers (ages 13-17) pay for their own cell phone and service?

Blog Purpose

Raising children is a full-time, life-time endeavor, and just because your children leave the nest, your role and influence continue. However, many challenges (generally uninvited ones) appear from time to time.

This blog is designed to informally explore both the joy and possible adversity that accompanies the raising of a family, and by doing so, provides some possible solutions to improving family relationships. It started with the idea of trying to be more self-reflective on my own experiences as an imperfect parent, but I thought others could benefit and share ideas on the topics as well. Although the focus in on parenting, most of the postings apply just as well to any relationship, including siblings and especially those who are dating. Visitors are invited to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic.

Posts are moderated only to filter spam and unrelated/inappropriate content, but all opinions on the topic of this blog are respected and invited.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Choosing Friends

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

- Mother Teresa

Choosing good friends now (and a partner later on in one's life) is a difficult labyrinth to navigate for people in general, but teenagers is specific. Getting kids to trust your judgement and advice can be swayed one way or another, in part, by how we try to communicate our feelings with them. Unfortunately, standing on the pulpit of life experiences and preaching down to them (unintentionally in many cases) will only cause them to role their eyes and exclaim that mom and dad are rambling on and on in lecture mode again.

In fact, telling them that they are hanging out with a bad crowd will most certainly get you off their Christmas list. Trying to prevent them from doing so will just confirm in their minds that we are so out of touch, and preaching about the virtues of good friendship can only go so far without children seeing the same attribute demonstrated in your own life. However, parents also tend to rush to judgement and write potential friends off because of their initial looks, manners, and demeanor. Pushed to much, children might emotionally check out of your own life, preferring to seek friendship and companionship elsewhere.

Whatever the case might be, we should recognize that a friend is one who will help you live the standards you have set for yourself and will never ask or influence you to do otherwise even if your standards are different from your own.

Furthermore, a friend is one that won't bail on your when life gets really tough. I often tell my kids that one of the reasons I love their mother is that she is a solid brick. Now, it might not sound very appealing to call your spouse a brick, but what I mean to emphasize is that when (not if) trials and torrents spill into your boat of life, you want someone that will remain steadfast at your side rather than one who bails overboard at the first wind of trouble.
Yes, yes! Life will get difficult and romantic love will only carry you so far, but if you have great friends (in my case, my wife), they will stay firm in the midst of the angry waves.

1 comment:

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