This post is sponsored by the Center for Parent and Teen Communication. All opinions (and memories!) are my own.
He was a helper, he was bright and attentive, and he would occasionally spout some pearls of wisdom that I wrote down and saved. When he was four: ” I have hearts coming out of my eyes because I love you.” I also found a note entitled, “what it means to have a two and a half year old boy.” It was written to remind me of the time I opened the tea kettle and found a stuffed animal spider inside. How adorable! I sometimes think it is because we are older and gay that his adoption was a miracle, but I suspect that many parents feel that their children are miracles!
He is a typical teenager. He has more stress as he readies himself for adulthood, and we are no longer managing a toddler. I love hearing the opinions of others, such as his girlfriend’s mother: “Whenever he is at our house he is an absolute angel.” And I always get the same feedback from folks that host my son. He is perfectly behaved. We must have done something right: when he is out in the world, without his dads watching, he is behaving in a way that shows people he is polite, respectful, and charming!
I was inspired to write this post while reading this article entitled, “Remember the Best In Your Child and See it in Your Teen” from the Center For Parent & Teen Communication. I have been instinctively following some of this advice since my son was a toddler: “During those moments when you feel the most challenged, draw from the memories of who your children really are.” That is why I took notes, years ago, to remember some of the most special moments. Now that I have a 15 year old high school sophomore in the house, the ability to look back and remember these moments always bring a smile to my face and a warmth in my heart, and reminds me that my love for my child is tremendous. Sometimes we parents need these reminders!
Parenting teens has always been a challenge, and in 2018 the roads for our children to navigate are tougher than ever. Cell phones are ubiquitous and addictive. The availability of different substances is more prevalent than ever. And social media usage has many pitfalls if one is not careful. That’s why the following video is a great reminder that as parents and children, we all need to be more self aware in trying to do the best job we can, and we can use all the support that is available to us! I make sure to let my teen know that whatever disagreements we have at home, when I am out in the world acting on his behalf, nothing stops me from advocating for all he deserves, he will always be my baby!
Please share your memories in the comments section so we can all remind each other about our wonderful children, and feel free to pass along the above video!
Disclosure: This is a compensated post on behalf of the Center for Parent & Teen Communication. The Center for Parent and Teen Communication is a new, valuable resource for every parent navigating the teen years. You can get a taste for the type of advice you’ll find with this post (http://bit.ly/2xJgzay) from the director, Dr. Ginsburg.