Have you ever thought: “If I had only known what I know now as a kid.”? Why is it that when we are children, we don’t pay attention? Our parents, grandparents, older relatives, family friends, etc. try to give us advice. We hear things like:
- “Study hard and it will pay off one day.”
- “Get in the habit of saving. It will help you when you are older.”
- “Learn to recognize good character in others. Stay away from those that take advantage of you.”
- “Be careful with whom you call friend.”
- “Learn to have a strong work ethic. It will make you stand out to future employers.”
- “Take care of your body and keep it healthy. You will miss having good knees and a fast metabolism when you are older.”
- “Be kind to others and treat them with respect. It will come back to you later on.”
Why didn’t we listen to that advice? What is it about being young that makes us think we know everything?
As we are approaching the teen years in our home, I am seeing more and more rebellion and “I know everything” in the eyes of my child. You would think that my child would take advice from some of my past experiences. That sharing some of the mistakes that my husband and I have made would be a warning to my offspring. Nope. In one ear and out the other. I have apparently reached the point of being completely useless as a mentor. Seemingly overnight I have become someone that “knows absolutely nothing”.
People talk about “the terrible twos”. That time in a child’s life might be a minuscule phase compared to the teen years. Defining who they are, what to believe, who their friends are, where they are going in life…those are the “terrible” years.
Even though I have reached the point of being a complete parental moron, I will continue to give advice and guidance. Sure, I could be talking to a wall. That is okay. It is my job to be annoying to the younger generation. With a lot of prayer (and some luck), my offspring will come back to me in a decade or so and thank me. “Thanks Mom for trying to teach me about the world. I know you meant the best. However, I needed to learn for myself.” Ahhh…the joys of being a parent.