by Bailey Flores
One night in the quiet moments after the jammies were put on, diapers were changed, and our little guy was tucked softly in bed I started thinking about what it’s going to be like during the teen years. I know, I know. Most of us are still trying to get through the teething stage, who wants to think about the puberty stage? But I couldn’t help it. I started thinking about what values I wanted to teach my kids. What I wanted to tell them about being an individual, a unique and confident individual. And then, I started thinking about my own teen years. What would I want to tell that little 7th grader? It turns out, I had so much I wanted to tell her.
* I would tell her that bullies exist. There may be mean girls (or guys) that banish you from lunch tables, prank call you in the middle of the night, and darn right make your life miserable. But don’t worry about them. Stand taller, be proud, and know that in just a few years you will have friends that stand closer than sisters. (Years later you will find these bullies online. You’ll have the last laugh- promise.)
*I would tell her it’s ok that the boys don’t come around. In a few short years you will be walking down the aisle to meet your soul mate. It’s better than you can possibly imagine. Just hold on. (13 year old boys smell bad anyway.)
* I’d definitely let her know Green Day is still cool.
*Lastly, I would tell her I am proud of her. Proud of her for saying no to that cigarette that one time. Proud of her for writing in her journal when there was no one to talk to. Proud of her for going to church…and not because she had to. Proud she never let any of those mean girls see her cry and proud she never tried to get those boys to like her more. Looking back, she was a pretty cool kid. I’m just sorry she didn’t realize it at the time.
The teen years can be rough. For some (like me) it was jr. high, for others it was high school. You literally feel like you’re walking through a battlefield each day. “Rough” is an uderstatement. Our children may have those hard times. What are we going to tell them? What do we want them to know? I want them to know the same things I would want myself to know at that age; don’t worry, hold on, and be your own unique, awesome self. This needs to start earlier than the first day of 7th grade. We need to be praising our children and letting them know NOW how special they are, how unique they are. If they want to wear two different colored socks- tell them to go for it! They are powerful, strong, beautiful kids. It’s up to US to make sure they see it everyday. Let’s arm our kids with all of the love and support they need for when they have to go through their own battlefields.
So, Xavier- be YOU. Stand tall and stand proud. Rock it out, son. Rock it out.
Bailey Flores is mom to 9 month old Xavier Christian and wife to US Marine, Adam Flores. They have lived all over the United States and currently call Vermont home. Bailey has her Bachelor of Science degree in Dance from Texas State University. She currently teaches children of all ages the art of dance, while instilling the importance of confidence and self expression. In her spare time, Bailey enjoys sharing all of her adventures about being a first time mom on her blog- The Flores Garden at www.thefloresgarden.blogspot.com.