Childhood and youth are very trying times; they were trying in my day and I wonder what it must be like for these teenagers. The emotional and physical changes, the rush to be an adult and still be protected like a child. Then there’s the belief that you know everything even though you don’t. It’s funny how I can now admit that I do not know a lot of things and genuinely seek advance from experienced people. My mother says that is the one of the true signs of adulthood. Then there’s social media; my God, social media
To enable children navigate these trying times, I’ve come up with a few things to tell the children.
I can hear my younger brother in my head saying ‘so you’re now the adult abi?
- You are special and unique and no one on earth, both in past and future generations, is like you.
- You are a winner and all you need to succeed is around you.
- You need to take responsibility for your life – as you alone will live with the consequences. The friends you make, the places you go,
the one night stands ( that’s a topic for another day),you alone will live with the consequences.
- Your tomorrow is shaped by the decisions you make today; so, make wise ones that you can live with.
- God loves and affirms you and you will never loose his love; this is for those times they feel like all is lost.
- Everyday is an opportunity to start again; regardless of the mistakes made, each day is a clean slate to re-write your story.
- Trust God and yourself. You will be bombarded with advice and opinions, but you need to trust the little voice in your head and know you can always pray when you are confused.
- NEVER stay bitter or angry. You will be hurt in this life. Refuse to let the pain define you. Forgive and let it go. If you decide to join a new school of thought, it shouldn’t be after a hurtful experience cos most times people who do that are just projecting their hurt onto others. Forgive, heal and move on and try not to take permanent decisions when angry.
- You are God’s jewel. Never tolerate abuse of any kind and don’t abuse others in any way…they too are God’s jewels.
- Live your life to the fullest, unafraid and courageous but let the golden rule guide you.
- It is okay to be afraid and not know; when you feel these emotions, look for trusted loved ones to relay your fears to and if you can’t, talk to God. Please stop all these false bravado, we can see through it.
- Your parents and the adults you admire were once like you; they do not hate you and they will understand trust me. They might over-react because the responsibility of raising another human being is an honorable and fearful one but trust me, they understand what you are going through so please never see them as the enemy.
There is a lot more we can tell our children to enable them grow into the people God has created them to be; bold, well adjusted in all spheres of life and loving, responsible people. Please drop your own words for our children, based on your experiences.
Here’s to good and wise children; may we be them, may we know them, may we raise them.
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