Monday, August 4, 2014

Things I Would Want My Teenage Kids To Know -- Marcie's Guest Post

Hey everyone!  While i'm busy vacationing on Florida I have Marcie guest blogging for me today!  Hope you enjoy her post and go check out Marcie's blog!  She has an adorable family & I can't wait to see her newest little one come October!  Go give her blog some love and enjoy her post :)  And thank you Marcie for the great post!!!

Hey there! My name is Marcie Morris and I am guest blogging for Jamie while she's on vacation in Florida! A little background on me before I get into what I am going to blog about. I am 31 years old and live in the good ole' south, Alabama. I am married and will celebrate our 5 year anniversary in just a couple of weeks. My husband and I have one son, Carter, who is 2 1/2 years old. We are also pregnant with our second child, another son, who is due on Halloween 2014. His name is Garrett. I like to think of myself as contemporary, but I am very conservative when it comes to certain things. I am a Christian and the Lord Jesus Christ is my Savior. This fact is important to know because it affects all of my decisions in life, including the below list of things I'd want my teenage boys to know once they become teenagers. Now, please keep in mind that when I write this, it will be directed to boys AND girls. I may have two boys and zero girls, but I was a girl teenager once upon a time and I made mistakes that I greatly wish I could take back. But at the end of the day, our mistakes make us who we are today. God allows certain things to happen to you so that you can grow and learn from them and those experiences are what is giving me inspiration to write the below list. So without further ado, here are the things I would want my teenage kids to know:

  • The saying "if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?" exists for a reason. Just because your friends are doing something does NOT mean you should do it too. Saying "well he did it, so I did it" won't keep you out of trouble with school, with your parents or with the law. Principals, parents and police officers don't care about stuff like that. The punishment will always fall on you, even if it wasn't your idea.
  • Speaking of friends, be extremely careful in choosing your friends. I'm just throwing this statistic out there, but I'd say about 80% of the people you surround yourself with in high school will never see your face again after graduation. So be careful who you're trying to impress because it may be all for nothing. Choose good friends. Ones that prove that they are there through thick and thin. Ones that apologize when they're wrong. Ones that also forgive you when you mess up. The term "frenemy" didn't exist when I was in school, but I had a TON of them all through high school. They are not worth your time or effort. Stick to ones that support and encourage you to do the right thing.
  • I know it's hard to study, especially when all you want to do is have fun with friends, but starting in high school, grades actually matter. It's shockingly hard to get into college these days. And even harder to graduate from college. You do NOT want to be the kid that still lives in his hometown working at a gas station while all his graduating class is off at various colleges, all because your grades weren't good enough so you're having to go to a community college first. I'm not saying don't have fun. You should definitely have fun. Just balance your fun. Don't have fun every single weekend. Try studying and preparing for the next week.
  • On the topic of studying and preparing for schoolwork/projects-don't procrastinate. That's how D's and F's happen. If a teacher gives you an assignment that isn't due for two weeks, you don't have to put all your focus on it now, but evenly disperse the work over the two weeks so that you're not stuck pulling something together at the last minute.
  • Like I mentioned above, you don't have to go out with your friends every single weekend night. I know it's not on your list of top 10 things to do, but since you'll be studying during the week or even having practices for various sports/clubs that require you to stay at school later, maybe pick one weekend night out of the whole month and ask your parents what you can do with them as a family. Maybe they'll take you to a movie. Or just have a good ole' fashioned family game night with some board games and pizza (don't knock the board games with your family-it will be something you cherish and hold close to your heart when you're older and you realize that your parents aren't going to be around forever).
  • Respect your parents. No kid ever likes to hear the dreaded "you're grounded" or "no dessert until you eat your green beans" or "no you can't go out with your friends, you need to study". TRUST ME-they are not doing this because they hate you or because they are out to ruin your social life. They are over twice your age and know what's important in life and that is why they set these rules. You may not agree with them (in fact I don't know many teenage kids that do agree with their parents) but trust that they know what they're doing and they're doing it for a reason.
  • Go to church. Find a youth group. Get INVOLVED. I know some of you may not be religious and don't really want to hear this and if that's the case, feel free to skip to the next bullet point. Joining a youth group isn't easy. Especially if your parents don't go to church. I know because my parents were never involved in any church and my sister and I (we're 15 months apart) both ended up joining a youth group at a local church. It takes some getting used to, but the people you meet at these things WILL last. Not all of them, but more of these people will remain your friends than just general people you pass in the hall at high school. It's not even about the kids though, it's about what youth groups stand for. Most youth groups get involved in the community, which I highly suggest because it's easy to forget how easy you have it until you're put into someone else's shoes by volunteering. They also go on mission trips where the help communities, but also come together with kids from other churches in other states. It's a great way to meet people!
  • GET A JOB. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, GET A JOB. Do not be that kid that applies for college that has "mowed lawns" or "babysat" under the Job Description section of a resume for a college. Get a REAL job. One that has a boss. A boss that you report to all the time. One where you get a paycheck that actual taxes get taken out of. And don't wait to do this until your senior year. College administrators want to see that not only did you have a job, but that you were able to hold onto that job for a while. Just like having nothing listed under this section of your resume is dangerous, having too much listed is also dangerous as it indicates that you quit when the going gets tough and just move on to another job.
  • And last but not least, on the topic of finding love-be careful. Guard your heart and your purity (you know where I'm going with that). I can't tell you how low the likelihood is that your high school love will be your forever love. I think I'm in the small percentage of people that married my high school sweetheart. But I can't even explain how rare that is. And also, we weren't technically high school sweethearts. We had a summer fling where we were inseparable, but it didn't last long. We still went to the same high school and said "hey" in the halls for years until we went to separate colleges. It would be EIGHT years before we found each other again and then actually dated. Justin was not the man he is now when he was 15 nor was I the woman I am now when I was 15. As a teenager, you're immature. That's not meant to be an insult though. It's just a fact. At 15, you don't know all there is to know about life. Heck, I'm 31 and still don't know it all. But my point is, be careful what you do with you your sweetheart. Physically and emotionally. Teenagers can be extremely backstabbing and even though he/she says and does all the right things one day, they may completely turn on you the next. I'm not saying not to trust, because you need to trust others. What I'm saying is be careful. Be cautious. If he/she truly loves you, they will wait until you are ready for whatever it is they want from you.

I really could list so many more things but I think that's enough. The majority of all of my advice for teenagers can be summed up in just saying to listen to your heart. Listen to your gut. The holy spirit uses your conscience on purpose. If some part of you is telling you that what you're doing is wrong, it probably is. Be that rare teenager that listens to that conscience, no matter the consequences. Be brave and be bold in your values and stand up for what is right. I promise if you do these things, you will leave your teens and enter your 20's with absolutely NO regrets!

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