I've been spending a lot of time with my teenager lately. With over 20 years of age separating us, I find only a few times where it seems challenging to smile with her. Today and lately, we've really been talking. I'm sure many of you know this, but I'll say it anyway, I think the best way to really get to know your teen or spend time with them is to have an interest in what they love. I think this naturally falls into place for many of us, but for those of us it doesn't, please give it a try and try again and continue trying until you find a meeting place.
With us, it's volleyball. I've taken interest in one of her loves and with this, I'm practicing with her, taking her to her team practices, coaching her on occasion and spending more time than usual just talking. I'm getting a chance to listen to her favorite music on our way to practices and now she gets to the point where she'll quiz me on band names. Trust me, I usually suck at this, but today, I actually remembered one! Yeah! Best of all, I get to really converse with her.
Today and more so lately with volleyball, I've been able to see her mannerisms and the effect she has on others. I've been talking with her about the positives and at the same time, I've been speaking with her about things she could improve on. I'm hoping that by the time she's off on her own, she'll be even just a little wiser about the impact she has on others whether by words or actions. We all have this ability whether we choose to acknowledge this or not. It's what we do with how we behave and what we say; it's all that, that makes us who we are and how we are perceived. For her, I'm hoping she will be perceived as someone who genuinely has an interest in others around her; and with this, she'll be a positive influence on her friends, family, and she'll send a message she cares.