Thirteen is a big year in our lives, it is the graduation from childhood to teenager. As a parent, we are all too often caught with our pants down when children turn teen and can appear that all of a sudden, our happy-go-lucky child who liked movie night and pop-corn and family days out, has changed. It is as if, over a very short period of time, they have a whole load of gunk going on for them that they feel ill-equipped to deal with. They go quiet, trying to work it out, get loud or switch randomly between the two expressions seemingly unable to understand the person they now are. The process of turning thirteen can impact the whole family.
But how do we, on the outside of that process, handle what we are seeing and experiencing, rather than make it about a list of things we can do to change them…
Can we consider that perhaps, before we make it about them, we consider how we can get fit to respond to the ‘big thirteen’?
Like any other kind of fitness in life, when things happen, we stand or fall on how we live from day to day. If we are not on-it with how we parent, on-it with how we work each day, on-it with all our relationships then the culmination of that, is a lot of un-fitness!
We are never raised to consider that how we are in every single area of our lives affects us when things get tough. Yet it makes sense that if we are paying attention to all areas of our lives, staying tight with standards and boundaries at home and walking our talk without perfection, when things get tough, we are not wobbled as much.
There is no boundary between any ‘area’ of our lives.
We cannot think we can have a way of living in one area of our life that does not affect all other areas. For example, home, work, relationships and friendship are all interlinked.
Do we carry the same integrity and decency in work and in our relationships as at home? Or are we sometimes more on-it at work and then want relief from being on-it when we get home?
When we are not wanting to check out of life but stay aware of how we impact everything all of the time, then we are being on-it. This wanting to stay present or on-it becomes a foundation for us. So, when things go wrong, we have it as our fall-back position, which is then solid and steady.
When you are backed by how you live each day, that is really backing yourself.
As the maelstrom of teen years arrives, you have what you have lived to support you. This is why it’s so important to be parenting fit. We are what we live, we can’t fall back or stand on a foundation that isn’t there. It is so important to live being on-it from day one, so when storms hit, we can back ourselves to the hilt with what we know is true, because we have lived it.
p.s if this has not been your foundation, it is never too late to start.