Hey, dad, when you really think about it, sometimes it pays dividends to be downright honest with your teenager. It’s OK to admit that you’re just as human as they are. You have your foibles and faults, too. You don’t always finish what you start, pick up after yourself or listen carefully.
Here are a few observations that we have put together that might serve as discussion starters for you and your teenager or for the whole family. Some of these are great levelers. In other words, they put you and your teenager on equal footing when it involves certain aspects of life. It’s not always comfortable being on equal footing with your teenage offspring because you have to look at each other straight in the eye and face some facts head on. But it’s a good start into adulthood.
We think several of these will apply to you and your teen. They certainly applied to us.
For example, everybody breaks the speed limit sometimes. With that in mind, we’re all occasional lawbreakers.
The other person is just as nervous as you are.
Always brake for brick walls. (You can’t argue with that bit of practicality.)
In the case of some people, wearing a cross on a chain around their neck is as far as their religious precepts take them.
Most of us are bumbling idiots when it comes to saying, “I love you.”
As objective as teachers are in grading their students, there are few who forget the little extras you do. The same is true with a good boss.
Contrary to what you may believe, the less you have, the greater the chance that more people will like you for who you are.
Likewise, contrary to what you probably think, hardly anyone notices when you goof up.
This may astound you, but if a poll were taken, 99 out of 100 people probably think you’re OK.
There’s a part of your teachers, parents or bosses (perhaps even police and politicians) that think that some of the rules are just as dumb as you think they are.
An obnoxious person needs a hug most of all.
You’d be amazed if you knew who was looking at you in silent admiration.
As you get older, you’ll be able to tell the difference between baloney and food for thought. There’s a lot of one—and a tremendous lack of the other.
When your personal faith is shaken, think about the miraculous precision and timing of birth. Something that wonderfully awesome just can’t be an accident. It really doesn’t matter what you believe or if you believe. It just seems hard to imagine that there isn’t a power beyond us.
Hopefully one or two of these observations will help start a conversation between you and your teen that will lead to meaningful dialogue and beginning to see each other in a new light.