I think I've missed a couple of recent 'Love Thursdays'. Today I was busy working around the house (and checking e-mail and blogs, of course! Who can get through a day without that?!) getting ready for the in-laws. I realized this evening that it was Love Thursday and that I have tons to share love about. The post on shuttersisters today was about 'love symbols' found in nature, such as rocks, leaves, flowers. . . shaped like hearts, the quintessential symbol of love.
I was immediately reminded of something I found in the garage recently while straightening up. "Nature in your garage?" you ask. Well, when your youngest is Aly and she loves all things in nature and expresses her love to you by giving you twigs and rocks instead of flowers, then YES, nature in my garage. I stumbled across this. . .
. . . rock. She had found 'love' in nature quite a few years ago and had emphasized it by painting it red. She apparently didn't want anyone to miss the message! (PS: she STILL does this!)
As this memory and Alyson's preciousness came to mind today, my thoughts also turned to the whole phenomenon of parenting teens. I currently have three teenagers under my roof and although I would admit to not having it any other way (at the moment!), I would also say that it is the most 'experimental' time of my parenting life. I feel that I was far more prepared for parenting babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-school children than I have been for parenting teenagers. Ken and I were talking about it last evening and I suggested that it is because I did so much reading and preparing for those ages and in all reality, have not done the same for our teen-parenting years. If there's anything I could impart to you young parents (that is to be read, 'parents of young children', because I know 'parents of young children' are not necessarily 'young-in-age' parents!) is that you must get new tools throughout your parenting years. The tool belt you used when your kids were 2 or 8 won't be adequate when your kids are 13 or 18. They'll be your groundwork, but you will new tools.
Tools from this Love Thursday:
- Be willing to continually learn.
- Be aware of cultural differences between the time you were a teen and the current time that YOURS are teens.
- Expect love from your teens. They want YOUR love and will give it in return.
- Keep your loving boundaries. Our kids feel loved and secure when we set and maintain our boundaries.
- Put judgment aside and accept your kids, your peers, your world in a positive light. Don't always expect ulterior motives.
- Look for love. I'm sure you'll find it. . . perhaps even in your garage.
[I started this on Love Thursday. It's now 1 AM Friday. The in-laws are now here. Grandpa is sleeping. Grandma is telling unbelievable tales to the rest of us that are feigning non-fatigue!)