Some of my favorite people these days are teenagers.
I am not an expert on teens or family interactions, but I do know that kids need rules. I wrote these ten for one of those fabulous teenagers who inhabit my world. As I re-read them, I realized they are pretty good rules to share with girlfriends too!
Rule 1. Life is too short to hang out with people you don’t like. (That’s actually a good one for all of us – we should hang out with the friends who believe in us, support us and who make us laugh!)
Rule 2. There is always a nice way to do something hard. That doesn’t mean it will be easy for anyone involved, but at least you can look back and feel good about how you handled the situation.
Rule 3. If it is to be done, best done soon. Shakespeare said it better, but the point is, if you are going to break up with him/her, do it sooner rather than waiting.
Rule 4. Take care of yourself. You are the only you we have and we think you are very special. Don’t smoke, don’t ride in a car without a seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, and don’t drive with anyone who’s been drinking. Don’t assume you are invincible or invisible.
Rule 5. Nothing you put on the internet is ever truly gone. Facebook is part of the internet. So is MySpace, texting, and YouTube.
Rule 6. Nothing electronic IS your life. This includes tv, social media, email, cell phones, iPod, and gaming systems. Being deprived of any of these for any length of time will not stop major bodily functions or kill your social life. There are scientific tests proving this.
Rule 7. Be nice to your mother every now and then even if she doesn’t deserve it.
Rule 8. This too shall pass.
Rule 9. Commercials, print ads, and videos are not reality. No one in real life spends nine hours in hair and makeup or has the advantage of a full time airbrush. Strive to be the best you can be, but don’t aim for something unrealistic. What’s inside you is much more important than your haircut or your clothing. Sooner or later your peers will figure this out too.
Rule 10. You are the perfect you. And I love you.