The teenage years—a time of transition from children to adults! I remember how they were for me. I was ready to spread my wings and fly, but also a little scared. I am now eighty-eight years old and am writing this for my grandchildren and great grandchildren—those who are now teenagers. I have hopes of helping them to successfully transition to adulthood.
Childhood was a time of learning—learning so many things: words, likes and dislikes, rules, interests, skills, reading, songs, and even developing an identity. We are all born with individual physical, mental, social, and perhaps even spiritual abilities. During childhood we learn, by experience, how our personal abilities fit in with the world around us. These experiences create our self-identity. It can be positive or negative. In some ways we fit in, in some ways we don’t. We are exploring who we are!
There will be differences—some individuals will be musical, some may be athletic, some scholarly, some funny, and others will be serious. No matter what characteristics identify you, you can be grateful to be alive.
An now YOU are ready to be adults! You will continue learning, but the learning is now pretty much in your hands. As adults, you will be responsible for how you respond to life. This teenage time is a great opportunity. What will you do with that opportunity?
As a child you were dependent on others to feed you, house you, and regulate you. As a dependent you did not have much of a choice in your growth. But now, as you become an adult, you do!
The transition, i.e. the six teenage years, give you time to make the change. Choices you make now will determine your directions in the future. No matter how you were trained as a child, you are now increasingly making your own choices. You may not be able to control the world you live in but you can choose how you respond to it.
I want to encourage you to be happy that you are alive. You now know yourself better than anybody else. You know what your talents and interests are. You also know what your limitations are. Be joyful with those talents you have been given—and the limits, too! You will soon be flying!