Love!  I wrote on the blog’s companion Facebook page that my son and I have some of our best conversations in the car. Sometimes they are silly, sometimes they are short and sweet but productive.  And, if I am really lucky, like the other day, we start one and he wants to keep it going.  I will truly take quality over quantity any day.

He stated that he believes you really can love someone other than family in your teens and that people shouldn’t dismiss the feelings of a young person when they say they love someone, but, he had a light bulb moment the other day:  having a girlfriend might be nice, but there is so much more to gain at this age by focusing on friendships!  Of course, school work is important too, he made certain to let me know he is taking that seriously (big grins), but that friendships made now are a critical component in growing into a knowledgeable, compassionate adult.

Wow! I shouldn’t be shocked as he already is a empathetic and caring person, but I guess when I see some of the hormonal, male teen behavior at home, something this profound is somewhat surprising.

So I asked him to tell me more; here is some of his wisdom.  Whether he has gained some of it from me, his family, other adults, teachers, or his peers even, he offers some great insight:

  1.  “Friendships are important with both guys and girls; I should focus on having strong ones and if lucky, I will have some friends for life.
  2. You can love your friends and there is no shame in that
  3. There is a lot, I mean a lot, of drama with people in their teens; hopefully they get shown love in some way so they don’t grow up to be drama filled adults (Amen to that I say!)
  4. There are a lot of unhappy people of all ages, kindness goes a long way. I try but I could be better and will work at it
  5. Girls and guys can talk everyday without any expectations of being more than friends (and it’s really hard to “date” when you don’t drive) and hanging out in groups can be really fun
  6. Sometimes it’s hard to be respectful to some people when all they do is be rude or unhappy, or nagging or disrespectful to me and my beliefs or ideas or just who I am, but I have to try and be the bigger person even if I feel like just slapping them sometimes
  7. Oh, I know what I said about not having a girlfriend right now, but I reserve the right to change that in a year or two (love this kid!)
  8. There can be a lot of peer pressure in life, I hope I pick good friends who won’t do that or who respect my decisions not to follow.  I will try to make good choices, and I hope I can easily give up those people who simply turn out to be bad influences
  9. I haven’t always been nice when talking about someone, I have to work on that
  10. I like talking with you mom and I love you!”

I don’t require much validation in life but it is wonderful to know that you had a hand in molding someone’s growth.  For anyone who questions the amount of time a parent spends with their child…it is indeed quality over quantity. And guess what, even when they are sometimes a complete pain in the a$$ and you think they aren’t listening or their attitude tests our patience:  they do get it and that’s what matters! It’s these beliefs, and a deep down desire to be a good, loving person, that will take young people far in life.