Being a teenager can be difficult. Being a teenager can be amazing. Being a teenager can be the best and worst time, ever, even during a single afternoon. It is a unique time where kids make adult decisions that are wrapped with empathy, compassion and love. It is a unique time where kids make decisions that are illogical, void of regard for anyone else, or lacking in any strand of common sense. It’s tough being a parent of this age and also tough teaching and working with teenagers daily.
As I spend time visiting with parents, I am sometimes asked a few simple questions: am I doing too much or too little? Am I too intrusive or too trusting? Am I crazy or is my child crazy? When does this get better? How am I so lucky, at times, to have a thoughtful child who can turn so quickly? Are other parents as involved? Should I visit with these other parents?
My message is to keep on parenting. My message to our teachers is to keep on caring and working with students. While our students may be driving, holding down jobs, doing community service, excelling in their chosen extracurricular options, they are still teenagers who need guidance and love. I also know this for absolute certainty - kids still value and want their parents to keep on parenting. While they may complain and whine now and then, they want their parents to parent. Over the years, some of the toughest cases I have dealt with are when a student feels as though their parents are opting to be absent from their lives. These kids can even be seniors in their second semester. There is a balance to the parenting of a teenager, but first there must parenting for the balance to occur.
“Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It's about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.” - Ron Taffel
Your children do talk to us about you and your influence. As I attend the multitude of events that this campus offers, at the end of these events, this message is reinforced weekly. Kids still look for their mom and dad first at the conclusion of events. They still want your love and approval. Parents and teachers, hang on through the bumps, you are appreciated for your efforts.
It’s always a great day to be a Chaparral!
Steve Ramsey: WHS Principal Blog
Principal's Weekly Reflections