How Great Thou Part

I loved high school. It was a time of emerging independence, life innocence and forever friendships. A period of explosive emotional growth while my friends and I were growing comfortable in our own skin.

It was football games and basketball and rugby. It was passing notes that we prayed weren’t intercepted by the guy we liked. It was lunch in the cafeteria sharing secrets and laughter. It was the bus or car ride after school to a friends house. It was parties and clothes and General Hospital.

It was also broken hearts, a failing grade, a team not made, a skipped class…

When my boys start high school I always tell them the same thing – “High school is a roller coaster. One day you will go to school and be dating the girl of your dreams and getting an “A.” A few months later, she will be dating someone else and you will be getting a “D.” High school is a precursor to the ebb and flow of life. If you accept and understand this then it can be an unbelievable ride.”

I usually also toss in – “That if I do my job right they won’t peak in 9th or 10th grade and that they will grow up naturally.”

And then when the time is right and calls for it, I share with them what I call the…

“Ten High School Live-By’s:”

Being popular is not a goal. It is a by-product of treating every individual the same – with kindness and respect.

Confidence is what allows one to make good decisions.

People value one only as much as they value themselves – self-respect is critical.

No one should ever let another human being define them – or limit them from being themselves.

Love will emerge in life in new ways – so know that joy and pain are the necessary roommates of the heart.

Confident people make the very best friends. They have the ability to feel another’s pain and celebrate another’s joy.

Failure is misunderstood and perfection is overrated. Adolescence is a time of growth – embrace it, fail, grow,fail and grow again.

One does not have to be loud to be a leader. A quiet leader can step away from the crowd when necessary and do what is right.

This is a time to learn a higher degree of self-responsibility – face problems it will empower independence.

Even the most confident people are occasionally filled with self-doubt especially through the teenage years. Understand that and never let momentary insecurity spread to others. Never make another person feel bad to make yourself feel good.

I share these with my boys to prepare them for the unexpected twists and turns leading them towards adulthood. So that they are less confused and pressured and better prepared for the roller coaster.

So that they can enjoy the ride.


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