Parents help teenagers shape the clay of life

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Parents have the ability to...

Parents play a vital role in our lives — especially in the teenage years when we are experiencing things for the first time, when we need to be guided in the right direction and when we need to be taught right from wrong.

Parents have the ability to shape the kinds of people we will one day become. They are our role models and, for most, our sources of strength.

I think it is very important to have both parents active participants in our lives, but I think it is even greater to have our parents or guardians be loyal mentors and loving figures — not just to assume the role of a parent but to take it and make it theirs.

I once overheard in a conversation between two women that parents spend two years teaching their children to walk and talk and the next 16 telling them to shut up and sit down. And I just thought that it was one of the funniest comments on parenting that I had ever heard.

Advice is a way of recycling. Those who give advice have already been through what you are going through. They have taken their experience, cleaned off all the ugly parts and given it to you to pass on.

An Assyrian clay tablet from 2800 B.C. reads, “Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; and the end of the world is evidently approaching.” It would appear to be somewhat of a cynical statement, but I believe it holds much truth.

Parents teach us what they know, and what they know is what they have experienced. All they have to give is their advice. So if you just take the time to listen to your parents, you might save yourself the hassle of having to learn it the hard way. They know what they are talking about. Well, most of the time, that is.

What makes a really great parent is one who tries to show you how to be a good person. A great parent is one who has succeeded in giving you roots, to know where home is, and wings, to fly high and practice what they taught you.

But are they always treated the way they should be?

As teenagers, we usually don’t see how special our parents are, and we don’t treat them with as much respect as they deserve. Our parents are usually the ones who love us the most and, ironically, they are usually the ones whom we treat the worst.

It is only until our later years that we realize how great our parents are, and we see all the things we overlooked and understand all the things they were trying to say. But I think we should all try to not fall into this typical habit. We should take the time and make the effort to establish a connection with our parents.

Nothing can make my point clearer than a quote from Mark Twain: “When I was a boy of 14 my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around, but when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

Up to a point in everyone’s life, it is shaped by the environment around them and the changes that occur from within. Then there comes a time when it is up to you to shape the clay of your life into the way you want it to be. Everyone has the power to change their lives. Our parents just give us the little shove we need to get started.

So, make sure you listen to your parents. Allot a time each day to spend time with them, and get to know them because you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Posted 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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