I saw the title on the cover of a magazine recently "Rules for a Happy Life." The article focused on health and wellness for adults both for their physical health and their relationships. I started thinking about how we as parents try to help our teens prepare for adulthood and all the different things they will encounter as young adults.
What would the rules for a happy life be for teens? Well, most teens would not like being given a list of rules for a happy life! That being said, I think that there are some basic ideas we can impart to our teens during those times when we are talking with them. Those "rules" might be something along these lines.
1.) You always have someone who loves you and will help you even when you feel very stuck. So call that person - and as your parent, I hope you know that I am that person.
2.) Asking for help means that you have courage and you want to make things better. So don't be afraid to look at those things that you need to change instead of ignoring them and hoping they will go away.
3.) Be honest with yourself about your strengths....and weaknesses. Everyone has both. When you find your strength, you can use it to decide who and what you want to become. And understanding your weaknesses can help you become even stronger.
4.) Find work that you feel is important and that you love doing.
5.) Look for relationships with friends who support you in a positive way and who have positive values similar to yours.
6.) Don't forget where you came from....and don't forget to keep looking forward to where you want to go.