Teenage Words of Wisdom: From One Cool Dude to Another

Just. Like. That.

In the blink of an eye, I have become the mother of a teenage son.

He went to bed as a 12-year-old child and woke up as a 13-year-old adolescent.

This is all very foreign to me. I don’t know what it’s like to see the world through a man’s eyes. Sometimes I feel like I’m at a disadvantage for raising a son.

Well, it’s a good thing that I’m surrounded by quite a few good men, including one who is fresh out of his teenage years. Who better to impart words of wisdom to my son – and to all coming-of-age boys – than someone I believe to be an exceptional young man and a great role model?

So, this week, I turn the blog over to Jon Armellin. Jon, if you could go back and do it all over again, what would you say to your 13-year-old self?

Don’t worry about what others think of you.
The early teen years are the initial stages in forming your identity. Be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to show your true colours. Your real friends will both appreciate and accept you for it.

Treat people the way you want to be treated.
There is a huge emphasis throughout your teen years to fit in and be cool. It’s easy to jump in and make fun of kids who are different, especially if the people you want to befriend are doing that. But, before you act, take a minute to think about who you are trying to make friends with and what you are sacrificing to forge those friendships.

Be a leader.
Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Speak up for what you believe in, and what you know to be true, whenever the opportunity presents itself. Even if the majority disagrees with you, they will respect you for speaking your mind.

Always have your friends’ backs.
Your inner circle of friends can say a great deal about who you are as a person. Always have their backs. I promise you, those you choose to stick up for will never forget it. You may not know this yet but, at some point, you will need them just as much as they needed you.

When you tell someone you’re going to do something, do it!
However big or small the commitment, when you give someone your word, make sure you follow through – no matter what.

Love you parents and your family.
During the course of the next few years, you will get frustrated with them. At times, you may even think you hate them. But know that what they do, they do for your benefit. You may not realize it today, but they are your best friends and your biggest supporters.

Well put, Jon. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

What would you say to your 13-year-old self?