I am the mother of four children including a sixteen year old daughter I call, the teenie bopper. All her life people have told her that she looks just like her mother or she acts just like her mother, that she should try to be just like her mother when she grows up. It was cute, until the teenie bopper turned three. That’s when she told me she wanted to build a time machine. I was crazy enough to believe she could do it. When she told me the time machine dream I decided it was time for her to hear another message.
I told her, “Euphoria (her real name is Euphoria), you are not a little Janeane. You are a big Euphoria. You started off better than your mama and you should end up better than your mother. You are smarter, prettier, live in a better neighborhood and are getting a better education. If you only end up as good as me, you have gone down hill. So always be big Euphoria.”
As a young woman alive in 2012, my teenie bopper faces two worlds. One world is the the same as ever, because there is nothing new under the sun. The other world is new and exciting because of changes and increases in technology and opportunity. I admit it is exciting to see her reach for the stars. The teenie bopper wants different things from the world and from the world and herself than I ever did. While I am enjoying the thrill of watching her pilot her own ship and reach for the stars, it is also important to help her get where she wants to be safely and in good mental, spiritual, emotional and physical condition.
Being a role model is an important responsibility. The job of a role model does not stop because the person you are modeling for becomes a teenager. Instead, it gets harder and more important. Teenagers are headstrong, spoiled, selfish and know it alls. But, they are still in need of guidance, help and love. Role models must continuously seek ways to motivate their teenagers reach for the greatness they possess. So, don’t be afraid of the teenagers in your life. Instead be strong, brave do the job. I still believe my teenie bopper can build that time machine and I am looking forward to riding in it! So the question for you is, what greatness are you modeling for the teenagers in your life to accomplish?