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What Every Teenager is Looking For

Originally Posted on April 8, 2016 by mrjaketracy

They go straight to their phones. Basking in the neon glow of Instagram, counting Likes, wearing them like badges of honor.  Comparing and contrasting and their profile to the girl at the end of lunch table. Am I pretty enough? Am I skinny enough?  Am I smart enough? Am I rich enough?  Am I cool enough? Funny enough?  Smart enough? Do I fit in? Am I an individual?  Thi gap, hard abs, max bench, the right shoes, hip style. The right headphones, cell phone, winter coat, backpack, lunchbox, Eye color, skin tone, hair style, GPA, sports, music, Voice lessons, NHS, college applications, homecoming, and oh yeah homework.

Your teenager has more than a few things on her mind. More than a few crosses to carry. More than a few people to keep happy. And whether you believe them or not, usually the last thing on the list to take care of is THEMSELVES.

This is where you come in. Mom. Dad.  This is where you make the difference!

Tell her you love her.  Make a habit out of it.  Tell her, show her every day in a shameless un-bashful way.  Fearless. Bold. Loud. Creative.  I LOVE YOU.

Because she WILL hear it from someone else.  Multiple someones.  People on the other side of the iPhone that you don’t necessarily want her hearing it from.  People who don’t mean it, not like you do anyway.

So parents, get on it already!  What are you waiting for?!  “I love you unconditionally!”

No matter what, no matter what you say.  No matter how you act.  No matter what boy you bring home.  I love you unconditionally because I am you parent, and that’s what we do!

Jake Tracy is the counselor at the Petoskey practice Real Life Counseling of Northern Michigan, dedicated to helping teens and their parents thrive!

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