“I don’t wanna grow up ’cause I’m a Toys R Us Kid!” chimed the TV as I wasted away the Saturdays of my childhood watching cartoons with my brothers in front of the flickering magic screen. I had no idea what I was missing out on by not spending more time reading.
Books can really help us grow up. I learned much of how to live on my own while attending college and later about being a mother from reading books as a teen.
Some of the first real full-length chapter books I read were the classic Anne of Green Gables series. I fell in love with Anne’s life in Avonlea, where the roads were red and walking or taking a carriage ride were the common ways to travel.
With each book in the series, Anne grew from an insecure, precocious tween to a college graduate (unusual for a woman of her time), to a happily married adult with half-a-dozen children.
Anne learned all the life skills she needed to know from her adoptive mother, Marilla. This fundamental knowledge was passed from adult to child.
Though we live in the age of information and globalization, the method of transferring knowledge is no different. Yet, it seems like we, as parents, have less time and know-how ourselves on how to help our children launch.
So, this has motivated me to search, to learn myself, what does a teen need to learn before turning 18.
In previous posts, I’ve shared these resources:
With the start of 2018, it’s back to schoolwork, chores, and responsibilities that cannot be ignored by our teens. Which means stress! Now more than ever, teen anxiety has been on the rise. Maybe life since the times of Anne of Green Gables has quickened at the pace of the high-speed Internet.
My teen daughter and I both have utilized the following methods to deal with the anxiety that accompanies stress.
10 Ways to Cope With Stress
- Listen to instrumental music or play an easy instrument like the ukulele
- Consider getting a pet dog, cat, or fish for your teen’s room and open the blinds for letting in the sun and watching birds outside
- Think of at least three things daily that you are thankful for (Ann Voscamp’s blog has free resources on living a life of gratitude)
- Explore a park or nature preserve with many shade trees—something about trees calms our nerves
- Try “star-breathing,” which means take a deep breath in and draw a line down each finger slowly as you breathe out. It really helps!
- Pray—talk to Jesus, your best friend beside you and/or journal your feelings
- Sing an uplifting song
- Meditate on a Bible verse you know by heart or think about an inspiring quote you’ve read or heard
- Read a classic book you love (like Anne of Green Gables!)
- Rest in a quiet, comfortable spot until you feel less stressed
This year, let’s resolve to make time for our teens and teach them what they need to know to grow into successful adults.
My son on the autism spectrum will be turning 13 this year, so I will also to be sharing more resources specifically for teen boys, coming soon!