I love you and I believe in you. I sent these eight simple words to my teenage twins a few years ago while entering the throws of the texting cyclone. I do it on a regular basis, often late at night when their phones are off. My twins turn 15 this weekend and no doubt hundreds of text messages will toast the big day. Asking a parent if their teens text is like asking if they sleep until noon, wear baggy pants and have hormonal surges that could power a rural town. Yes they text, and text and text. I go days at a time seeing only the top of their heads.
I love you and I believe in you.
My four children are my greatest achievement. I adore them; they are my greatest gifts. I have never hesitated to let them know how much I love them on a daily basis.
More importantly, I believe in them.
I have had a blessed life, 15 years of them with wonderful, amazing kids. The transitions have not been easy yet the journey rewarding.
I have felt love from plenty of people in my life. But only a handful of people have openly believed in me. Love comes in many forms; belief does not.
My teens and I watched the ESPN 30 for 30 special on college basketball coach Jim Valvano recently. Valvano, a flamboyant New Yorker, dared his players to be great, and in 1983 his North Carolina State team won the most improbable championship in NCAA history. "My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, Valvano says in the film, "he believed in me."
I embrace texting as a teenage lifeline. Snatching a cell phone from a teen is akin to a Louisville Slugger in the back of the knees - "I text, therefore I am." But texting can be an affirmation tool.
I love you and I believe in you. What if every teen woke up to this message?
How do you handle teens and texting? I would enjoy hearing from you in the comments section.
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