My Teenager Is Great, Yours Sucks…
I say that with complete humor because I know you think the same thing!
How on Earth do you explain to a teenager that what happens socially in high school, although it seems like the most significant and important thing on planet Earth, simply… doesn’t matter!
My conclusion… You can’t! No one could have explained it to me and I can’t explain it to mine.
Facebook is a funny thing. Somehow reuniting on facebook with people you weren’t friends with in high school makes sense.
Reaching out to a stranger whose paper you copied or test you cheated off of is perfectly acceptable. I mean, I’m sure we all have a few people that hurt our feelings in school beyond repair that we avoid online, but for the most part, the wars have ended, the aggressors have surrendered, the wounded are healed and we all gather on facebook to “share” our lives. Most of us share just the positive stuff and manage the negative in other ways, but some share it ALL keeping us tuned in for exciting facebook outbursts.
Have we changed or have we stayed the same??? A facebook outburst (you know… where someone goes on a wild rant about what an asshole someone else is or how they’ve been wronged in some way by someone else) generates the same excitement and gossip of the old high school days when 2 football players fist fought in the hall after lunch over the cheerleader with the big tits. At 46 years old, you see one of the rants or outbursts on facebook, you pop open a chat window and you type ferociously to a close friend… “Did you see so and so’s status?!?!?! I know I’m guilty… occasionally.
We’re human. We make mistakes. We learn about accountability in high school. We learn these lessons in the cruelest of ways and for most of us, WE SURVIVE! We tell a lie, we get caught and our “friends” emotionally destroy us. We “talk” to someone else’s boyfriend, she finds out and ALL of her friends hate our guts! We gossip, we get caught, we lie to get out of the consequences, it doesn’t work and we feel like no one likes us. And we survive!
Kids were mean to me in school. Maybe even kids who have grown into adults, who might even be reading this post. I want you to know a couple of things.
First, I am sorry. I am sorry if I contributed to you having to learn these lessons. It wasn’t my responsibility to teach you. I was a leader inside a follower’s body and I didn’t have the self-esteem or personal awareness to handle things properly. I do now. I stand up for what I believe in and for those who do not have the strength to stand up for themselves. It is right and it feels good.
Second, I forgive you for cruelly teaching me my lessons. I was hurt and embarrassed and thought I hated you for years. I do not. I am thrilled to see your children’s photos online and the happiness in your eyes regarding who you have become. I wish the best for ALL of you and your families. I am sad when I hear that one of you has lost a loved one and I am excited for you when you send your stunning daughter off to the prom. I feel connected to you. The memory of you brings me back to the absolute most difficult time in my life and I survived. It made me strong and for that I am now extremely grateful to you.
I wonder what will happen for our children. They will not lose touch with one another. They are all ready “friends” on facebook. They will not disconnect and wonder about each other. They will not have time away to process their feelings and sort through them while they anticipate friend requests from people that take them back to times they hoped to forget.
I will let my daughter sort this stuff out for herself just as I did. I will monitor it (not too closely) and be the voice of reason when she needs it. She has better tools and skills then I did at her age and she has the love and support of her family to back her up. After all, family is all we really need anyway, right?