The adolescent and teenage years are a difficult time in personal development because there are rapid and substantial physical, emotional and social changes. For many, these years are ones of experimentation, testing boundaries and figuring things out the hard way. Especially brazen adolescents and teens may rebel against their parents and believe they are, in fact, the smartest of the group.
Once the transition into adulthood occurs, many of us can look back and see that our perception of outsmarting our parents probably wasn’t exactly the reality and that we should have (at least in some instances) heeded their wisdom. There were certain things, like those on the list below, that your parents just knew all along.
1. You will get over your first breakup, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
He was your first love—or so you thought. You held hands and spent every possible minute next to one another, talking about life and the future with the optimistic naivety of all your 15 years. There were a few dates as your relationship progressed. Maybe there was even (gasp!) a promise ring or class ring to show your commitment to one another.
Then you saw him holding hands with the girl three seats down from you in French class, and your world is shattered. You may think your wounds will never heal.
They will, and your parents knew that. As your mother sat patting your back while you sobbed, assuring you that it would be alright—she meant it, even though you didn’t believe her at the time. Your father paced the room, cursing the boy under his breath but also knowing you would likely face the same situation many times throughout your life on your quest for the right person.
Relationships come and go throughout adulthood, and figuring out what you don’t want can be just as important as honing in on what you do. That knowledge can only come from having experiences—even if they’re negative. There is no doubt your folks knew that all along.
2. You will regret not spending time with your grandparents while you can.
Your parents told you to make time to go visit your grandparents, but you already had a packed social calendar. To be fair, with age comes to an increased appreciation for your elders, and you hadn’t quite gotten that far. Once they were gone, though, you wished you had listened.
It’s a proven fact (or close enough) that grandparents have the best stories, make the meltiest grilled cheese and—most importantly—really appreciate your company. Your parents knew that because they probably missed the same opportunities during their awkwardly rebellious adolescent and teen years, and they were trying to save you from making the same mistake.
3. You will lose many friends, but the good ones will stick.
Your best friend started a rumor or said something negative about you behind your back. When you’re an adult, most of the time that means the person was not really ever your best friend. When you’re an adolescent or teenager, it can mean your world is—again—ending.
Your parents tried to explain the characteristics of a good friend and point out that this person exhibited none of those qualities. In fact, your folks probably knew it from the moment they were introduced. Unfortunately, though, that is one lesson they had to let you learn on your own.
You will lose friends throughout your life—some of them may truly have been close friends with whom you simply lost touch. Some friendships may end on rockier terms. Still, other friends may appear to have your best interests at heart but are really more self-serving. Then there are those true friends that root themselves in your heart and in your life, and you hang on to those dearly.
Reading people and forming the right kind of friendships are skills that are formed over time. Your parents had to let you get hurt for you to start down that path on your own.
Bonus: You did throw that party when they were out of town (or crossed a similar line) and lied about it. Your parents knew that, and they may or may not have confronted you at the time. Sometimes disappointment is worse than punishment. They knew that, too.
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