Local author, David Nazario, speaks a lot of truth. One of my favorite truths in his widely popular book, Make Love Your Religion is, “I often wonder why society tries its best to make us believe that there’s a good chance that our wildest dreams won’t come true. While we’re kids it’s okay for us to have aspirations. . . But once we become teenagers that same society insists that we have a back-up plan just in case what we truly want doesn’t happen.”
Not that there is anything wrong with having a “Plan B” in life, but insisting on back-up plans at this early stage is kind of like planting weeds along with the wheat rather than responding to the weeds that sprout naturally, as they occur. Rather than burst a teen’s bubble before it has had much chance to form, why not help them think about what they can do now to move in the direction of that dream? What daily health habits or study habits can they adopt? What clubs, teams or groups can they join? What can you do to support them in this?
In the coming year, Berks Teens Matter, in partnership with Barrio Alegria, will be looking to the community to join us in creating a family story/workbook. We hope, together, we will create something families can use to share their hopes and dreams as well as making it part of their lives. If you would like to be a part of this project, contact Nadine at 484-333-4015.
And remember, when your child was learning to walk, they didn’t need a back-up plan. They needed your encouragement and trust that they could figure it out a step at a time.
By Nadine J. Smet-Weiss, translated by Ana Villaman