- Family and Parenting
10 Survival Tips for Teens Without Fathers
We live in world that is not perfect. There are people here who want to hurt you. It's a sad truth but as long as you're ready for anything, you'll be okay and stronger for it.
1. . Talk to people. Whether you are living with your mother or your grandmother, whoever you are living with; take them into complete confidence and make them your best friend. You will have to trust and tell them everything about where you are, where you are going, and that may sound silly to you now but I'm sure if your mother isn't burning up your cell phone yet, it's probably because you aren't old enough to go out at night or drive. Trust me, she will burn up your phone. Start earning her trust now.
2. Get a cell phone. It's important to get a good plan with lots of unlimited minutes and there are phones out there without a contract you can pay month to month. This is great for people with less than perfect credit or for people who just don't want to be tied into a contract for two years. You pay as you go. And parents, this is a great way to teach your teen responsibility on paying their own bills. It works like a pay phone. If they don't pay for the minutes, they just can't use it, Keep in mind a cell phone is a lifeline to your child. And teens, well, I know you will do whatever it takes to keep that line open.
3. Limit Information. You don't have to tell people you don't know, that you don't have a father or you don't live with him. There are predators out there wishing to hear this. That tells them your mother lives without a man, making both of you easy prey. Most predators are very cunning. They will try all sorts of tricks to get you to trust them. They will buy you things, make you promises, and even get close to your mother, just to get to you. Whether you are a boy or a girl, always keep an eye out for mom. You are the other part of that team that's missing and one hand always washes the other in a real family.
4. Please don't do any sleepovers. I have always had this rule with my own children. My mother always told me, if you have a bed at home, then why do you need to sleep in someone else's? It's a matter of opinion and I have friends that let their teens have sleepovers. I even know some people that allow their minors to sleep over. Unless it's someone you absolutely trust who is part of the immediate family, like grandparents, I would still be watchful. And if you don't have a father, you will be more susceptible because the predator will always see you as an easy target, without that male defender. Fathers will be a little more intimidating and challenging for them than a mother.
5. Step up to the plate. If you are a guy, then it's probably really difficult when you are around other guys with fathers. You watch them play together or have those famous father son talks and wonder what you did to deserve this fate. Don't worry. Like I said before, you aren't alone. You are a part of a growing statistic and there is nothing wrong with stats. Treasure the parent you are with, who no doubt gave up a lot to make this work for you or may be struggling with her own pain or loss. You can step up to that position of the other part of that team. And if you have brothers or sisters, you need to pitch in to make the family work. A family is a chain. When one link is broken, the whole thing falls apart.
6. It's okay to be miss him. If you are a girl, then you miss being daddy's little girl or maybe even feel a little jealous some of your friends call themselves that. It's natural to feel this way. You are still your own person and you can be strong if you want to be. #5 applies to you as well because you are part of a team, a family. This is your family and no matter how imperfect it is you have a role inside it and a responsibility to make it work.
7. Mothers make great fathers sometimes. Maybe you have questions only a father can answer, especially being a guy. Maybe it's about cars, maybe it's about sex. Whatever the question is, you can ask the remaining parent, even if it is your mother. After all, your mother had to have had some kind of relations to get you born, right? Seems a little embarassng though, so maybe you can ask another male in your family, preferably a brother or a close friend in school. The important thing to remember is there are many ways to get answers to just about anything as long as you stick with people you trust.
8. Read and get educated. Go to the library, learn something new. Find your quiet place or space there. If there's no money for college, don't fret. You can still learn things, still excel and expand that brain in any way you want to. The library is an excellent resource for this and many of them have online accounts you can search for books, dvds, etc and have them hold it for you. Having an education is your key to success. Never forget that.
9. Get to know your family history. Learn about your father. Don't be afraid to ask what happened to him, or where or even who he is or was. Get familiar with the person who was part of who you are. You don't have to be like him and you might not want to. Remember there is short pain in truth. Truth is what it is and nothing more. Learn to live with it and become a stronger person.
10. Finally, accept who you are. The structure of your family does not define you. Your actions do. Look at yourself in the mirror and thank the universe you are here. You were loved enough by someone to give you life. Remember that there is nothing on this planet that can get in your way of becoming anything in the world you want to be, except you. Only you can stop yourself from becoming your own dream. Only you can make yourself cry or make yourself feel bad. Make the choice to be happy, and to do the right things, so that your path to greatness is easy and short.
This is dedicated to all those who have lost their fathers in one form or another. Know that your fathers are only human and humans are not perfect creatures. A good husband doesn't mean a good father and visa versa. Learn to forgive and move on; that is a true sign of maturity.
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