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“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts” – Albert Einstein

I spent the last three weeks with a wonderful and awesome 12-year-old. I do not have children, so I do not have much experience “hanging out” with a pre-teen. However, I found that he has many dreams and knows what he wants to do. He is fascinated with facts and often shares what he has discovered on YouTube. He also has several books that provide him with new and unusual facts. He is smart and can be charming.

He can be frustrating. He wants to share all his facts with you and wants you to believe them 100%. (We all know that the internet is always correct!) He struggles when you challenge him on any of his beliefs, but he is interested in discussing different belief systems. I am so proud of him for being able to listen.

I had the opportunity to introduce him to my friends and take him to some of my events. I was told by many adults how respectful and confident he appears. He made a good impression, and I was thrilled.

This pre-teen is not perfect. He does lose patience, does not like being wrong, and often tries to get you to see things his way. But he is a talker and, like all kids, wants what he wants when he wants it!!!

He is a dreamer, and even though he is full of facts, I believe he will make something great of himself.

I am proud to be considered his aunt.

What I have learned:

· My body is older than I think.

· I don’t need the amount of sleep I thought I did

· Be quiet and listen

· Accept him for who he is. I don’t need to change him into who I think he needs to be. He is terrific on his own merits.

· Set boundaries and stick to them. He was courteous and followed the rules of my house.



If you are a parent of a child of any age, I have great respect for you! I believe you are blessed with the greatest gift you can be given. So, through the hard times, HANG IN THERE!

There are many ways to show your teen you love them. Here are eight ways.

1. Listen. Listen to them when they talk to you – really listen; don't just nod along.

2. Say yes.

3. Respect their struggles.

4. Give them space.

5. Encourage their interests.

6. Hug them.

7. Cheer them on.

8. Get to know their friends.

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