The 3 things that will keep your past from determining your future as a teen parent
3 minutes to read
I wasn’t the perfect candidate to be a dad at 18. I could barely manage myself let alone have the capacity to raise up a family.
Between partying, drugs, and several suicide attempts, I was every parents worst nightmare. Does that mean that I couldn’t mature into a responsible young parent & do we really have control of our future?
From partying to trouble with the law. I started young. Let me just say this, in no way do I mean to glorify any of this, but instead I want to tell you and maybe a young parent in your life that there is always hope. Whether you believe it or not, there is a God watching over your life. I know this for a fact. I am a living testimony of it.
I never thought that I would be a young dad, my mom was a teen mom and I saw how much extra effort she had to give because of it. Being a pretty logical guy even though I had a wild side, I thought that it would be best for me to “do me” for about 10 years, get my degree, buy my first home, then start a family someday. Looking back now, I doubt that “someday” would have ever come. Even if you see no hope for your future as a young parent because of your past, there is always a new day tomorrow and you have the power to make it a good or a bad one. It’s all in how you perceive it.
It’s not magic
Stating that we can control our future comes off as fluff. I get that. Though it may sound that way. I used to think that people only said quotes like that so they would have something to make inspirationally posters with. From personal experience I have discovered that we do have access to the power to control “parts” of our future. What parts? The parts that will happen
Its not what you think, we are not going to rub some magic genies lamp and all of a sudden we find that all our troubles has evaporated. No, not at all. This kind of future control takes 3 things and they must come in the following order: intentionality, hard work and patience.
Here are the 3 things that will keep your past from determining your future as a teen parent:
- Hard work
Intentionality is vital to starting this path of controlling your future as a young parent. Without being intentional of where you want to go and how you will get there, you will never know if you have arrived. Taking the time to look at your two options as a young parent is simple; stay or run. If you choose to stay; this is you making your mark saying that regardless of you being ready or not, you will provide, care and be present at all times in the life of your baby. If you choose to run; you are saying that you are not going to give any effort towards the life of your child. This one sounds a bit harsh, but in the context of changing your future, you will need to be intentional. This will ensure that when things get tough, when life starts making you feel like you should have never stepped into being a parent because you are not ready, that you will stand and fight because you know that this is where you have chosen to be. Pushing forward through the issues, struggle and on through the other side to experience your future being better than you could have ever dreamed of.
Hard work is the obvious one here. We hear it all the time, “You can’t do something you have never done until you do what you have never done”, which is hard work in this case. Instead of talking about how hard you can work and restating the obvious for you, I wanted to approach the topic of hard work at a different angle. Instead of trying to work harder, focus on handwork as an opportunity to grow. Every time an obstacle places itself in your path, look it in the eye and being to take confident steps toward it until you go through it. No matter if you are terrified, unprepared or just don’t feel like it. Just start. Overtime, this will become what appears as hard work from the outside but you will develop this inner strength to battle with lives biggest battles. In the long run, you may even start to seek out areas that you lack in, so that you can chase down areas that you lack and improve on things that you don’t do so well.
Patience is by far the hardest part of the equation for most. Not just as young parents, but as people in general, we want something and we want it now! The feeling of wanting to change out future often wears off before we even get to the point of actually changing. I will warn you of this step now and encourage you to not give into the deception of thinking that change takes too long. Yes. It may take longer than you may want it to, but once you have changed and not allowed your past to determine your future, you will live that way for the rest of your life. Instead of always giving up what you start because of lack of fruit in the beginning.
Originally published at www.empoweringyoungfamilies.com on April 7, 2015.