We are only as strong as our Roots!
By the time the TEEN years hit, one hopes that firm roots have been established underground. Strong boundaries will provide the security for teenagers to feel safe; something they flight against but I can assure you they are actually crying out for! Having lived in boarding houses with students for many years as a housemistress I can honestly say that those who were the most secure were those who at home knew what the boundaries were. By contrast those who were given too much freedom most often lashed out; seeking either the affirmation they didn't receive or 'pushing' in the hopes that boundaries would indeed be imposed.
I like to say to my students that some of their peers will be small trees with seeming little influence, but unseen and underground actually have established enormous, solid roots that will hold them firm through their lives. When a storm blows through they will not be knocked to the ground: They may shake a little and have some leaves blown off but by and large they will remain solid even after the rains have battered and the winds have blown.
By contrast others they know may well appear as huge sturdy trees, but underneath what is seen with the visible eye are merely a few small roots which do not have the capacity to hold the weight of the tree once a storm arrives. Although appearing confident and secure, they indeed have few resources to survive once their world becomes knocked or unsafe.
The size of a personality and their seeming relevance or importance in a social setting or in a class at school, has NOTHING to do with the platform on which they operate nor is it reflective of the soil in which their roots have become embedded. What is more important in the teen years is diligence and perseverance in remaining TRUE to ones identity, walking a path of INTEGRITY, and HONOURING the lives of others regardless of the circumstances that present.
The role of parents is therefore critical because in providing a rich fertile soils opposed to a sandy soil, they will accordingly affect the roots of their child and their ability to become established: Either becoming firmly embedded or struggling to take hold.
Strong, deeply embedded roots that are firmly established and secure as a platform on which teenagers can continue to grow and mature into adult life. I do not believe the size of the tree is relevant at all in teen years; what IS vital though is that their identity is known, their lives are safe, truth from deception can be discerned and their knowledge and understanding of the world goes beyond the restrictions of what society imposes.
GOOD STRONG ROOTS is the vital ingredients to teens being able to lead responsible, authentic and prosperous lives!