trials of parenting

“If” – For Parents of Teenagers

Written by Susan Noyes Anderson on . Posted in Funny Poems, Life Lessons Poems

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©1997 Susan Noyes Anderson, At The End of Your Rope, There’s Hope, Deseret Book
(written with a fond bow to Rudyard Kipling)


If you can keep your head and not lose favor,
When adolescence makes its grand debut;
If you can trust yourself to never waiver,
And always keep an optimistic view;
If you can hold your judgment when teens stumble,
Then watch with loving patience as they rise;
And strive to be forgiving…firm, yet humble,
And loyal, even in the face of lies;

If you can always understand the reason,
Yet never give up looking for the rhyme;
And hold your tongue when silence is in season,
Remembering that all things pass, with time;
if you can seek and find the strength within you,
And neither shrink, nor shun, the grueling fight;
If you can move the mountain, or begin to,
And never, in the darkness, lose the light;

If you can lead when children will not follow,
Yet follow, when you must, where they will lead;
And neither lose yourself, nor wind up hollow,
An empty vessel, sacrificed to need;
If you can do all these and never falter,
Nor doubt, nor pause, nor ever give up hope;
Then you are made of stone, just like Gibraltar,
And every other parent is a dope!

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