Just Before the Bridge

Reads: 204  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

“Just Before the Bridge” analyses the responsibilities of the parent in ensuring the preparedness of their teen to confront the pressures and conflicts which they will eventually encounter as they journey towards adulthood. There are anecdotes of some people’s experiences as teenagers and how they responded to negative circumstances surrounding their development into adults. This will portray valuable lessons for both the parent and the teen.
In “Just Before the Bridge” you will find practical and effective methods of guiding your teen into the future that will truly give him or her lasting happiness and fulfillment he or she truly deserves.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Just Before the Bridge

Submitted: October 10, 2013

Reads: 206

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 10, 2013






The Inevitable Changes

You and Your Teen

The World in Chaos



Acknowledging Your Teen’s Feelings

Parents Vs Instructors

Four Key Principles of Instruction and How to Apply It



Mariana’s Experience

- What Mariana Did

Kelvin’s Story

- What Kelvin Did

Natasha’s Challenges

- What Natasha Did


Truths about Mariana

Myths about Mariana’s situation

Truths about Kelvin

Myths about Kelvin’s life

Truths about Natasha

Myths about Natasha’s situation









Gosh I’m a Teen!


Vibrant Health

Explicit Dreams

Cultivating Yourself



The Teen Future - Challenges to Expect

Career/ Vocation/Business



Sense of Identity

Friendship/Social Activities

Problem Solving



Preparation for the Challenges of Adulthood

Career challenges

Social challenges

Challenges about Ethics and Values

Family Challenges

The Rights of a Teenager’s Parent

The Rights of a Teen

Hope for the Teen



Image Sources


Are you one of those parents trying to cope with the volatile adolescent, ready to blow up at the slightest provocation? You’ve tried all you could, to make him realize how important his future is to him and everyone around him. You’ve visited countless teen psychologist, taken oceans of advice from experienced parents, read tons of books on teen parenting but this “attitude” still remains, making it impossible for you to imagine how life will be for him or her in the next few years. It is not uncommon to hear a teen overburdened with the clouds of the challenges of this world blurt out: “What’s the use of trying to learn anything or be somebody in life when the world’s gonna end up in a couple of years anyway. I’ll rather have a good time now while I can” - all these in response to your simple question of: “What are your plans after college honey?” Does this careless approach to ambition and the future sound familiar?

The truth is that your teenager is just about to move into the adult world full of tests and trials and they seem to care less about it. Teenagers over the ages have been known to react to environmental and societal development in different ways. It is even more prominent now that the society is getting more technologically advanced. Your teens are no different; they still expect wishes to fall on their laps and things to work ALL of the time or at least most of it. They push and shove what isn’t moving fast enough and they no longer have patience for rigorous study time or meticulous summer gigs. They easily abandon projects which they consider as boring in spite their nose-diving grades. They are more on the “NOW” syndrome than ever before, probably due to the ease brought about by technological advancements. You and I have once been teenagers and as adults we’ve come to realize things don’t fall in place simply because you want and expect them to.

Philosophers of old, who made great exploits in their field because of their exceptional ability to create a serene environment to think through difficult situations, are gradually disappearing from each successive generation. It is now a mandatory responsibility of the parent to ensure that their teens don’t stay long in the fantasy that been successful in future will not involve challenges. It definitely will - most of which they will have to solve themselves.

How many parents are then confident of their teen’s readiness for the future? Will your teen have the technical skills and moral foundation needed to become successful in life? Exactly how can parents help their teenagers to become responsible adults the world is looking forward to, in practical down-to-earth, effective ways? Find out more in this book.

Excerpts from chapter one

Here, we shall be examining the world in which we are right now and the likely effects of events or happenings on the typical adolescent in the nearest future, in the process of making their own choices.

You and Your Teen

\"MP900308955.jpg\"As a parent, you are your teen’s first and most important teachers; reasons? Take a quick look at the following facts:

1. Parents “set the stage” for learning. Learning could be fun, exciting - provided you have a suitable teacher. As a parent, when you place high value on education and you inculcate the love of learning in your teen, you are preparing him/her for the challenges of the future. When they learn from you by play-way method, they get to know a lot of things they will probably never be taught in school.

2. Parents prepare the environment for acquiring the necessary skills to fit the jobs created by the society. When your teenage girl helps you to cook, clear the garden, wash the dishes, you are preparing her for that skill called home management. When your teenage boy waters your garden, fixes a leaking pipe, fills your car engine oil, cares for his younger ones, you are training him for the challenges of being the leader of his future home.

3. Despite the influence of the media and the power of peer pressure, research shows that parental example still plays the biggest role in a child’s life. Giving instructions at home will not be of any effect when your teen sees you interact with people in non-caring ways which depict anger, irritation, frustration and aggression. In fact that is what he/she learns.

4. Knowledge and skills are certainly important, but as we consider the increase in family breakdown, current teenage depression and even suicide, we are forced to ask if this is truly enough. Parents are the sole custodians of ensuring that their children scale moral as well as educational hurdles to reach true success and happiness. The decisions that adults of yesterday made in their 30’s are the ones that teenagers of today are forced to make, even in their pre-teens. These choices have enormous consequences for life and happiness, but where will they learn to make their moral decisions if not from the parents.

So now, you know that your teen needs active, proper guidance from good, strong parents if they are to mature into successful adults. A juvenile court judge once said “Without a decent set of parents, a kid doesn’t have much of a chance in the society.” How true this statement actually is, with the world we are living in so similar to a pulsating pressure cooker, constantly changing and challenging and even threatening. Such is our environment. And your child happens to be faced with this world at the most sensitive period of their lives - when they are trying to come to grips with their energy and emotions, when their personalities and habits are being solidified, probably for life.


- A lot of people have predicted that school-leavers in next few years will have been exposed to more information and knowledge by their final year of education than ever before.

- A lot of youths today feel betrayed by home, school, and church and so resent the conditions of this world, sometimes resorting to drugs, sex, crime and violence to have an identity.

- Most parents are not even aware of today’s teen’s fears or aspirations.

- You as a teen-parent are your child’s first and most important teachers.

- You need to be supportive of your child through whatever changes the world may be experiencing right now.

Excerpts from chapter two

Parents Vs Instructors

Sometimes parents know their teenagers are not doing what is right, but are afraid to tell them. Why, I wonder, should parents be afraid of their own children? Quite often, parents influenced by faulty modern psychology, have made the mistake of trying to be their teens’ friends instead of their parents. This method will certainly not work in some circumstances and will eventually lead to greater problems in an effort to maintain the “friendship”. The average parent today is totally unaware of basic principles by which to help teenagers and when they do, try to dodge the responsibility of telling them, for fear of spoiling their “good relationship”.

The reality however is that there will come a time when you will have to call him/her aside and have a good, serious talk with him or her. You may have to lay it on the line and tell him just where he is headed if he or she will not obey. You have to make them understand what their obligations are and let them have a thorough understanding of it. The following facts are significant in passing instructions to your teens:

a. Training your adolescent involves narrowing the choices they have to make, instead of accepting the vast array of deceptive, negative life-styles the world has to offer and which they are more than willing to follow.

b. Teenagers are far more likely to accept instructions and counsel if they feel that the one offering it (the parent in this case) truly understands them and the difficulties they face.

c. Your example as a teen-parent is paramount in instructing them. They are likely to follow your examples than your words. Do you really keep your word?

d. Learning from instructions, such as those found in the Bible (if you are a Christian) and from the experiences of those that have gone ahead is far better than being educated in the school of hard knocks.

e. In giving instructions, know that there are differences in interest. At that stage of their life, your teenager will be interested in several special areas in terms of music, sex, marriage preparation, career education and different forms of recreation. You should be aware of all these differences.

Life is full of principles and failure to follow them will only result in inability to achieve the desired results. What then are the areas to give instructions to your teens?

Four Key Principles of Instruction and How to Apply It

1. Principle of Routine: Life is quite hectic and the 24-hour period normally available to everybody seems to fly away so quickly, with one-third of it usually spent in sleeping! Yet routines are a major part of our life whether as adults or teens. Your teenager goes to school, place of worship, recreation, comes home for lunch, dinner and so on, just like anybody else. Having a definite routine makes the adolescent feel safe, secure and teaches self-reliance. As a parent, you can handicap your child if you do not teach them to structure their time and to stick to a schedule. But the problem however is that a lot of parents don’t really have the time to follow their own routines, talk less of making their teen to do the same. Are you facing the same challenge?

How to apply the principle of routine

- In your busy schedule, do not let the pursuit of material possessions crowd out family routines.

- Make it a habit to eat at least one meal a day together, whether you are a single parent or an extended family. You’ll be surprised at how much you have to discuss within that time frame.

- Create a time to learn new skills and participate along with your teens. Even though some activities take more time than others, the bonding created while learning about photography, skiing, surfing, engineering, and computer programming e.tc cannot be bought with money. Encourage constructive hobbies.

- Be strict and consistent with routines. A teen that consistently misses out on a family get-together for his or her self-centered purposes must not be taken lightly.

 -Take study routines seriously. Let your teen follow a strict regulation of study time. It’s another important way of laying up a good foundation for their tomorrow.

Excerpts from chapter four

Truths about Mariana

Firstly, in the case of Mariana, her mother’s troubled lifestyle was what led to her traumatic childhood and teenage years. Her mother selfishly led a lifestyle driven by alcohol and delusions, regardless of the fact that she is also supposed to play the role of a mother and a wife. This is what happens when we live a lifestyle of “me first” in a shoddy attempt to raise children. Life is full of choices and raising children that will be leaders of tomorrow, requires a lot of great sacrifice. We will HAVE TO sacrifice a lot of self-willed pleasures in order to be able to give them the necessary support that would make them to be able to stand the test of times as an adult.

To a large extent, one’s achievements in life can be traced back to how a person was raised. No matter how hard Mariana tried to be a good child to her parents, especially her mother, by taking care of the home and her siblings, she was constantly downgraded and never commended. As a result, she grew up to have a low self esteem about herself. In her own impression, she can never do anything good and would probably end up much like her mother - an irresponsible drunkard. We cannot hope to bring up teens as responsible adults when their little efforts are not applauded. A little word of appreciation from you every now and then for what they contribute in the home and community would make a difference.

Along the line, Mariana picked up the habit of over-eating just to escape her unbearable circumstances - thank God it wasn’t cocaine or other hard drugs. How many teens of  the modern times have picked up filthy habits of immorality, perverseness, alcohol, pornography to mention a few just to escape the horrible circumstances parents are creating for them or at times to fill the vacuum created by a loveless relationship with their family. Come to think of it, Mariana kept on adding weight and her mother didn’t seem concerned, she hardly even noticed. How sad for a girl who is just trying to come to terms with her self-esteem in her blooming years.

The role of a father in her life and that of her siblings was absent. This might account for her lack of self-confidence as she grew older. Of all the numerous roles of the father, cultivation of human relations and the proper attitude towards other people in their children is of utmost importance. A father instills the right social attitude in their children especially the females when they observe the way he treats other people or other females. A girl observing the harsh treatment given to her mother by the father figure in the home, soon develops a lack of self-worth and inferiority complex particularly in the presence of the male, any male. The continuous presence of a step-father who does not show love and fatherly affection and concern towards her, made her not to be able to have a standard by which to judge masculine behavior. Mariana must have gone through a lot of complications in her social life later on.

The only good thing about Mariana’s case was probably the fact that though she was miserable, she had a determination to forge ahead beyond her circumstances. As someone once said, “it is not those who fall down that have failed, but those who fall down and refuse to get up.” She soon developed a belief in something - her religion and this gave her the opportunity to develop an idea of standards and live by them.

Myths about Mariana’s situation

There are no perfect parents anywhere and child rearing is not all joyful and always a pleasant experience. Bringing up teenagers has its own share of responsibilities accompanied by disappointments as well as joys. It is also an illusion to believe that full-time home makers are happier mothers than those who split their time between home and outside job.

In our contemporary world, home makers have often been pictured as harried, frustrated creatures, deliriously envious of their powerful career-oriented counterparts in the business world when in actual fact, a woman who chooses to be a homemaker is a working woman! A woman staying at home with their families is indeed a career choice too. Hear what a “full-time” mother once said: “There are times when I get tired of driving them to all if their activities and feel as if I do not have a life outside of the car. The kids seem to want me to wait on them all the time as if I were a slave instead of a mother. You never seem to have time for yourself because your life centers on your children and husband”. We were not told where Mariana’s mother worked, but it was obvious she wanted a life of her own- one filled with lots of leisure time.

Another myth common these days is that children are a necessary burden and they deprive you of the life you would have had. Ironically, it has been discovered that mothers who did MORE for their children even at the expense of having time for themselves, felt better about themselves, their children and their roles as mothers; at least the ones that approached their responsibilities in a positive, loving way. It was obvious that though she isn’t a perfect human being, Mariana’s mother lacked the sense of total commitment to child rearing and family. The level of commitment makes a difference.

Yet another myth is the erroneous belief that raising adolescents as a single mother or with a non-active, absentee father is nothing to be alarmed about. There are indeed some elements of reasons why a woman should be worried about the fact that her young children are going to have to grow up without a father figure in their life. The presence or absence or even the attitude of a father can contribute to a woman’s happiness. Mariana’s mother was probably depressed all the time because of her lack of success with men. She divorced Mariana’s father for one reason or the other (which may be genuine)  and married a man that was no better - one who showed total lack of interest in her affairs or that of her children. Mariana recalled that her stepfather “slept all the time” and so her mother developed a stronger relationship with alcohol which in turn motivated her for all her decisions in her home. The responsibilities a husband assumes, both as a parent and in support of his wife in her role as a mother, play a vital role in a mother’s life. A father who is a supportive figure and a good parent tends to have a family that is more cohesive and a wife who is more patient and feels better about themselves and motherhood in general. Unfortunately this is not the case at most times. Just like a woman summarizing the feelings of most women once said about her husband: “I am basically a single mother and he is just like another child I have to take care of”. Could this be the reason behind Mariana’s mother’s actions? A lot of people enter into marriage and parenthood with little or no idea of the seriousness of the responsibilities they are taking on. Mariana’s mother was quite young (21) and not prepared for marriage when she assumed the role of a mother.

Excerpts from chapter six

This chapter is for the teenager who is currently experiencing some turbulent times. You may be one of those teens whose world seems to be crashing right at your feet. Your parents don’t seem to understand you or what you want. Most of your friends suck and your siblings, older or younger are no better. You need to sit for a while and go through this chapter. Devour every page like you would do your favorites meal.

Gosh I’m a Teen!

Sometimes you ask yourself these questions: What’s so great about being a teenager? Your teachers might tell you that the world is your oyster - where you can be anything you want to be. Your parents tell you to enjoy these ‘best years’ of your life. You may wince at these words while thinking that this would be a good trick since you are probably the shortest or fattest kid in your class with world class acne; or you’re asthmatic, adding to your chances of becoming the latest candidate for lung cancer every time you walk into the smoke-filled school lavatory. If these are the best years of your life, you can imagine what the rest will be like!

But that’s the truth and you may be right to some extent - being a teenager has its share of challenges and has never been easy. It is a period of so many changes - changes in your body, your mind, your outlook. It is no wonder therefore that books and magazines throw around the issues of hormonal adjustments, peer pressure, sex, drugs and academic issues so much that you begin to get the impression that the teen years are like the chicken pox or mumps! - Something everybody has to endure once.

Come to look at it this way; not all changes, conflicts or pressures you experience in life are necessarily bad. Your perspective about these changes will most times determine whether they will affect your life positively or negatively. Let’s look at some of the positive sides of been a teen.





© Copyright 2019 Titilayo23. All rights reserved.


Add Your Comments: