Sunday, March 15, 2009

Inights into a Teenager

Every wonder how you can get into the head of your teenager? Do you want to know what your teenager values most? Just spend a few moments in their bedroom sitting on their bed an look around. What you see is what they are.

Last night I went to check on my two boys to make sure they were asleep and not up late playing or talking. They were asleep. Entering one of their rooms, I had a very poignant experience. His room was surprisingly clean and orderly. But what caught my attention in a new and different way was what he had on his walls and shelves.

I must preface my remarks by saying that my son loves to collect things, as you will shortly see.

Almost alone, on one wall was a painting my older brother, Clark, an artist, had done of Martin Luther King Jr., a symbol to my African-American son of the blessings he enjoys in today's America.

There is a poster of all of the boys scout merit badges. He is very close to getting his eagle scout award.

Almost one full shelf is dedicated to pictures and memorabilia associated with the late prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley. My son loved that prophet. Pinned to the wall is a "testimony" that he wrote about President Hinckley when he died last year. He was the prophet of his youth. Next to these are several small pictures of Jesus in different settings.

Pinned to the wall is what you expect to find in a typical boys bedroom: a poster of a fancy sports cars. He loves sports cars and has a dream to own one some day (he wishes his father would break down and buy one).

On one shelf sits a large caricature of him that he had done recently while on a family vacation in California. He has a fairly high self image.

Scattered throughout the room are various forms of artwork he has done over the years. None are Picasso's, but they are his own work. You will also find scattered a few ribbons, medals and trophies for participation in swimming, wrestling, cross country, soccer, as well as awards for science fair competition.

There are collections of Nutcrackers, mementos from family vacations, books and magazines about government, history, and politics (including a few magazines, articles and calendars about President Obama).

It is obvious he is a Utah fan (probably because I am).

A photo of him and his brother is tucked into the corner of his bulletin board.

Near his door, pinned to the wall, is a school report he did a few years ago about his great grandmother, Virginia Chamberlain. She recently passed away and he misses her.

Want to learn a lot about your teenager? Just spend a few moments in his or her bedroom and soak it all in. As time moves on he will change and so will some of his values, and so will go the room decor...


David and Brooke Gallagher said...

These sound like wonderful teenager moments I look forward to. How fun!

cathy said...

Aw, Paul. Josh is so special. Did I tell you Emma gave a talk on Josh and Ben in Primary on Sunday? She talked about eternal families and getting sealed in the temple. She talked about the Proclamation on the Family. We're so glad to have them. Now we just need to get him excited about running!

Amanda said...

That's funny because I had a similar experience in Josh's room a couple weeks before I left. It was clean (even the bed was made) and I noticed all the books he keeps by his bed and the President Hinckley memorial and the pictures of him and ben. So cute. You can totally tell what's important to a person by looking at the things they surround themselves with in their most intimate setting - their room.