A 13th Birthday Poem - for the
New Teenager - and also Older Teens

Purple Sweet Pea Flower on Black Background

This 13th Birthday Poem is a teen birthday poem.

It's a blessing prayer for the new teenager.

Teenagers need wisdom, encouragement, prayers, and especially the support of true friends.

Wishing blessings and prayers on your life, and for what's ahead.

89. Teenage Blessings

     by Paul Berchtold, March, 2011

Happy Birthday! You're now thirteen,
You've arrived at a special age,
Choices and plans, what will you be,
A doctor or nurse, a teacher or sage?

It's quite okay if you don't know,
More important it is, to live each day,
Take each challenge one step at a time,
Learn and enjoy, your work and play.

Live each moment, do all things well,
What's inside you, are things that last.
At home, at school, wherever you are,
Thanks be to God, you're growing fast.

Life goes quickly, it's a great gift,
God grant you wisdom to reach your quest,
In His sight you are most precious,
God help you do your very best.

May true friends come, they are a blessing,
Choose them wisely, this is our prayer,
Everyone fails at one time or other,
God bless your steps with friends that care.

Keep close to God, He is your help,
Ever faithful, your truest friend.
Follow His light leading to heaven
To enjoy His reward, life without end.

Happy Birthday! and many thanks,
That God has blessed you in many ways,
We pray He bless you all through the years,
And guide and guard you all your days.


             Poems by Paul Berchtold
      © Copyright - All rights reserved.

You are welcome to use and share this poem, provided you follow the Poem Terms and Conditions.

Becoming a Teenager is a Important Milestone

In many western cultures, you are a teenager for the first time, and this will last 7 years - more or less. From twelve you turn thir-teen, four-teen, fif-teen, six-teen, seven-teen, eight-teen, nine-teen, and then you're twenty.

"God willing, if you live that long", my mother used to say to us calculating kids.

In some cultures, at 13 you become a young adult.

Read God Loves You Teenager - including stories how a boy and a girl received great responsibilities in their teenage years.

The word "teenager" was not used until the last hundred years or so. Not long ago, many young people had to handle much greater responsibilities at a much younger age, and in many parts of the world, this is still true.

What's it like to be a Teenager?

It's been awhile since I was 13.

While working on this poem and on this page, I had an opportunity to ask a young teenager (14 years old) at our church, whom I never met before, "What's it like to be a teenager?"

"It's fun. It's nice being be treated like an adult. And you get privileges."

I asked, "And you also get more responsibility?"

He nodded his head yes.

A Ceremony Rite of Initiation

There is a beautiful custom among Jewish people of initiating a child into adulthood and it's responsibilities:

  • Bar Mitzvah for a boy 13 years old,
  • and Bat Mitzvah for girls at the age of 12.
During this ceremony, the youth reads prayers and readings for the first time. It is usually followed by a festive meal of celebration, surrounded by family, friends, and community members.

Growing Pains

The teenage years are special years of growing up, learning how to make good decisions, assume greater responsibilities, and handle privileges wisely.

There's no sense pretending. The teenage years can be the most challenging years of decision and growth – for everyone involved. It can be a roller coaster ride of the good, the bad, and even the ugly, from one day to the next. And at times, even from one minute to the next.

Finding Stability

The teenage years can be a tug-of-war between the child and the parents, a time of growth and conflict arranged by God to develop both into a different relationship. The child matures into a young adult. The parent(s) become older, wiser, and more experienced.

There's also a danger for parents to be too lax and permissive, or too strict and rigid. Or to be too lax at one time and too strict another time.

It's bad enough that teenagers are going through changes, when in reality parents need to be showing them – especially by their good example – how to establish their lives on a strong foundation and eventually achieve better balance.

We all need stability. A home we can go to, a family to nurture us, and friends we can trust.

Exciting or What?

Why the tug-of-war?

Sometimes the child wants more privileges without the responsibilities. And maybe the parents want them to take more responsibilities while granting them less privileges.

And sometimes the child wants more explanations, but the parents are too busy to give them explanations, and continue to treat them as little children.

In reality, parents need to take the time to equip their older children with the tools to help them make their own good decisions, which they will be needing to do more and more in the very near future.

And teenagers need to honor, respect, and obey their parents and their lawful requests. It is important for parents to take a pro-active role, one thought out and planned, rather than a re-active one, which hardly ever works, but usually only aggravates the situation.

It is a case of steadily building structure over the long term, starting from the earliest years, rather than always trying to put out fires.

If parent's don't do their job, someone else will, and it may be the gang down the street or the bully at school or bad companions.

In almost every case of bullying, the parents deny that their child is a bully.

Parents, resolve to shoulder your responsibility with care. If you're not teaching your child, find out who is. You might be shocked. Then get busy doing the job you're supposed to do. But don't do it alone, because ...

We All Need Help

To do anything well, we need the help of others. Arrogance and pride always keep us from asking for the help we need. It takes humility to learn how to do things right.

Many people's lives, businesses, family, and relationships are dashed on the rocks because they kept doing it their way, instead of asking for help and guidance.

Because We All Have Problems

Let's not beat around the bush. Let's just face it, nobody's perfect and we all have problems.

Teenagers, if you have problems, get help! Don't ruin your life with secret fear, pain, hurt. Get help - from the right sources.

Too many teenagers are throwing away their potential, their gifts, their abilities, their lives by suicide. Don't let it happen to you. It's never a solution to your problems. Get help!

Parents, don't be afraid to ask for help. Get all the help, the advice, the counseling you need from older, wiser, experienced parents, teachers, pastors, book authors, and especially from God in prayer and in his holy word, so that you can do your job well and without too much frustration, desperation, and disappointment. The results will be worth it, and can be life-changing for your entire family and for future generations to come.

Special Graces for Parents

Special graces are needed to be the parent(s) of teenagers. Parents need to give guidance, direction, and instruction. They need to set the rules and boundaries, yet at the same time be understanding and forgiving. Often they need to admit their own mistakes and apologize, which is part of the growing-up process for all of us.

Parents need to be a good example, and keep open the doors of communication when their children need them.

Especially parents must pray daily and often for their children.

Your job is tough enough. I pray God's blessings on your important vocation.

A Special Role as Teachers

Parents are the first teachers of their children.

Some of this parental authority may be delegated to other teachers and guardians.

It's a special calling, one in which I've been privileged to take part, for some of my years as a teacher.

Parents and teachers, we truly have a unique opportunity to help channel the enthusiasm and energy of our young people to make a difference in the world.

We are called to be the leaders training them to become leaders.

New Friendships

Eventually, and hopefully, after the teenage years, the parent-child relationship will transform into an adult-adult relationship, that can become a growing friendship.

But in the teenage years, parents normally can not be the friends of their teenagers. Besides, many teenagers don't want this, because they're looking for friends among their peers, and they want their parents to be parents.

Parents need to be parents, give guidance in the choice of friends, and pray that their son or daughter will make good choices.

In fact, when given a chance, teenagers often say they want their parents to be parents, and that they put their parents as their first source of guidance - though many won't admit this to their parents.

Growth is Inevitable

Part of living is growing, there's just no way around it. At one time or another we all probably looked forward to it, and also were afraid of it.

But it happens. Time marches on. We all go through it. We might as well make the most of it.

God planned it this way, and with God's help, we can handle it. The day will come we will look back at even the most difficult times of our lives with gratitude and appreciation for the greater and better things these times bring.

The benefits outweigh the difficulty. Having a positive attitude, especially an attitude of gratitude, will make it so much easier. Especially we need God's grace. And "grace" comes from the Latin word "gratia", meaning "thanks" or "thanksgiving."

13th Birthday Poem - Looking Ahead

We all mature emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally at different rates and speeds, according to our personality, our culture, our abilities.

In my poems for 16th birthday, I discuss that the word teenager actually has been used only in the last 100 years or so.

The reality is that in historical times, and many other cultures today, around the age of 13 you are considered a young adult.

In my 21st birthday poem I discuss at length the important responsibilities and decisions to be made, how they can affect the rest of your life, and how necessary it is to have God's wisdom and blessings as we make these choices.

A Footnote

This poem, and page, and the one for the 16th birthday, and the 21st birthday, and 25th wedding anniversary poems, have been some of the most difficult pages to post. This 13th birthday poems was a work in progress for weeks. Why so difficult?

  • Could it be the importance of the message to our young people, who need every blessing and prayer to keep them safe in body and soul? Many of our young people are destroyed by alcohol, drugs, suicide, and immoral lifestyles, and don't even know it. Jesus said, "The thief has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy, but I have come that you may have life, and live it abundantly." (John 10:10)
  • Could it be because the devil - who is the thief - does not want the truth to be known, because "the truth sets us free."? (John 8:32)
  • Could it be the timing, the end of winter here in the northern hemisphere, which can be difficult for me health-wise, being colder and less sunshine?
  • Could it be that I was struggling to remember what it was like when I was a teenager some years ago, and that maybe there are some memories that were rather painful?
  • But thanks to God, I made it alive, I'm still alive years later, and there are good memories I have from that time.
Let's all pray for our young people.

Dear young person, you are, in a sense, creating your life and your destiny, especially in the teenage years, by the choices you make and what you do and say.

What wonderful things you can accomplish by letting God do some creative stuff right along side you!

Thank your stars, you'll be glad you did.

Many Blessings!

As I wish you a very Happy and Blessed Birthday, I wish for you the spirit of appreciation. To always appreciate what you have, to have an "attitude of gratitude", to be thankful to God, parents, family, teachers, friends.

Because it is impossible to be grateful and miserable at the same time.

I'd love it that one day in heaven, you will hear God saying to you, Well done, my good and faithful servant. Enter into your reward. And Happy Birthday! And all the millions of angels singing a special Happy Birthday to you!

Thank your stars!

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