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When Your Teenager Shows Initiative: Even if it's Paintballing.

As with most families in the northern hemisphere, it's summertime, which means twelve weeks off. What to do? sports, summer camps, summer school, volunteering, or jobs? With a fifteen-year-old, it's different. They're a little too young to get a summer job, and often quite lazy.

Well this year's different. Jordan, my youngest son, has shown some initiative, and I'm feeling quite proud of him. He wants to earn some money for his passion: Paintballing. Now, don't get me started on the pros and cons of paintballing, instead, let me focus on initiative.

"Mom, I'd like to come with you to the gym," Jordan said.

"You sure you want to wake up at 6 a.m.?" I said.

"Yep. I want to run faster, for paintballing."

So for the past ten days, Jordan has been going to bed around 9 p.m., and waking up on time so he can jog on the treadmill for an hour with his i-pod glued to his ears.

He researched jobs online and filled out and faxed a lengthy application for Yogurtland.

He ordered a couple of DVD's on paintballing, with his birthday money, and the minute UPS delivered them, he got out his notebook and wrote down seven pages on paintballing techniques.

"You should start your own paintballing blog," I said. "Perhaps you can form your own team and get sponsored."

I wanted to plant the seed in his head.

So whether it's paintballing, coin-collecting or skate-boarding, I really don't mind what his passion is. All I care about is that he shows initiative.

Do you have or know of a teenager who has shown initiative?

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