Teens get a lot of flak these days for being … well, teens. They get accused of spending too much time on screens, not caring about anyone but themselves, and essentially being lazy and self-obsessed. This awful and unfair stereotype of teenagers might help to explain why a photo of a young lady sitting through a high school class with a toddler on her lap is going viral.
On Sunday afternoon, the Love What Matters Facebook page shared an incredibly sweet photo of 17-year-old Stiles Parish holding her 3-year-old brother, James in her lap.
“We had a family emergency type situation today that required our teenager to leave school early and pick up her little brother from his school. I thought she took him home until I saw her snapchat.” Starts the photo description, written by their mom, Candice Curry.
“Instead of missing class she actually took her three-year-old brother back to high school with her and let him sleep on her while she finished her last class of the day.”
Talk about work ethic! This young lady not only dropped everything to help her family out, but she did it while still hustling to make good grades.
The post continues, “I’m not sure on the legalities here or what kind of rules were broken but I also just don’t care. My sweet teenager helped her family out and returned to her other responsibility while snuggling her baby brother.” My heart is melting at this point in the story. MELTING.
“She is focusing on becoming a nurse and did not want to miss her clinical rotations class. I love that she was willing to help our family but also mature enough to return to class, even with a toddler in tow, and finish up her other responsibility,” said Curry.
The best part of this post, aside from the amazing strides Stiles took to help her little brother while also maintaining her education, is that the mom finds herself wondering about her influence on her kids. As a mom of three kids, I totally understand that instinct to question how well I am doing things. “I’m either the worst mom in the world or totally nailing it. Please don’t tell me which one, let me live in ignorant bliss while I stare at this picture. Life is short. These are the moments that make it so incredibly sweet.”
My answer, of course, is that Curry is totally nailing this parenting thing. I’m watching her family and thinking I want my kids to be this responsible and selfless, too! And I’m not the only one. Curry tells Babble, “I’d say 95 percent of the comments are encouraging and kind. I truly appreciate people taking the time to leave comments and give us encouragement. My daughter is loving it. We’ve had a lot of bad news in the world lately and sometimes social media can fuel the fire. It’s refreshing to see good things and see people being kind to each other.”
Her children are no strangers to acts of kindness. The Curry family, who loves Disney, told Babble, “Our family has two mottos: “Have courage and be kind” (thank you, Cinderella) and “Forgive everyone of everything.”
She goes on to say, “As a family, we try to be kind and give whenever the opportunity arises. My husband and I are doing our best to raise kids who are compassionate and brave. One of our triplets started her own homeless ministry when she was 6 and our family participates in helping her gather donations, sort them, and take them down to our homeless community. Her ministry is Bella’s Blessing Bins. One of our triplets has autism so we do our best to raise money for the Autism Community Center each April during Autism Awareness Month.”
It sounds like the Curry family has a lot to be proud of. The mother shared that she is very proud of all of her children and that this photo of her daughter, Stiles makes her “heart want to explode.” She said, “I love the way my son is completely melted on to my daughter and comfortable enough to nap right through a classroom full of teenagers. The fact that my daughter returned to class is so encouraging as a mom.”
So much for a selfie-obsessed, slacker teenager, huh? Curry thinks that the stereotypes of teens are completely ridiculous. “Teenagers get a bad rap these days. I don’t think we give this generation enough credit. They’re a good bunch, they’re trying to figure out their way and their place in this world and even though they stumble, they’re pretty cool people along the way. We should build them up more and appreciate the good in them.”
Bravo, Candice Curry! Looks like you’re an amazing mom and your kids are proving to be incredible people.