Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Parenting Teens

Whoever said parenting kids gets easier when they're older...lied.
(Sorry to break the news to you if you are in the camp of moms who still believed that line. *ahem*)

When my children were small, I dealt with things like temper tantrums in the store when I said "no" to a toy or piece of candy. Bed time and clean-up were arenas for testing, often including tears and fits. (And sometimes those tears and fits even came from the kids. *wink*) And who can forget the pouty, pudgy, tear-stained cheeks of the child who faced "Time Out" again for hitting his sister?
Oh, mother-friend, I do not miss those moments!
I thought for sure when the kids were older, I wouldn't have to go through those trials anymore. I kept listening to those who said, "This, too, shall pass," and I believed once it passed things would be easier.

Oh, silly me!

The truth is, we don't go through those trials anymore.
Now, we go through different ones.
These days I am facing life as the mother of teenage boys who are on the road to manhood. Needing/ desiring/attempting more and more to separate themselves from me. The toddlers who were the cling-ons when we played Star Trek are now teens by whom it feels like I am being pushed away.
Nowadays I find myself wanting to give direction on doing the dishes properly and setting the table and making beds and folding sheets (because I see the effects at work of young 20-somethings who don't know how to do these things). And when I'm riding with my 16-year-old driver sometimes I give (what I think are) gentle reminders about speed and head-checks. And for the most part, these words of mine are met with stiff arms and I-already-know-it attitudes. The toddlers who used to ask me "Why?" every other minute because they thought I knew everything, are now the teens who seem to see my words as obnoxious and unnecessary. Once they wanted to hear me, and now they think I'm a nag.
And I don't want to be a nag!

It is not news that being a mother of toddlers is draining and tiresome (mixed with moments of laughter, joy, and precious memories). But I'm telling you, being a mother of teens is painful at times, too. I so long for these boys to trust that I am for them - not against them. I wish for them to believe that the things I say to them are meant to help - not to belittle or to insult. Oh, if they would just understand I am simply a woman who has never had teenage boys before, who wants to do her best to help them grow up to be honorable and God-fearing men, and who really does love them - all the time.

Yeah. This place and time in life is hard.
Just like it was 10+ years ago.
How thankful I am that the God who carried us through those trials is the same God here with us today. And just as He was faithful then, I trust He will be faithful now.
God is our refuge and strength,
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 46:1-3



Deborah Sommerlot said...

I hear ya sister! The boys are 18 and 13. Some days it's a piece of cake and some ways it's so challenging! It's quite the ride.

Karen Hossink said...

Deborah - Quite the ride, indeed. It's good to know I am not the only one on it. *wink*

Kaira said...

We're going to be having a really fun parenting conversation with Nick tonight. Teens definitely come with their own unique set of challenges.

Karen Hossink said...

Kaira - I'm praying for that conversation. May the peace of Christ flow in and through you!