There’s just something about parenting a teenager that makes you wanna cry. Sometimes you wanna cry because they are growing up and will be leaving home soon. Sometimes you wanna cry because they make you so angry you don’t know what else to do. But sometimes you cry because you know what is ahead of them and they refuse to listen to you and learn. I understand that these years are all about independence for them. They are putting into action things you have been teaching them for the past 15 years. But there are times when what you, the parent, knows what is ahead. You know what they need to do to prepare for something but they fight with you so much to wrestle the control from your hands that they refuse to hear what you have to say. As parents we can see many miles ahead of them. We know what THIS decision will lead to or what THAT decision will lead to. You can have the best relationship in the world with your teenager but you still can’t MAKE them listen to you. The days of making them do what you say are over. If you have younger children who are nowhere near the teenage years yet be prepared! Don’t fool yourself by replying here “MY child will do what I say because I’m the parent!!” If you enter into the teen years with that thought process you are in for a world of hurt and more arguments than you ever thought you would have.That works when they are young. But if you don’t bend and become more flexible in your parenting turbulent years are ahead, my friend.
Sitting back and waiting for your child to learn in their time is hard to watch sometimes. You have to sit back and watch them hit wall after wall after wall. You have to have a hands off attitude because the more you try to control them the worse it gets. You can talk till you are purple, seeing them shut you out long ago. The only way to have any control whatsoever is by prayer. You want the best for them above anything else in your life. But God loves them even more. He’s the only one who can reach them at times. So you depend on Him leading all of you. You think back to that Sunday morning 16 years ago right after they were born when you stood before that church body and dedicated them to God. Remember that promise you made to God and to that little baby when you promised to bring them up in a Christian home led by God. The teen years is when the greatest test of that commitment will play out. Lean on that promise and count on God to do His part. He’s always listening – even when your child cuts you out. And He’s the only one who can get through to them ALL the time….