Chrystal’s Chronicles Repost (6/13/13) – I was mothering through the teenage years seven years ago and I’m in the thick of it again now. Parenting in general is not for the faint of heart. Parenting teenagers is like working out at maximum heart rate without a water break. The teenage years are great – just like a good workout – it just leaves you a little worn out. I’m blessed to have a 21 year old and a 17 year old. Pressing through whatever challenges the teenage years present is worth it. I can say with certainty that my girls are my friends and I’m grateful.
I’m the mother of a teenager. I remember the feeling of being a teen…of riding the emotional waves and going from a complete high to a disastrous low at the most small, microscopic change that I could experience on any given day. I remember the tears, the insecurity, the fears, the anger, the frustration, and the stress, but I also remember the loud laughter, the joy, the experience of new love, and the thrill of growing independance.
So…it is with this eye for the past that I put my best foot forward in dealing with my own dear daughter. It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached this point with her. She’s beautiful, she witty, she’s creative, she’s eccentric, and she’s absolutely, positively, CRAZY (like most teens so I hear).
Like all teenagers she’s trying to decide who she is and who she wants to be. We, the parents, are left to figure out on a minute by minute basis where she is on her journey, and what our roles are as we balance encouragement with the responsibility of training her in the ways of the Lord, shaping her character, and guiding her growing independance. This parenting job is a lot of work, it’s true. Why wouldn’t we want to work hard…we’ve invested so much in her already!
It seems no matter how well we try to do our job however, at anytime, we can become the ENEMY. For no apparent reason, walls will go up and we are left to decide exactly how we are to deal the obstruction and to figure out what the walls are there for. Has our precious teenager been injured and raised walls to protect her heart? Have the walls been erected because there is a growing need for independance and we are not recognizing boundaries? Or…are the walls being raised as an act of defiance? As a parent, I despise the wall because it’s an unnecessary interruption of good fellowship.
Well, let me say that I’ve seen the walls go up and I’m convinced that there is only one solution. TELL A JOKE.
If the teen is hurting (female anyway), they’ll just burst out crying. If they need their space, they’ll laugh and you will see the gate let down for you to enter with permission but…if the wall is one of defiance and rebellion…well…NOTHING WILL HAPPEN! Why? because showing any emotion at all would let you know they care.
And so…at times…my precious daughter, who once had the fattest, juiciest thighs on this side of the Mississippi, turns into hard, cold stone and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she’s gone MAD cuz I’ve said a “funny” and I’ve gotten NOTHING in response.
So then…what’a a Momma to do?…
Laugh at my own joke and just keep loving on her! My requirements don’t change and my standards don’t change but neither does MY love or MY attitude.
Is it really that simple? Of course not!
I really wanna show her whose boss and have a lengthy discussion where I do most of the talking and MAKE her think clearly. I have to resist the STRONG urge to ask her the age-old question…”HAVE YOU LOST YO’ MIND”? or better yet…”ARE YOU CRAZY”? I don’t know why I’ve even bothered asking those questions in the past. Do I really expect her to say “yes”, even when we both know that’s the correct answer?
So, I’m trying to learn to give that up. I happen to know from experience that lecturing and questioning (in loud uncontrollable voices) doesn’t bring down walls but LOVE DOES.
God the Father is such the perfect parent. He just keeps loving on us until we melt. His requirements don’t change and his standards don’t change, but He just keeps on loving me. Day in and day out, letting me go through my madness, knowing that when I’m ready to talk I’ll come to Him.
Sometimes He has to let me cry it out cuz I’ve been hurt. Sometimes He has wait on my willingness to open the gate and answer his gentle knock as He seeks to be Lord over my life. And sometimes…well let’s just say He has to “train” me, “encourage” me, and “guide” me so I don’t get too far off track. 🙂
Looking back on my walk with the Lord, I can’t believe at how much time has been wasted as God watches me ride emotional waves and try to figure out who I want to be in Christ. As a parent, my Father must despise my walls because it’s an unnecessary interruption of good fellowship. No tellin’ how much precious communion I’ve missed out on due to my living the Christian life with my bottom lip stuck out and my mind busily working to erect and keep up a wall where I just didn’t want God to have access.
Wow…parenting me is a lot of work, it’s true. But why wouldn’t my Heavenly Father want to parent me perfectly…He’s invested so much in me already by giving His only Son so that fellowship with Him would be possible!
I’m so glad to know that He understands me when I don’t understand myself and knows just how to love me through my ’bouts of teenage madness.