I’m going to be honest….sometimes I get really weary with the whole being a parent thing. Kids, especially tweens and teens can be some of the most erratic and irritating personalities a person endures in their entire day. Between hormones, history tests and their hair … they can be beasts. Angry, starving and completely irrational beasts, disguised as children. Our children. Which means we’re to blame since they are in fact our children. Right ?
The answer…. not entirely. Our children are in such a physiological upheaval of maturation they are literally loosing their minds from day-to-day, hour to hour. If you are raising a 13 yoa you know exactly what I’m saying. For those days, I have all kinds of grace and all kinds of patience… if they are once a month or every few weeks. But if they start to become a day-to-day walking on “egg shells” existence. Its time to shift gears.
No matter how frustrating their lives are, no matter what just happened to their BFF and how lame or unfair their teachers are. They need us to be their parents. That means carving out their boundaries (rules) at home and holding the line on those no matter what. We don’t need to respond to their adolescent outbursts in kind either, I mean who can respect us if we “blow up” as angry, dis-respectful and self-absorbed, over the edge parents.
With a significant amount of perspective and faith, we must decide for our kids when their behavior has crossed over from a genuinely bad day to a tantrum. When we sense they are using their life circumstances to “explode” and without any restraint they let out all of their childlike emotions on anyone and everyone in their vicinity, its our job as parents to “stop” them.
Maturity in many ways is learning to control ones emotions and move through life as an “influencers” rather than always being influenced by our circumstances. As Christian parents, we have the added understanding of our need to instruct our kids in the ways of life and truth and hope. Sometimes, that means we have to say “no” and mean it. In the end, our children need and want us to re-direct them from being out of control.
So when your teen or tween is spiraling into another out of control emotional hurricane of life… nip the temper – tantrum before it goes to far. Stop them! Do it with love and patience and hope, but do it. They are counting on us. This is definitely one of the less exciting and unpopular aspects of being a parent, but it may well be the most critical resolve we make as fathers and mothers.
For those who feel like things are “never going to change“. Be encouraged, it will and it must. When you feel like your blowing it as a parent (which at times can be a daily experience for me) it’s a perfect time to admit that to God and your kids and then resolve to start new. Ask Him for the wisdom and ask Him for the strength. He is not going to leave you hanging, His heart is for our kids more than we are… His grace and strength are sufficient and His mercies are new every morning.
When we respond to those shortcoming’s as parents; openly with our kids and with genuine humility, I guarantee it will blow their minds. It’s so cool… watch as your tween suddenly realizes they are actually “more” to blame then you and step up and ask for your “forgiveness” too. POWERFUL stuff. For those of us who gave our kids WWJD bracelets a few years back….Congratulations, you just did !
Single parent or traditional family, were essentially all in the same boat. Our kids need us to be their parents. No matter what they say, they NEED us to be there to say “NO”. Many of us have success stories of how God was changing your teens heart on the inside, while all the time you would have sworn they were completely sealed off on the outside. In the end, our consistency is the proof of our love. Deep deep down, they know that and are comforted by that. (As a case in point, this post blog edit – from Feb 17th, 2011 is powerful proof of this principle) Miley Cyrus article ran on MSN’s Mom and Pop Culture blog. http://tv.msn.com/mom-pop-culture/miley-cyrus-saw-it-coming/story/feature/?GT1=28103&ptid=6edb00f7-08db-46dd-a2a1-90f7f9279e52&mpc=1 )
Be sure and keep close relationships with your local community of faith knowing as parents we must have help, encouragement and support in this critical role of raising our kids… as we all seek to keep our families “in-between the lines and on the road of life”. For more helpful information on parenting tweens and teens, prayer or simply a chance to vent… check out www.ishineministries.com