Teens. Teens. Teens.
With all girls, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I feel sorry for you. Just you wait until the dreaded teenage years.”
I always respond under my breath, “I rebuke that in Jesus’ name.”
I seriously never believed I would go through some of this teenage junk.
I know. I know what you are thinking.
Are you stupid?
Hello, naive mother, every teen talks back and rebels.
Thanks for that. 🙂
No, I am not stupid. I just refuse to believe that every teen has to go through it. I believe there is a better way, and I am trying to learn it.
Key word: TRYING!
This is how it went in one instance (and most every other day in the sweet year of 2014).
“Did you go through the blah blah blah [you know that’s what she heard] like I asked you to?”
She continues doing the same thing.
No movement toward the thing she was asked to do.
Music volume increases.
My head voice:
Hello! Wake up! See the body language?
Mom’s plotting thoughts:
Hmmm … what’s the consequence for this delayed obedience?
No more iPod for the next 10 years!
I guess that’s not a natural consequence. Get real.
You can do this, mom!
Well, that’s it. I’m going to have to swat her.
Okay, deep breath …
Wait, I know! I will pray.
I have not because I ask not, right?
Father, whhyyyy [whiny voice]? What is wrong with her?
How do I get back to her heart?
Sigh. This isn’t helping. The music is too loud to pray.
Why is she ignoring me and my request?
Don’t forget to breathe out, Sheri.
just walk away.
Oh nelly, the music stopped.
What does this mean?
Oh, wait … wait!
Hallelujah! She’s back.
Mom, I was just taking a short break because I completed three math lessons. That was exhausting.”
“Oh, great! Good job. I knew you were a wise time manager.”
What is wrong with me? Shut it.
Help! I am an idiot.
Have you ever been an idiot like me?
Maybe the dreaded teen years aren’t all the teenager’s fault. Maybe it’s partially our fault (along with uncontrollable hormones, appetites, and growing pains)
for not transitioning our role from commander to coach.
Parents need to transition gradually from controlling our children (“You’d better or else!”) and requiring immediate obedience to waiting on the teen’s will to catch up to our request. We have to let go a little at a time, or we will find ourselves quickly losing ground and all of the influence we have with them. That’s when it’s just too late.
I am in the influence stage.
All I have now is influence.
Every day that I choose to voice my frustrated words or body language is a day that reduces my influence.
Oh Father, teach me to remain silent.
Help me to understand that I am not her army commander any longer. I have the privilege of coaching, mentoring, and influencing. Help me to embrace this incredible new season.
P.S. I wrote this in the middle of this battle yesterday.
P.P.S. I am still growing and learning. You too?