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Monday, November 16, 2009

i am leaning

is there a line that parents should not cross when it comes to telling their teenagers how their behavior makes them feel? do we have the right to say, "hey, that hurts my feelings!" or "being a parent to teenagers is not as fun as i thought it was going to be." or "i would love it if you would think past yourself sometimes, just a little, so you could see how your behavior is overwhelming me right now." is that too much for teenagers to be able to handle? the true frustrations of parenting? the responsibility of caring about the parents feelings? i am not sure where i stand on this. in the last couple of days, i have thought several times how sad that it is that when my kids were young, everything about being their mom was rewarding and fulfilling. but, as my kids have entered their teenage years, the struggles of dealing with attitudes and proper behavior seems so constant that i seldom experience that rewarding feeling on a daily basis. i know that as they grow past this stage and become adults, my sense of fulfillment will become more evident as i get to experience them becoming adults and watch them walk out the course of life that God has prepared for them. but, in the here and now, living in the moment, i am so overwhelmed with constant conflict that i can't find the inner reward.

i know this time will pass and i will look back and remember the wonderful times of raising my teenagers. but right now? i do not like it! can't they just go from ten to twenty, overnight? it is not that i can not see the awesome things about my children. they are all wonderful and have so much potential to become a great influence in the world they live in for the Lord. but, the in between times are about to bury me. i told them that tonight. i am not sure that was the right thing to do or not. i have no desire to make them feel manipulated or guilted into anything. but, i wanted to share with them how hard that it is for me to be in constant battle with them over decisions that i make for their best interest and how weary that i am feeling.  i am not sure that they were the ones i should have taken my frustrations to. only God can empower me when i am weak. it is His grace that i need. help me Lord! i know that as i lean on you when i am weak, i become strong! i am leaning now. i am leaning.




28 comments:

godsown said...

NEEDED to read this this morning!!
And the awrd in your other post was what i was looking for to give away!
You really deserve this award this post was the sun(SON)shining because of your transparency and directing to look up and leaning on Him

Thanks
Bernice

Denise @ A Sacred Longing said...

Not having children makes me an "armchair quarterback" with advice so I will not go there...however, I will pray for you. Watching friends parent their teens and sadly, remembering how I was as a teenager, I know that prayer is needed for you and for them! :O)

This will be a season of extremes. May you find the joy in the ride.

Shalom,
Denise

Sassy Granny ... said...

I'll just be honest: My 40, 38 & 36 year olds are darn lucky to be alive. I used to think they shared a brain, and that their singular purpose as teens was to rob me of mine! I would gladly have adopted them out, but no one would have them.

I survived. They survived. It's now all rather funny. But their sassy tongues, stealth disobedience, and clever mischief left me sleepless many a night!

Hang tight, sister. This season will pass, and when it does they'll again be your biggest fans!

Hugs,
Kathleen

Kristin said...

I'm just glad you get to go through it before me so that you can give me all your best tips and advice when I get there! Ha!!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Oh, I am not looking forward to this stage. We are on the cusp of it, though. Thank you for reminding us where to get our strength when life seems overwhelming. WE need to remember that today and every day. Hang in there my friend! Remember the reward is worth it!

Loren said...

Oh Christy ~ I can relate to these frustrations and just jaw dropping emotions ......How did we get here LORD? LOL. Praying for you, for Strength, for Peace, and Wisdom in the process. God is and will empower you in each and every situation!
I am going to share something here though that might "push a button" but hear me ok.....:)
When we worked with our Lifecoach and would share situations with the kids her first question was this>
Who is getting their buttons pushed? (upset the most)
Lets just use me for this....I would say I am. She would then ask me....ok when you were 17/15/14 (whichever child you are dealing with at the present.....) what was going on in your life at this age~ were you manipulative, sassy, invoking guilt upon your parents, sneaky, crafty? hmmmm, thinking back I was. Well, then Loren could it be that the Holy Spirit is trying to talk to you about YOU? hmmmm, what do you mean? Well since you are getting more upset than normal and are not able to resolve this without having some serious buttons pushed then I am convinced the Holy Spirit is talking to you in regards to maybe something you need to forgive, or a judgement you may have or maybe a fear you may have that your children are going to do what you did or that their behavior is reflecting on you!!
OH SNAP really? So I would have to spend some time in prayer asking the Lord these things and it was about me. So now I have learned that if my kids do something and I have an automatic FREAK OUT response and not just one that's hey this upset me but I can talk, teach, discipline and work with all without my buttons pushed I have learned the difference....Hope this all makes sense :) and hope I didn't upset you.....but for me this was HUGE!!! I needed to forgive myself, release my fears and vows/judgements and so many times this led to an amazing teaching moment with the kids in a totally different way ....the Lord is sooo amazing and HE will show you if this is even something that is true for you :)
Love you my friend

Jennifer W. said...

{sigh} We aren't totally there yet-Ash will be 13 in January-but already she's behaving in ways that confound me. She's become selfish, thoughtless, and materialistic. Not all the time, mind you, and we've talked with her about it and it got alot better, but it's there just the same. I can't believe we're at this stage already, and I'm praying for the strength to get through it (for me AND Paul. It bothers him WAY more than it does me, and that's saying something.) Now I'll pray for strength and peace for you too!! Just remember, God gave them to US to raise. They are our responsibility, but not ours. Ultimately you can only do your best and know that God will take care of the rest. I'm sorry you are having a tough time.
Jen

He & Me + 3 said...

Oh girl I depend on your posts to get me through. I am coming up on double digits in January for my oldest.
It is very hard and frustrating when all they want to do is argue or do their own things. I think that picking battles & trying to say yes as often as you can gives them the sense of trust & puts the responsibility on them. Let them learn with natural consequences sometimes. It is hard to do...but often teaches them the lessons without us losing our minds.
I am trying to do that more...but it is hard for this control freak.
hugs,
MImi

Andrea said...

I am with Sassy Granny, my kids are lucky to be alive. Some caused us more distress than others, but all in all it was a painful journey through our teenage years. We lived through it as we "stayed" on our knees and many times flat of our face in prayer. When not praying, we were on the battleground with our kids.
You definitely must pick your battles, but stand firm, do not give in, and know we are all here praying with you. I look back and wish I had found a greater support system during those times. I felt somewhat alone and as if I was the only one with a kid climbing out the window or dying their hair orange.
Blessings, hugs, and love, andrea

RCUBEs said...

Prayers do work. I will pray for you sister Christy. If you want to try this, a combination of Paul's prayer from Ephesians 1:16-21 and 3:14-19 filling the blanks with the names of your children and even for yourself and your hubby or whoever you want to pray for:

Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ, I ask that you would give to ____________ the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, that the eyes of _____________'s understanding would be enlightened; that ____________ may know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of Your power toward us who believe, according to the working of Your mighty power which You worked in Christ when You raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And that You would grant to ____________ , according to the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened with might through Your Spirit in their inner man, that Christ may dwell in their heart through faith; that ____________, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that ____________ may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Isaiah 55:11 -""So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."

God bless you sister. Love to you.

Deborah Ann said...

Been there, done that. I found myself wanting to control my children in their teen years, just as I had done when they were little. I had little tolerance for the strange hair-dye colors and the shenanigans they pulled. I wanted my kids to act more 'Christian' than they were. But I couldn't mastermind it. I had to hand it over to God. And you know something? I'm still not satisfied that they're living for Christ, but it's in God's hands now, and I cannot carry that burden any longer.

You'll be fine, Christy. Just keep loving them and let God do the rest.

Tara said...

It really doesn't help knowing that you are not alone and that it will pass but I hope it helps in knowing that you have friends who are praying for you and your children.

Darcie said...

WOW...its not the easiest of roads right now is it? I have found out that we have to find a common ground. But it is scriptural how kids are to behave toward their parents. I try and remind them if they cannot respect, obey, love us their parents whom they can see...how are they going to respect, obey, love their Heavenly Father which they can't even see. Also in light of being human I am reminded that I was once a teenager and didn't always treat my parents the way I should have. You are doing a beautiful job Christy, because you are seeking for them the best...that which can't be destroyed. Like others have said..hang in there... and lean! (((hugs))))

E @ Scottsville said...

Well, I feel your pain!!! I've got a wayward 19 year old (he'll be 20 in February) that I just simply have to pray for. There's nothing more I can do but PRAY!

Then I've got my 18 year old that is still just making me hold my breath. He seems so easy right now. He's focused, strong, and I just count my blessings. But I hold my breath for tomorrow might be a different story.

God will get us through teens. He will!

Karen said...

Oh, I know what you mean in this post...and you have been given some great advice in your comments...pick your battles...but stand firm...trust your instincts (this is the one that I regretted not doing more of in hindsight)...and Deborah Ann stated it nicely...you will be fine...because you are not alone....

Bridget said...

Kyle has hit the pre-teens with his sassy mouth and I keep thinking, man if this gets worse, I'll end up bald from pulling my hair out. Then I realize that it will probably get worse before it gets better and I pray alot. These years are pretty tough but will be over before we know it.

Tracy said...

Thanks for this post - I adore your candor. As a mother of 3 sons, ages 21, 17 & 15 I can only too well relate to your feelings!

Had to laugh at Sassy Granny's comment.

My 21yr old and I locked horns a lot when he was around 17; I kept reminding myself of all those child development texts I'd read, how individuation and separation are a part of growing up and because it's difficult many times teens do it in extreme ways. I prayed lots and cried plenty. But he, as it sounds like yours are, was a wonderful person; other people constantly told me how blessed I was to have a son like him. While I knew that was true I also knew how hurtful and self centered he could be. After graduation he went off to college at USMA West Point; life there is tough and he has come to appreciate me a lot more.

Now when I'm exasperated by my currently 17-yr old, I look at my oldest and remember that it WILL get better.

Adeye said...

Oh my dear friend--I have no great advice to offer as have not walked in our shoes (yet!). I will say that you do not walk alone, there are many of us here willing to hold up your arms when you need it. You are not alone!

Thank you for sharing your heart and being so vulnerable. I know it is hard on a pubic blog.

Praying for you. Praying for that peace that passes all understanding to be your tonight.

Love you!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

If they are at the age to tell you how they feel, then I think you can honestly and tenderly tell them as well. I remember some frank moments with my own parents during the teenage years that had a great impact on me. I've had some of those with my older sons.

It hurts our mothering hearts to see our children walking in rebellion to what we perceive as their "best." Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone, and that with God and time, all will even itself out. Until then, lots of tissues and time on our knees.

Prayers, sweet friend.

And peace~elaine

Angela said...

Last night was a very difficult night in parenting a teen..I snuggled up to my hubby and whispered into his ear,,'hon, just think one more to go and we are done'..LOL...We are parenting our second teen and have our youngest still to go,,she is 13.

It is VERY difficult but I tell ya, I am learning so much about 'love believes the best' through these difficult times,,and trust trust trust,,and let go let go let go and let God!!!!

Teens(some, particularly mine at the moment)don't want to hear my advice, my experiences. I listened to a Christian therapist that stated that teenagers brains are just not 'there' yet with the thinking process and no matter of my harping, discussing or trying to make my point across will enable them to see it.

So faith in our Lord and the work of the Holy Spirit has truly become my main stay these days Christy...with MUCH time spent on my knees in prayer.

Beth in NC said...

Girl, God bless you. I don't have a teen yet, but I know I must have been a nightmare. I had no respect for my Mom and mouthed off a lot. I didn't dare mouth my Dad, but my Mom ... sigh.

I think you did a good thing by telling them how you feel. They need to see how their decisions effect you.

I pray God will continue to give you strength and that you will have great favor with your children.

Love,
Beth

LisaShaw said...

Sister friend,

I'm sending you a great BIG HUG and a whole lot of PRAYER. Hang in there and hold on to the LORD.

All will be well dear friend.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I don't think you did wrong by telling them how they are making you feel. I think kids need to be aware of others' feelings, even if it is their mom, even if they act like they don't care how it makes you feel. I'm praying you'll get through this. I'm not looking forward to this stage at all. Believe me, I'm taking mental notes as I read your blog ;)

God Bless,
Jackie

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I agree 100 percent with Jackie. I am not looking forward to this, but I am going to be watching other parents more closely to see how they handle their teens.

Lisa said...

Can I just say Wow, wow, and one more wow?? You wrote in this post, EXACTLY what is inside my head. And so many of your commenters gave great advice and wisdom! I feel a weight lifted in JUST reading your words, and the words of others. My 15 year old is such a big know-it-all, sassy, mouthy, sarcastic, hurtful, selfish brat! There! I said it!! Doesn't mean we don't love them unconditionally though, does it. I think I'll read this post again, AND all the comments!!! :) Thanks for being a follower, and visiting me often!!

Anonymous said...

well written Christy..it is so very hard...to watch your children turn into adults and make decicions that you may not approve of..to sit back and have to let them learn for themselves and just pray for them.
Carrie

Anonymous said...

have you ever considered writing a book..I am serious!
Carrie

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart!!! I agree that it is a tough road. When I was the mother of young babies and toddlers and they were up at night teething and crying, I used to get so angry at other parents who would say, "Just enjoy this time! It's much harder later!!" What?!? I am running on 2 hours of sleep!! How can you say that!!

Well, now I do understand what they meant. Although that time was difficult physically, this time is much harder mentally and emotionally. I will be thinking of you. And, it is good to realize that someday you will look BACK on this time. That means it won't last forever, right?? ♥
Cathy Smith