By Christine Maddox.
We all hope our children will grow up listening to our wisdom and never make any mistakes. I have two children, one who did listen and who did her best to follow guidelines and another one who did not. My second child, a boy, has had trouble from day one listening to sound advice. He has always been a free spirit so to speak and would fly off on his own every chance he got.
I was always trying to help my son out when he was small by giving him certain looks or head gestures to let him know he was getting ready to get in trouble but he was absolutely clueless. You have all seen those movies when someone is doing their best to let the other person know something without letting the other person see, right? And the one person says something like, “Why are you winking at me?” or “What is wrong with you, are you sick?” Well, that was my son. Even if he totally got it he did not seem to care, he just went right on doing what he wanted. Talk about frustrating.
What made it even worse was that he was not one of those fit throwing, foot stomping children. He was a toe headed, bouncy boy that was always smiling, as if to say, “Look at me, aren’t I adorable?” And he was pretty adorable but he was also mischievous and not obeying all the rules. I had to really work at seeing through his outward façade of cuteness to make sure I was correcting him for his own good.
I think it was a fifty-fifty failure, partially that I did not come down on him hard enough because his attitude was always so cheerful and partially I think he would have pursued his own course no matter what. He just wanted to be in on the action and never wanted to miss out on anything that was going on.
It was way easier to deal with his behavior as a toddler and a child than it was to deal with his behavior as a teen. Take a tip from me and do your level best to teach your child obedience while they are young because when they hit the teen years it can be a nightmare. And never, ever think that just because you give one child something that then you have to give it to the other child. You need to be sure, without a shadow of a doubt that they are ready for adult privileges, things like cars in particular.
My oldest that was obedient ninety-nine percent of the time was afraid to ride her bike because she got into one accident. I thought she may never drive because she did not want to take lessons and was terrified. I decided that she should take lessons right away and get on the road to beat this fear. She, being the intellectual that she is, passed the written exam with flying colors, but failed the first driving test miserably. She stopped the car in the middle of the road and told the instructor to drive, that she was finished.
On the other hand there was my son. He was doing pretty well in school, could have made straight A’s but he was getting A’s, B’s, and C’s and just kind of floating along. He was not a discipline problem at school and did pretty good at home. Sure we had to push him to do his chores and homework but nothing that came close to irrational or out of control behavior. That is until the day we bought him a used truck to use after he got out of driving class. He begged to go into driving class so he could drive right away. We did not really think anything about it, just that he was not afraid and our daughter was.
But after he was given that truck to use and had his license it was as if someone had taken over control of his mind. He began leaving school in the middle of the day, of course we would take away the car but then he would behave for awhile and get it back. He would not answer his cell phone and would not come home at curfew. And we do not live in a small town, quite the contrary; nonetheless I would be out combing the streets and making the rounds to different friend’s homes searching for my son.
Not only that but he also began to take pills and smoke and do all kinds of things he had never done before. When we took the car away he began walking off campus and continued to go and do whatever he pleased. We were dumbfounded by his behavior. That simple bit of freedom had turned him into a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Our lives became like the Twilight Zone.
He has gotten into some trouble with the law, walking a tightrope between right and wrong. He has been blessed in that he has not only a father on earth but a Father in heaven that loves him, and a praying family that will not let him go. The last five years have been like a roller coaster in our lives but God has given us the strength to hold on and not to let go.
He is finally learning from his mistakes. He is beginning to look back and regret some of the decisions he has made. He sees the future and the future does not look good on the path he has chosen. He still waivers from time to time but I am holding fast, not on my son’s merits alone, but on the merits of the One whose promises never fail. I am trusting the Lord with the boy/man that actually belongs to Him anyway and His love never fails.
And the most precious and sweet results of this trust is that my God has helped me to grow spiritually and emotionally through this and taught me to rest in His everlasting arms. When you trust in the Lord His love never fails. He is sovereign and is in control of everything and everyone whether they know it or not.
I realize not everyone believes the way that I do. I am just sharing with you what God has done for me personally. Stressing, worrying, and getting sick over a teen is never productive. In fact those emotions seem to spur them on. But I find that when I rest in the Lord and trust in Him that my son looks at me and wants to know more about why I am not reacting. He even lets me share the word of God with him.
I love my son dearly but did you know that God loves him more and He actually knows the future and knows what is the absolute best for my son? And He can work from the inside out, just like a microwave, straight to the heart. And He loves us with a measureless love, that is what it says in His word. Measureless. That is way more than I can love. And He tells us to “Trust in Him with all of our hearts and do not lean on our own understanding, in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight.” That can be found in Proverbs chapter three verses five and six (NAS).
My encouragement comes from my precious Lord Jesus. I do not know where your encouragement comes from but I say from the heart to never give up on your teen. Do your very best to ride out the waves of disobedience with their best in mind. Be strong and firm but never let go of love. Because love never fails.
Author Bio: This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for 4nannies. She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @ gmail.com.