Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Parenting Teenagers: Another Amazed by God post

My husband's temples are greying; I cover mine magically at the hairdressers. We are the parents of teens.

The setting was our bedroom and a discussion ensued with one of our teens about how we should be harder on them, that we were pushovers. I believe my husband, ironically, was singled out as a pushover, but I may have misunderstood.

We explained, in our defense, that we've never worried they'd all go over the deep end, indeed, we'd decided long ago that we'd never be the kind of parents that sat around licking our adolescent-rearing sores. We've tried to maintain a positive and even welcoming demeanor regarding the arduous task of raising teens. The main reason we've done this is that we've seen the opposite scenario far too many times, with dire results.Parents badmouthing their teens in front of others never accomplishes anything productive, except maybe some venting.

Our children have responded by being the kind of teens that are easy to like, most of the time. I hope I'm not painting such a rosy picture that you think we aren't normal, that we haven't been in a spin when a hormonal rampage ravages (with five females in the house we've had our share) or that we haven't ever gasped inwardly at the dates that have arrived to whisk them away from us. But overall, we like our kids along with loving them. We're proud of who they are.

'So', we concluded, 'We trust you even more after you tell us how you think we should be tougher, because it tells us how much you care about who you're becoming.'

There was a pause.

'We trust you.'

The pause deepened. It sunk all the way in.

The weighty mass of responsibility settled on younger shoulders, not our own.

And upon reflection I wondered, does God trust us to be faithful Christians? I can't imagine Him running around worrying whether or not we'll live up to His grace. He expects we will. He does, doesn't He?

When we get this, we do.

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