Sunday, December 1, 2013

Raising Teens

Raising teens takes more energy than I ever imagined. Yes, more energy and planning and craftiness than it took when these young adults were busy, rambunctious, energized toddlers.

As teens, they want to make up their own minds and make their own plans for their futures and how they spend their days and who they spend those days with.

And I want them to.

But then...
sometimes, moms and dads see things those wet behind the ears teens don't see. We see pitfalls and disappointments and dead ends.

They do believe anything is possible and I don't want to change that.

They believe there is all the time in the world to accomplish all their impossible dreams and I know I don't want to stop that.

But then...
Sometimes there are real life realities like deadlines and requirements and things that hit like water in the face and demotivate and kill dreams. 

They do see the all good in people and I don't want to crush that.

But then...
there are real life bad guys and sin and evil lurking in the shadows and tempting out in the open.

I want to protect them, but I know they need to grow, experience and live, even if they encounter pain and disappointments. It is life.

I want to guide their every step, but their steps aren't leading toward me anymore. Their feet are pointed out the door; their hearts aren't far behind.

I love that my kids are open to listen, argue, discuss, negotiate and accept limits and final decisions.  We rarely meet an impass we can't get beyond.  They try out their salesmen skills, their charm, their crazy and sane arguments and apply their amazing persistence. I practice being steadfast and flexible, a seemingly physical and emotional impossibility.

It is hard work.

It is a hard job, such an important job, worth every bit of effort: sleepless nights, sacrifices and prayers. I wouldn't miss a day, and I'm thankful they keep me on my toes.

Goodnight and God bless us all; I'm arming up to battle the world for them again tomorrow. 


  1. And you are demonstrably good at! God willing my kids will turn out as good.

  2. This is excellent. I have never felt so totally unprepared for anything in my life. I feel like I am still a teenager myself and in May I will have three teenagers of my own. I am much more capable at dealing with tantrums and nap times and potty training. I have the energy for that, not the energy or the spiritual wisdom to deal with the problems they are encountering. As you beautifully stated, I fall back on God every night and "arm up to battle the world for them again tomorrow."

    1. I know that feeling of still thinking I'm a teenager myself, although in much more sheltered times.
      Time is a strange concept.
      Thank you, Rebekah.