As the mother of teenagers, I often feel underappreciated and even despised at times, but then I remember that I used to think just like my own children do now.
If you are the parent of a teenager, you probably have wondered at some point, “Where did I go wrong?” Event the best of parent-child relationships seems to suffer during the teen years, as the child struggles to gain independence and the parent tries to stay connected in the process.
It has been said that “mothers of teenagers understand why some animals eat their young.” Although it isn’t quite that bad most of the time, it is easy to wonder whether parenting will end up being worth the 18-year investment.
When you have tried to instill respect and get anything but, when you give and give and are disdained for not being able to give more, when your entire world revolves around another human being and they don’t seem to care in the least, it is trying like nothing else.
If I could turn back time, though, I wouldn’t change my decision to become a mother. I have given my best, imperfect as it may be, and now I wait to see whether it was good enough. Will what I have taught and lived before my children be enough to steer them from harm and evil in this very perverse world? Was I too strict? Too lenient? Too affectionate? Not affectionate enough? It is difficul to say just yet, but I do know one thing:
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). It may not be while I am young enough to enjoy their company, but God’s word says that my child will not depart from the way that they were raised forever. I am so thankful that I am not being judged by some of the choices my children make now, just like my heavenly Father knows that I am not fully mature yet, either. There will be natural consequences, good or bad, from all decisions, but in the end, I believe that “I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).
Published in: Family