Thursday, May 3, 2012

Finger pointers

So the other day someone posted an article on facebook
about the newest way teenagers are trying to destroy their bodies.
Something about hand sanitizer and getting drunk.
It was a sad article for sure, but the saddest part was the comments.
Immediately a group of mom commenters
 began condemning the parents of teens who resort to this kind of behavior.
They must not care about their kids. 
They are raising stupid kids.
They don't know their kids and aren't in touch with them.
Their kids are acting out some deep-seated hatred of their parents short comings.
What is wrong with americas teens today must be parents.
I wanted to comment, I really did!
I wanted to say that I know my kids, I love them and care about them.
They are not stupid.
They have been taught right from wrong.
They were brought up in a home where their father and mother
are not perfect, but they love eachother and have the best 
interest of the family at the center of everything they do.
I wanted to say that my teens still make crappy choices.
They still do wrong despite knowing right.
They sometimes still go with the crowd when the crowd is not
doing the best thing.
Their thinking is immature when compared to how they will think
5 years from now,
but that makes them a typical teen,
not a stupid, uncared for teen raised
by parents who have no rules or morals.
If this chapter in my life has taught me anything,
it is that no matter how well you raise your kids,
they are not little robots.
While some may tow the line and rise above things like
peer pressure, temptation, depression,
laziness, disrespect and risky behavior,
all of them will not.
Some will take the hard road
despite mom and dad putting up warning signs
and shoring up the guard rails on life's path.
Some teens reach adulthood battered and bruised
with their hair all in knots and their clothes torn,
but they get there.
I have no idea why some kids avoid risky behavior
and some kids run headlong into it.
I don't know why kids who are raised in much the same way
can turn out so differently.
But I do know that awesome parents can be left to watch
their kids struggle well into their twenties
and parents who by definition we might lable as "morrally lacking"
seem to have kids who sail through
the teen years picking up scholarships and accolades along the way.
The truth is, we raise individuals who
 think for themselves
learn for themselves
experience for themselves
ultimately decide their own life's direction.
Believe me, I have tried every jedi mind trick available
to get inside my teens heads and think for them.
I have yet to be successful.
So, I guess my point is that the vaste majority of parents of teens
are scared to death.
We need support from eachother.
The last thing we should be doing is
jumping on eachother and pointing fingers
trying to make sense of the choices some teens make.
Parents of hard to raise teens
are most certainly going through the most emotionally draining
time of their lives.
They are already pointing the finger at themselves
and anguishing over every single decision they've made over the past
10 years trying to figure out what went wrong.
Nothing tears a heart apart more than watching someone you love
walk away from truth and embrace life altering lies.
Piling on more guilt from parents who have not walked in
these tattered and threadbare shoes is in my opinion
sad and heartless.
I know the sleepless nights well.
I understand the tears that are constantly brimming up in the eyes
of worried moms.
I know the voice inside that condemns you for not seeing
any fruit from your labor yet.
I know the pain of comparison
and the feelings of doubt that you ever did anything right by your kids.
But I also know hope.
I know that God has promised to complete the work he has begun.
I know that he is strong when I am weak.
I know that he is the God of redemption and deliverance.
I know he is loving and forgiving.
I know that he has a plan and a purpose for each of us.
I know that he knows what he is doing
and that he hears every prayer I pray over my kids
and sees every tear that falls down my face.
I know that he loves my kids even more than I do
and that he brings gladness from mourning,
strength from fear
and beauty from ashes.
And I trust him.


Mackey said...

I am struggling with my 17 year old at the moment & your words have helped me more than you could know.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

now THAT was a good and useful blog post. My oldest isn't even CLOSE to being a teen and I know that other adults say unkind hings about her (and probably me too). They don't know the stack of 50 or so books I have read so far, trying to help my child navigate life. They don't know the conversations with my husband where WE have to examine OUR definition of success and what is REALLY important (blind obedience vs. thinking for oneself). No one is perfect and, just like I try not to judge others for holding different beliefs than me, it's not fair to judge others, especially CHILDREN, by a standard they have not yet had time and experience to attain. How many "I would NEVER"s did you utter before kids that you laugh at now?
Great post Becca!!!

larajean1 said...

You are a great writer. Very insightful post!

shirley dietz said...

I have a 30 year old married daughter who appeared to be a committed Christian from her youth, who now tells me she and her husband no longer believe. Trusting God now has become a whole different experience. As you say, I have to believe that He loves them even more than I do, and that He is up to something on their behalf. Your thoughts are well said.