Sometimes I wish my two teenagers are still toddlers, who couldn’t argue with you or question you. At the same time, we know that the only constant thing in life is change, and change comes as result of growth. Raising great kids is not an easy task, and so is letting them leave your nest when the time comes.
I had to engage my teenage Son in a long talk this evening, after he and his younger brother were scolded by their dad, as soon as he got home , he had given them specific instructions in the morning before they left for school, but forgot as soon as they got home, only to find them sitting in front of the TV when he got back home.
The Dad was really angry with both him and his brother, but he had to take the large portion of the scolding because he is supposed to know better and because I didn’t want to add salt to the injury, though I had given them the same instructions earlier, I waited until the tension was cool before intervening.
You will agree with me if you’ve got teenage children that the children we are raising in today’s world find it so easy to huddle quickly into their rooms with their gadget,; PlayStations, laptops, phones etc. consciously and unconsciously they imbibe a pop culture that is anti-ethical to everything healthy family. We as parents have to conscious of these things and make sure we are able to guide them right.
Parenting as God has designed it, can be achieved if we learn to go back to God for the wisdom to do it especially in this day and age of Internet and Modernization. As I began my conversation with him, I didn’t start with being confrontational, because when you start with confrontations, they recede and get defensive, once they get defensive you may not be able to get the right pieces of information.
At first, he was all macho and was like, mum I don’t want to talk about it, you see lately we can’t force them to talk or even look us in the face. Our teenagers can be intimidating sometimes. As the conversation progressed he opened up and for a one and half hour we talked about everything from his performance in school, and his challenges.
He just joined the High School, immediately after his Junior Secondary exams, so it was a bit hard for him to mingle with his classmates who have been in the school since its inception, on many occasions he had complained about how rude some of the students were to their teachers, which he found completely strange, and I would always tell him that he has been wired differently to always respect people, those who are older and those of his peer. He still doesn’t have many friends.
I reminded him of a passage in Proverbs which says something about first becoming friendly if you have friends ( I can’t remember the exact place in proverbs. So I asked if he is friendly, and also asked him why he wanted friends. We went through Friendship 101. which entails
- Making friends is not as scary as he thinks ( he sometimes
- . Take the first step and say hello
- Get to know the person- Does he/she value the things you value, do you share similar goals, aspirations.
- Be yourself- You must not try to be what you are not all for the sake of being trendy or fresh.
I also encouraged him to talk to God about his friendship issue and at that point, our conversation took a deep dive into another realm.
Mum, does God really care that much to be concerned about my friends?.
Oh yes, He does! He cares so much about you much more than anybody else, and yes much more than your parents. God loves you more than you can even imagine and he is interested in the most mundane area of your life.
We had led him and his younger brother to Christ at the ages of 8 and 6 respectively, and have ever since then been helping to know God for themselves, so when he asked me if God really cared about a certain area of life, I had to remind him again that God cares for everything about him no matter how “irrelevant” he thinks it may be. The importance of prayer, Heaven and all the in-betweens
As we talked, he asked me questions about my life as a teenager, I shared about how I thought my Parents didn’t like me because they were always picking on me because I am the first child, so I understood his own thoughts and behavioural patterns because I was like that too. By the time we ended the discussion, he felt much better and was thankful for the mother-son moment.
I was much more grateful that I have been given the privilege to be a custodian, alongside the husband, of these great minds, though sometimes parenting can be tedious by the grace of God, wisdom and strength is released when we ask God, who gave them to us.
(c. OBA@Thekingsoracle 2018.