By Joyce C. Lock
Our Rebellious Teens
Great Grandparent's Point: That's the way it was, back then. We did the best we knew how.
Grandparent's Point: You had it so much better than we did. I wasn't even aloud to date, without my mother present.
Parent's Point: We weren't aloud to go anywhere that didn't involve church and we gave you much more freedom than that.
Adult Child's Point: You didn't allow me to hang out with teens and go cruising. I felt like I was caged. Yet, I give my children choices wherein they can earn trust and freedom. I'm the good parent and they still rebel.
Teen's Point: Who cares about points?
It makes no difference if you are the perfect parent. Adults get no recognition for whatever part they did right. In fact, because the teen feels controlled, they do not see that anyone else did anything right.
They want to stop being treated like a child (even if they are acting like one). They want the freedom to make their own decisions and do not care that adults view their actions as mistakes. They want their chosen paths to be respected because it is their choice, just as we respect other adult's, without trying to fix them. After all, these teens are almost 18 and are tired of being treated as anything less.
In as much as we would like to help our 'almost adults' make adulthood choices, amidst their period of regression (wherein they behave more like a 12 year old), the power to control their destiny is not ours.
There comes a time wherein the only option left is to let go, to the extent their behavior is neither illegal or immoral, and let God finish raising them. And in making the transition from parent to friend, we discover our own need for growth; thereby realizing God is not finished raising us, either.
Once we acknowledge that our need to control is a result of fear, consider that fear does not come from God, remember that we were once 'almost adults', too, and realize that God used our immaturity to grow us into a better person ... perhaps, then, we can trust God to protect our 'almost adults' from irreversible harm and know He will be there to pick up the pieces for them, too.
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