Saturday, January 4, 2014

Reflections on the New Year

It's...a new year.

Now that I have that out of the way, I'll move on to something more important--raising teenagers. Until recently I had three three of them in my home. However, a little over a month ago one of them hit the "roaring twenties." The other day my friend, Ryan, posted something on his Bookface page that really hit me...

I have learned through my experience that our relationship with our parents go through many stages... adoration, rebellion, separation, acceptance and finally back to adoration. the middle two stages are the toughest for the parents... but when you finally get to the final stage, the relationship and bond you have with your parents is much stronger because of the middle stages. I am thankful for my parents...and am sorry for the stress and pain I caused them as I SLOWLY progressed through the stages. I love them both very much and wish they lived closer. I just hope my kids respect and love me as much as I love and respect my parents.
I'm not sure if there's a source for his stages, but it sure makes sense to me when I reflect on my own experiences growing up. I can only hope that I'll experience the same thing with my own kids. If they ever said anything like this to me, I'd probably start crying.

My oldest is clearly entering a new stage in his life. In some ways he's finally starting to grow up and it's encouraging. I think that he actually sees that some of the things we have been telling him all of his life may make sense after all. Go figure. However, he's picked up some bad habits and he has a highly addictive personality. I can only pray that he'll be able to work through it.

My middle child has everything figured out in life and has very little need for our guidance (my eyes are rolling as I write this). She says what's on her mind regardless of whether or not she took the time to think through the consequences of uttering it. She was a pretty easy-going child so this has been somewhat of a surprise. Will she emerge from these stages? Will she ever be a real friend again to her mother? It's heart-breaking.

Then there's the little one. 15 years old and still a dream come true. I was the youngest of three and I think I was pretty easy on my parents. I wonder if she will turn out the same.

So, are these stages a guarantee? If they are, I can continue to deal with the difficulties I face each day. And since I'm only human, I cannot help but wonder what I did to screw them up so much? I have faith in a mighty God, but it gets challenged each and every day.

I'm not sure if anyone still reads this blog since I neglected it for so long, but I'd love to hear what you have to say.