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My Challenges With a Teenage Son

     Who here likes rollercoasters?  Come on now - raise your hands.  Let me see them. 

     Who here likes traffic?  The Stop and Go kind . . . you know what I mean?  When you have to be somewhere really important and you become excited as you begin to inch from 10 mph to about 35mph?  Let me see those hands now.  Hold 'em up a little higher. 

     Okay, now, who here likes putting something together without the instructions?  And not anything you're familiar with either.  And, you're just kind of expected to get it all right but without that manual.  Yeah, now I see those hands held high.  Moving them up and down with that outstretched arm like, "That's me!  That's me!"

     Well, if you raised your hand to any or all of the above, you are well prepared for - drum roll please - theeeeeeeeeeee TEENAGE SON.  (Can you hear that 1970's game show music playing in the background like you've just won something?)  Well, in fact . . . you ARE going to win something if you just keep reading.  You are going to walk away from this article, no - Run Away with excitement, and say to yourself, "I'm ready now to place these keys of wisdom into that ol' jalopy and get it revvin'." 

     You see, I am currently moving through "the teenage son phase" with my own sweet offspring, and I could write a WHOLE other article about how emotionally gut wrenching and torturous the experience has truly been for me.  Then, I could turn around and write a WHOLE other article about how much both my son and I are growing through the experience.  THEN, I could turn around and write one more article about how AWESOME God is and how HE is holding us both in His Hands.  And how it is those Hands that will be the common denominator which will in fact bring my son and I back together to that healthy and happy mother/son relationship as we do in fact make it through this season. 

     No doubt about it, there is a bond between a mother and a son that I certainly cannot explain.  I watched it as a child with my mother and my brother.  My brother grew older and he and my dad seemed to barely lock horns, but he and my mother?  Well, let's just say it was about as routine as the mail carrier making his stops to our little black mail box that hung on the outside railing of our house.  It was regular.  As a kid, I didn't pay attention.  I just knew that my mom and my brother were going through another tiff. 

     But now as a mother, I see it all more clearly.  It's affecting me now and MAN OH MAN does it hurt.  This sweet boy that I was always there for is trying desperately to get away from me.  (Like that black cat trying to run away from Pepe Le Pew).  The young man that I helped educate, love and guide, now thinks more of his friends' opinions than mine.  This guy that used to want me to be at every game and watch every skate trick and surf move now cringes at the thought of me showing up to the same beach around the same time that he might possibly be there with his buddy.  It's terrible. 

     You ask yourself, "What have I done?  What's wrong with me?  Where did I go wrong?"  If you're a mother and you can relate to ANY of this, get ready for some keys of wisdom (KoW) to help you not just survive but thrive through this season with the Teenage Son.

  • KoW #1 – In our broken world, with things many times being less than ideal… difficulties and challenges that I’ve just described are VERY COMMON!!!.  It's like giving birth.  You're so excited to have the baby come but you're not so sure if you like the method in which he will arrive.  Well, just buckle up because you're getting ready to give birth again except there is no epidural for this little excursion and you're not exactly sure when it's going to end.  It DOES have an end though (so I'm told and cling to with all my might) and YOU ARE STRONG.  You made it through birthing this boy into the world.  Now, prepare your heart as you birth a godly young man into the world.
  • KoW #2 - THERE ARE VETERANS WHO CAN HELP YOU.  Find a Godly woman who has raised one of her own teenage sons (and who you think did a pretty good job) and pick her brain constantly.  Write your questions down as you get them and call her as needed for answers and prayer.
  • KoW #3 – Limit your words. GO MUTE, if necessary!  There is NOTHING that I have ever regretted NOT saying to the teenage son, but there is plenty that I wish I would've just shut up about.
  • KoW #4 – If talking is difficult… SPEAK TEXT.  The troubled teenage son will not absorb much once he realizes it is YOUR mouth talking to him (try not to take in personally), so hit it hard and heavy like in a teenage text.  Here are a few examples to help you out.  "Pls clean room or u won't leave house."  "I luv u."  "Stop talking now or u won't b allowed to drive."  "I'm proud of u."  "Those words hurt.  Pls stop."  "No matter what, I will be here for u."
  • KoW #5 – IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU OR YOUR FEELINGS!  Now for me this is probably the toughest key for me to hold, but it is the truth if I have ever told it.  Your love for this teenage son runs deep. Only you know the experiences, the trials, the victories that you have been through with him.  BUT, and you need to cling to this like a floating board in the Pacific Ocean off Gilligan's Island, BUT . . . GOD KNOWS!!!  He knows even better than you and He feels all that you're going through and there is only one objective as the Teenage Son moves into Godly Man mode . . . it is all about God’s glory. 

     When your feelings get stepped on, give it to God.  When you look at the teenage son and think, "I never thought I'd want him to leave home, but I'm ready to pack his bags," give it to Him..  When, as a single mom, you look at the teenage son's father and think, "You will never know what I'm going through,"  know that you're right, because GOD is truly the only one who will be feeling what you're feeling (and then some), so give it to Him. 

     You're not alone and at this crucial time in the teenage son's life you have to make a choice.  Are you going to fall down on the ground, wallow in self-pity and allow the world to come alongside that young man to "help" him into manhood?  Or are you going to fall into the Arms of God, cry to Him and say, "Lord - guide me as to what to do next." 

     IT'S NOT EASY.  I am not going to lie to you.  It was just yesterday as we were driving to summer school of all places (the boy's had honor roll most of his life but he's just learning now that if you don't do your work during school time, you will be doing it during summer time), that I wanted to just bring the vehicle to a screeching halt and walk out on the teenage son.  At the moment, I didn't care about leaving the vehicle running, the teenage son, or the fact that I would've stopped traffic on that one way road - I just wanted to stop feeling the way I was feeling. 

     But instead, I started to sing to God (so that I could refocus) and then I prayed over the teenage son before he stepped foot out of the vehicle - then I did the few things I needed to do and when my other children were taking their naps, I CRIED out to Jesus with everything in my heart.  I then had to place a temporary cap on the situation and how I was feeling so that I could move back into what I had to do for the remainder of the day.  Then at night when all were fast asleep, I CRIED out again.  Later, I finally fell asleep quoting God's beautiful words, "Train up a child in the way he SHOULD go and when he is OLD he will not depart from it."  I slept with such peace.  God's Word never returns void. 



     “Lord, I confess that I am no match for the turmoil going on in the life of my son. I don’t have the strength for this difficult season on my own. Life right now is very hard for me and I feel worn out and emotionally exhausted. I can’t face it on my own. I need Your help. I desperately need You to intervene on my behalf and bring peace and comfort to my heart. I need Your guidance and wisdom each step of this tumultuous journey. I know that if You will come and bring Your love, peace and strength to my spirit, then I will be able to handle what comes my way. I ask for Your amazing love to sweep over me. Allow me the grace to put the things that I cannot control into Your hands and leave them there. I give my fears and my doubts to You. You tell us in your word to not be anxious for anything, but in everything present our needs to You and the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. Lord, I ask now that You guard my heart and my mind with Your peace. I thank You for it. Cover me Lord, Shield me. Protect my heart from harm. Cover my son, Lord. Keep him, when he can’t keep himself. Guard him, when he can’t guard himself. Bring him to a right relationship with You, I pray. He is Yours and not mine. You knew him before I did. You saw him before I ever saw him. You love him more than I could ever love him. I trust You with him. You are trustworthy. You are holy. I place him in Your eternal care.  I give You all praise and thanksgiving for Your loving care, Your provision and Your protection. You are God above all Gods, there is none like You! In Jesus’ mighty name, I pray. Amen!”

Copyright © 2008-2015 Cindy Aitken

Reader Comments...
2011-10-05 09:02:40
"So glad I found this. It is good to know that I am not the only one facing this with a son. I have raised two girls through the teen-age years with success. Everyone said boys are easier I have not found that to be true. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. Blessings Lori"
        - Lori

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