Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Love Words...Wordy Wednesday Week Two

I love you every step of the way....From challenge, comes greatness www.notsalmon.com

About the picture on the left....when you have a teenager, I think it's important to remember this quote.

The teen years are a  time when it's important to muster up the strength and love 'em unconditionally.  I don't mean letting them run a mock. I mean that even in the midst of unspeakable challenges, even if you may have to discipline harshly, they know and you remember that no matter what the crime they are still loved unconditionally.  Even when we are disappointed with their behaviors, they should always know that they are loved and it will be alright in the long run.  Which, if you are a parent of a teenager you know that this is sometimes easier said than done.

I found an amazing article titled, "Raising Resilient Children and Teens" by Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg from the Psychology Today website.  It's funny because so many times I read these books or articles and I feel like they are amazing because they speak right to the issue I'm facing.  It's a lonely place, parenting a teen.  There are so many resources for what to do with the "Terrible Twos" and "Crying Babies" but when it's a problem with a teen...not so much.

One line that I really like and need to remind myself when my boy tells me that he hates me is:  Remember, our teens rarely hate us; they only hate how deeply connected they feel to us.  That should make me feel better.

Another phrase that caught my eye:  Just because you are in the midst of a crisis doesn't mean you have lost your child.  On the other side of the crisis may be a deeper relationship and a son or daughter who has once more learned to turn to you.

That is part of my problem, I am often sick with worry over my child.  I worry about his future.  I worry about his lack of organization.  I worry what his teacher must think of him...of me.  I worry about the choices he makes.  I have worried at times that I had "lost my child". 

Late Spring we had our own major crisis.  During one of our ongoing battles over homework that escalated into a power struggle with words that flew with venom, I hit my son.  I tried to hit him again but he ran out the door.  He eventually found some friends and they must have talked about what was the best thing for him to do, which was to go to the school and call the police.

I'm not proud of this moment and I hope that I never reach a point as low again where I let anger cloud my reality.  Those months after this incident, and this summer when I thought he might go live with his dad were probably the hardest months of my life.  It would be easy to say that these challenges were brought about by a boy challenged with ADHD, split between two households, wrought with teenage angst.  The real reality though is that I let my son down.  I have to be the stability in his life.  I have to be the adult.  I have to be the one that recognizes that these teenage years are a difficult time.  It is a time of steps in our life that we have to take in order to find out who we are, what we really believe in, and where we stand as our own individual self.  It is a time or a phase that that we all must go through in order to reach that higher place.

Teens are not the only ones that must "go through" something to reach a higher place of understanding.  I'm not sure I've ever done as much reflecting as I've done this past summer.  Which is the point of the second picture.  The lesson that I have learned from this is that I need to remember who my son is.  That this young man is still my little boy that caught frogs in the backyard and choose to have donations to the animal shelter in lieu of birthday presents when he was five.  He's still the person who I read animal and Roald Dahl stories to every night and loved dinosaurs more than anything else in the world.  Underneath all of this pain and confusion that he is going through now, is my young man.  I dwell too much on the worries and need to remember the beautiful, passionate, and kind person he really is inside.  I hope I never forget this lesson.

Thanks for reading.