Can I tell you how frustrating it is to have a stubborn teenager around? I tell you--we have had a very hard year with Ben. He has made a lot of poor decisions. We have found ourselves sadly lowering expectations and saying good-bye to dreams we may have had for him in his childhood years. We struggle with the way he is choosing to live his life day to day. We try to make loving and right decisions regarding everything in his life that we have an control of. We are down on our knees daily for him for protection and for a softened heart. AND-it is still hard. Everyday presents new challenges.
He gets sooooo aggravated with us when we say no to him......no matter what the question. Today, it was him asking permission to stay at a friend's house for the night. Everything in my gut told me it was fishy....that something just wasn't right. Ben is VERY mad that I chose to say no. He thinks I assume the bad all the time, and that I don't trust him. I won't go into all the reasons why we have had a difficult time trusting him, or why this situation seems like not the best idea......but no matter what I said to him about this, he replied with "Oh MY GOSH.", HUGE sighs of frustration....and a couple of "You are CRAZY"'s. I end up rambling about how we don't say no just to be mean or controlling....how we love him, and it's our job to make the best decisions with the information we are working with, etc. Although, I start feeling a little crazy myself--mainly because no matter what I say, I feel it is falling on deaf ears.
It is draining to be his mother right now. I am just trying to make sure he does not find himself in regrettable situations. (He has already been in a few of those....). I am trying to make sure he realizes that just because he is almost 17, doesn't mean he knows what is best for himself. (Also, something that has been obvious--to us, anyway.) All the while wondering if what I am saying to him is making him pull more and more away from us. I am convinced he thinks we are unreasonable, and uncompromising. While I feel the truth of the matter is we have already bent for him and listened to him more than he will ever know.
I have decided that raising a teenager is much more difficult than I ever thought it would be. I have great respect for any set of parents who have made it through the teenage years with their family in tact and still loving each other!! We are trying to get there. We are trying with much prayer and humbleness.
The thought that we will be going through these tough years two more times just makes me shudder some days. (I now know why wrinkles deepen.) We will make it, I know we will...... but I won't be mistaken and believe it will be for any reason other than by the grace of God!