Just Show Up – The Day Has Come…
My oldest thinks I’m ridiculous. No longer am I the ‘cool’ mom that is easy to talk to. Instead I have no clue what I’m talking about. One day we get along just fine, the next I’m sitting on the couch staring at my son who has a look on his face as if I’ve lost my mind.
Having been a youth minister for just over 10 years and spoken to and with thousands of teens across the United States I have always recognized that the parent/child dynamic is a prickly pear. Boys and girls alike have been in my office, sitting in the ‘red chair’ talking about their parents as if they were the last people on this earth who would ever understand what they were going through. Inside I wanted to laugh because I knew most of their parents personally and I also knew that they knew what their child was going through better than their child even knew how to handle the daily drama! But I would listen and let them vent offering the advice I knew their parents would appreciate and would have offered had their child accepted their help. I tried to be an advocate bridging the gap between the ‘stressed out’ teen and the ‘clueless parent’ and sometimes if done skillfully and with a little clever thinking the teen would find some kind of common ground to rest on. Other times it just didn’t work and the best decision the parent made was allowing their teen to vent with me or any of the other adult volunteers.
I knew that this day would come that regardless of what I do for a living my own children might view me as the most out of touch person in town. I didn’t realize how much it would hurt. I’m trying to decide if it hurts my pride more than my feelings.
Regardless, I am doing my best to take a step back and figure out what the best route is for our relationship without giving up the role of a parent in the home. I prayed and pondered and finally relented to the fact that I knew the one person he might be willing to give a chance. His grandmother (my mother in law). So I called her and explained the tirade that transpired over the last 24 hours and the sheer confusion I have over what was said and why he is giving me the silent treatment. I know exactly what he is upset about and after some digging and patience I finally got him to tell me the real underlying reason the tirade began. When I tried to offer advice (as I have offered the same advice to many other teens in the past …who took it…and it worked!) he shut me out and said I ‘didn’t know what I was talking about.’ I quickly recognized that I the more I talked the worse it made the situation. Thankfully he is at an acting camp all day.
It is good to know I at least have someone that might be able to reach him. Tomorrow afternoon she will be taking him out to lunch and try to infiltrate the situation. If he were older and involved in youth ministry I would be going directly to the youth minister for help but this will have to do for another year. Please keep Ryan, ‘Honey’, and ME in your prayers!!! I need God to show up in a big way.
Be sure to thank your youth ministers too. Most youth ministers I’ve met are certainly not in the ministry to make money…they are in it because they have a passion to shower Christ’s light and love on YOUR teens! Give them props, they need it!