I know as my teen goes storming out of the house that our fight could have been heard several houses away in our quiet neighborhood. I worry about where he is going, and what he will be doing. It won’t be anything good with him in this state of mind.
Do you ever wish you could go back in time and just start all over again? You know with hindsight being 20/20, you can now see all of the missteps that have lead up to this moment in time. I really wish that I could wake up and realize it has all been a dream, and my boys are my sweet little kids again. I wish that I could be the mom that I tried so hard to be. But of course, that will never happen.
So, instead, I wish to impart to you something I would have liked to have done differently. I wish that I would have continued as I had begun. I wish that I would have read book after book about the different stages in their lives. I wish I hadn’t become semi-complacent with my parenting.
In the beginning, I read so many books, and they were extremely helpful in preparing me to be the type of mom I wanted to be. But as they got older, I began to read books more specific to a given situation. I was no longer reading ahead or looking to the future of how my parenting would need to adapt for the tween and teen years. I mean sure I thought about it and planned, but I stopped educating myself on what those stages would be like.
I just really wasn’t prepared to have a rebellious teen. He was a teen that had bipolar disorder and whose moods became so much harder to handle than I ever could have imagined. So, I began to make allowances to keep him from going further off track while he was in a rage and manic. I began to pick my battles so very carefully, and with that, I began to lose the parental control that he so badly needed.
I had to learn to let go of the guilt that this failure evoked-actually it’s a work in progress. But if I can help someone else to look farther ahead and realize their sweet little child can go through this too, I would be uplifted and maybe feel a little less like a failure.
My advice is to keep reading even when things are going great. Remember we cannot be certain of what lies ahead for our kids, nor do we know the battles they will have to face. Begin to arm yourself with enough information to be able to think quickly on your feet when those moments do come. Don’t wait until you are drowning in confusion, worry, and anger to try and get a grip on it. Be proactive in your education of solutions to even the worst childhood and teenage behaviors. Then you will be better prepared than I was and be able to make better choices.