Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Even the older ones need us at home

Today I was finally going to make it to the womens' Bible study at church. In the 2 1/2 years we've been attending there, I have made it to exactly one session. One 2-hour class. That's it! Sometimes always seems to come up to keep me away.

I was sure I'd make it this time. The calendar has been clear. One child is away at camp. The other child is capable and happy to stay home alone. There were no pressing needs. As of 9:00 last night, I was good to go.

Then an innocent phone call related to Boy Scouts stirred up a storm. Nothing major or terrible, but the evening ended with an angry and crying teen, upset parents, an unfinished movie, and my Bible study plans dashed.

Oh well. There will be other Bible studies. But there won't be another, better time to be home with my teen, available and ready to talk with him about this problem he has. Or not talk, I guess, if he won't. But if I wasn't here it's for sure he wouldn't talk, except maybe to himself, and we know how useful that is.

While I wait for him to wake up, I'm reading a bit in Get Outta My Face! How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counsel. I wouldn't call my kid angry and unmotivated all the time, or even most of it. Some of the kids described in this book are far more angry than mine is, at least right now. Still, it's a very helpful book with ideas new to me, and some reminders. Yes, I know I am supposed to listen, really listen to my kids. But, do I always listen properly? How does my kid know I'm really listening?

Get Outta My Face

It's written by a school guidance counselor who's had a lot of experience with teens. Some of the situations used to illustrate the points are not particularly relevant to my homeschooling family, but the basic principles are useful. We may not deal with unfair grading practices around here, but we have other unfairness, or so I'm told. I particularly like the chapter "Clarify Narrow: Expose the Realities of Your Teen's Experience." I'll be using some of those principles in conversation with my kid today.

Should be an interesting day. I'm glad I'm able to be home for it.


Kerri said...

I hope it goes well.

I'm learning that me being the perfect parent is not going to keep my kids from every crisis and emotional turmoil, but hopefully by being there and listening I can help them to grow through it. I pray your boy is stronger and more aware of God's hand in his life through it all.

Marbel said...

Thanks, Kerri. I think things have settled out. There may or may not be negative consequences of a decision he made, but they are his consequences, we can all live with them, and he'll learn from them not to do the same thing in the future. Well, should learn from it.

He does understand that God allows us to do dumb things, make mistakes, and suffer the consequences for them. I have certainly made dumb mistakes and been spared negative consequences. But not always, I'm glad to say.