Hit by a Tsunami of adolescent emotions/behaviour

When you have three teenagers and one "baby" or foundation phase person........
NOTHING can prepare you!!!!

After going through what feels like an eternity of chaos, (which is the only way to describe it) and feeling like an absolute failure as a mother and a believer of Jesus, I pick up Dr. James Dobson's Strong-Willed Child, and open at the chapter titled "The Strong-Willed Adolescent (Is there any other kind?), and now I am breathing a little lighter.
I'm gaining some understanding that not all of the behavior I see and experience is entirely as a result of my inadequacy in parenting skills, but in all truth it IS a biological metamorphosis that I have no control over! All the years of teaching and disciplining and guiding and instructing and most of all LOVING, meaning - being patient, having self control, mercy, grace and looooooooooooong suffering. Yip, sounds drastic I know, but let me tell you in my experience, this is MUCH tougher than when all three had chicken pocks. It was hec-tic, they were two and a half years, one and a little bit and round about five or six months and they had chickenpox at the exact same time. I thought that was hairy!
Then came the stormy two's and the full throttle threes, the "I can do it!" fours, the "I'm a big girl/boy now" fives, the fledgling year, gr. R and gr.1 Big School. Even the adapting process going into home schooling was no match to having THREE strong-willed adolescents in the house. I sometimes feel I woke up in a mad house. And to top it off my 7 year old thinks he's also a teenager and do the tears come rolling when he is not included or cant do it yet or worse.... be it mom or dad thinks he's old enough to DO something and he is of the mind the three older children are far better equip to handle the task of, picking up HIS clothing, packing away HIS toys or throwing out the trash.
But, thank God for Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who constantly guides (provided my ears aren't already half deaf from the high pitched arguing) the church where we get taught life skills, and then the gem of books available by those who have not just gone before but also studied the raising of children, like Dr. Dobson.
So I start reading this chapter, and boy, am I relieved to find that my children have not been kidnapped by aliens over night and replaced by droids from some foreign planet designed to make life difficult for everyone including themselves (though they seem completely oblivious to the fact), but are actually NORMAL. Was that a welcome surprise.
Now I understand why; "MOM! You don't understand!" and my early bird 'do it cause I love you' has turned into a groaning lump that arises preferably later than 9am and is left alone. They demand to be given responsibility but can't let the bath water out, or remember to bother picking up the spanking new shoes discarded out in the garden. Speaking kindly to siblings has vanished and proving MY point is the most important thing in the world.
We try a new image every day, comments like, "The only thing that's interested in spending time with me are mosquito s" (cause she's got like a 100 mozzi bites). Where bored seems to be a permanent state of being and we now have to get x-box, Wii, satellite TV and decoders.....
But, in all this, the Lord is gracious to let me have glimpses of the little persons I have worked the past 13, 12 and 11 years building into, re-appear. The hug from a teenage boy and fat wet kiss on the cheek and 'I love you mom' come out every now and again. Or the surprise breakfast in bed. The caring help to one of the other siblings, or just doing the 'baby's' chores for him before he can complain about it.
Thank God they love church, they still pray, read the word and voice their love for Jesus publicly.
I suppose, I feel like Ive been hit by a hurricane of unpredictable emotions and mood swings cause there are three of them going through all this and a foundation phase thinking he can match anything they do and can of-course do nothing wrong.
So to moms out there who have four children on have three teenagers at the same time, I UNDERSTAND :-)
So lets persevere, lets not give up, lets walk in the discernment of the Lord and lets pray and seek wisdom from the Father who gives willingly and without reproach. Lets stand our ground and not back down, lets exercise mercy and grace where it is needed, and most importantly, lets not do it alone. Lets walk this through with the Holy Spirit and with our local body.
(c) Celeste Glass

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