parenthood

Why I’ll Never Say “Just Wait Until He Is Older!”

I will never ever tell you “If you think it’s bad now just wait until he/she/they’re teens!”

Why not?

First of all, it’s completely unhelpful to a mom of young children to put dread and fear in her mind of something that is probably a decade away and not written in stone.

Second, a lot of teens are not horrible vile monsters who are out to make their parents lives a living misery.

Many are sweet, kind, helpful, mature-for-their-age young people who blow you away with their mature behavior and attitude.

That doesn’t mean they never do stuff that makes you wonder or want to pull out your hair, but overall they’re not the nightmare that was foretold.

Thirdly, I refuse to do that to other moms, because it was repeatedly done to me; and it was very discouraging!

I remember how discouraging it was for me to hear that sort of prediction when my boys were really little.

When you’re really struggling, the last thing you want is for someone to say “You ain’t seen nothin yet!”

Why don’t we share hope instead of fear?

Now, admittedly, my son is only 15, but he’s a far cry from what I was told I would have in a 15-year-old boy.

This young man, when I was in so much pain I couldn’t put my own shoes on, put my shoes on me every day for a year a never once complained.

He picks up the slack around the house when I’m sick or struggling.

He and his brother a blessing.

It’s possible that things could go awry and he’ll get rebellious or something when he’s older.

But, from where I stand now, the teen years have been nothing but a huge blessing.

I know many, many Christian families who would say the same thing: that it’s not nearly as bad as those fear mongers say.

I actually think some people resent that their teens are so difficult and get some sort of glee out of predicting that a 4-year-old is going to make his frazzled mother even more miserable in 10 years.

Not everyone of course.

Some people use it as a warning of what might be, like “Hey, I just thought you should know it gets worse.”

But does it?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Only time will tell.

I’ve certainly had my struggles with my family, and my boys have gone through rough patches where I wondered what on earth I was going to do with these children.

But, overall, they bring me such joy.

I can’t imagine my life without them.

I don’t have any regrets.

I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe have more children if that we’re feasible).

So, mama, out there with a screaming 3-year-old who’s determined to have his own way: stay strong.

You can do this.

I believe in you.

I believe in the plan that God has for this child.

I don’t believe you’re powerful enough to mess up God’s plan. (Sorry! You’re awesome, but not that awesome!)

And I will not put the fear of teenagers in you.

Rather, I implore you to pray for that child.

Pray for his heart to be open to the things of God.

Pray for him to choose the path of wisdom.

Pray that you’ll be able to win his heart.

Pray that he’ll heed correction.

Pray that he’ll make good friends.

Pray that he’ll pick a good wife.

Pray that he’ll have a servant’s heart.

Pray that you’ll be the example of Jesus to him that he needs to see.

And rest in God’s goodness.

It’s there.

I promise.

In the midst of screaming toddlers or even rebellious teenagers.

God is God of the storms.

Sometimes He calms that storm.

Other times, He asks us to believe that the storm is there for a reason.

So rest in Him, mama.

Regardless of what the future holds.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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2 thoughts on “Why I’ll Never Say “Just Wait Until He Is Older!””

  1. Thank you for your encouraging blog! God is using you to help others! I appreciate your calming encouragement!

  2. Teens are awesome and I love them! They are fun, exuberant, independent, curious, creative, helpful….and so many other good things. Yes, teen years have plenty of challenges, but many blessings, too. I don’t think it does anyone any favors to say “just wait…” It might be true that parenting teens is challenging, but instilling fear does not help. Raising children can be a challenge at any age, depending on what is going on with mom and dad personally, what is going on in the family, and what the child/teen is going through. For us, the little kid and school years were more carefree than the teen years. But I don’t think that is necessarily a rule. As children go through puberty, they experience a lot of things they never have before, and it can be kind of tough. It’s kind of hard being a teen right now. They have many challenges that I did not have as a teen. Early teens were pretty easy for our family, but starting around 15, my teen had health issues, mental health issues and educational issues. (Some of those were probably there as a kid, but it took a while for it to become apparent.) But it is different for everyone! There’s no formula! And whether it’s super easy, or super hard, you can ask God for wisdom, surround yourself with wise advisers, and you will learn how to parent your child, whatever is going on. The hardest part for me is they start going through things that mama cannot fix.They must deal with their own problems. Not all things can be fixed when they are kids either, but it’s a larger dose of that. Parental support still makes a HUGE (HUGE!!!) difference. I cannot overstate that! Whatever is going on, find the resources you need. None of my worries about the teen years were justified. My teen didn’t do any of the risky, irresponsible things I did, or go through a big rebellious streak, or do a bunch of stupid things…well, yet! LOL Now at 18, I see an individual who has learned a lot (and is still learning), has come through a lot of tough stuff, and is a lot of fun, and brings me lots of JOY! I guess the hardest part is, honestly, letting go. That is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. That’s why all the older moms are like “enjoy this time, they’ll be gone before you know it!” and you when are just trying to get through the day with toddlers or young children…it’s so annoying. But I swear it’s true. It’s hard emotionally, but that’s not the kid’s fault. It’s just being a parent. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

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