The Bible has a lot to say about right and wrong.
As a boy mom, we have to be so very clear when we talk to our teen boys. It’s so hard to determine how much they really grasp and understand and at what age they are prepared to make decisions. As a couple, my husband and I have mostly told our boys what to do when and along with that, we tell them why. Our theory is that if we tell them why, we are teaching them our thought processes as to why we make certain decisions so they can draw on those same principles later. That’s the theory, anyway.
We confuse them when we bend the rules.
What we don’t always realize, is that they are watching everything we do. Recently, while on vacation, the boys wanted to go to a movie. We were with some other folks and they had two boys as well. The age range of the boys was 16 down to 12. They wanted to see a rated R movie with a questionable sexual scene. Lots of discussion and bargaining ensued. As adults, we explained that it was an inappropriate movie and it was wrong to go see. They responded with all the ‘little’ wrongs that had occurred that day that we adults had done. We had technically done a few things that weren’t quite right and they used that as part of their argument that we don’t always do the right thing and since we don’t always do the right things, then we could go see this movie. Ugh, it was exhausting. By the way, we didn’t go see it. But I wouldn’t call the conversation a win. (In their defense, they were very respectful in their manner.)
When you draw a gray line for your teen boy, it becomes a slippery slope.
With permission to share, my friend, Helen, had a situation come up recently. Her son, Max, got his license and that same night went to a football game with his brother. On the way, they stopped at a friends’ house to caravan with Isaac and Ryan. Max really wanted to take Ryan (a longtime family friend) and let his brother ride with Isaac. However, a new driver can’t take anyone not a sibling within the first 6 months in our state. But he called home to ask permission. But technically, it’s against the law. He knew it when he asked and she knew it when she said yes. So once at the game, it’s time to head home and a third friend asks for a ride home. He agreed to take the other kid home even though he knew that it was illegal but since mom had allowed the first kid, I’m sure he thought it was harmless. My friend will tell you today that creating gray lines is confusing for these boys. At this age, they can’t make good decisions on their own. That part of their brain doesn’t mature til they are about 23. Now, before you start getting all ‘judgy’, did you break the speed limit today? Did you tell the cashier you already gave to the charity when she asked you? See, we all do this. We all create gray lines.
Be ok with being the bad guy.
The other thing that we need to understand is that this parenting thing isn’t a popularity contest. We have to be fine with not being their favorite person every day. Sometimes, we just have to let them be mad at us and seek reconciliation eventually. I find that so many answers to our daily issues are actually laid out quite clearly in God’s Word. If you are not already a believer, please, I’m begging you to get that settled before you try and tackle anything else on your own. We are not able to do this life without God as our guide and protector. Right now, I’m reading The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian. Her series of books are so super helpful for every stage of life. Here’s a few amazing verses to pray over your teens:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death. Proverbs 13:14
The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the Lord. Proverbs 19:3
Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice. Proverbs 29:3
A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. Proverbs 13:1
I love y’all.
Keep it Simple,