It’s been a rough week. Parenting teenagers is hard. I don’t always know the best thing to do to help them when they are going through a rough time. I do know I can love them though. Love makes the world brighter.
There was a big church dance tonight night. It was a regional dance that took in a big chunk of the state of New York. My 15 year old didn’t want to go. I tried to talk him into it. I tried bribing him, reasoning with him, and begging him. I tried everything I could think of short of forcing him. I didn’t want to do that. I just really wanted him to go and have a great time with other kids from church. I wanted him to want to go. Our congregation doesn’t have a lot of teenagers and I was looking forward to him having a great experience with other kids that share his values. It made me super sad that he wasn’t interested.
When it became apparent to me that he really didn’t want to go, I offered an compromise because the alternative was for him to sit at home playing video games on a Saturday night and I really didn’t want that. So, the two of us went on a mother/son date. We ate fast food–we got a Grand Mac from McDonald’s for him at the drive through, then went to Wendy’s because they have a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine (compromise!). After that we went to the high school musical, “Anything Goes”. He had several friends in the play so he seemed amenable to this compromise when I first proposed the idea. We topped off the evening with shamrock shakes. It ended up being a really great night.
I really love my teens. I love spending one on one time with them without all the distractions that can come up at home. I love hearing their views on the world, learning about their personalities, trying to see things from their perspective. And I love their senses of humor.
Life can be really hard for teenagers, but when I spend time with my boys, I realize what remarkable human beings they are becoming. Sometimes compromise ends up being the best of both worlds.