Love them anyway

Sometimes the teen drama goes from comedy to tragedy within minutes within the same precious little being you brought into the world. Guess whose fault it is? The one who brought them into the world.

Love them.

Do you agree?

I’m going to make a giant leap now. So many parents wonder why they have to be the ones to deal with the roller coaster hysteria of their teens, moreso, why they have to take the blame. It’s an abuse. Or is it?

This is a question I’ve pondered for some time now: When does sacrifice become abuse? At what point does the ability to allow oneself to be trampled on become too much, too wrong?

Do I have to have allowed the sacrifice? Do I have to have been conscious of it and accepting?

When does sacrifice become abuse?

If a parent absorbs the frustrations of their teens, is that love? I’m not talking about condoning the teens’ behavior, but being there to experience it, dealing with it, and STILL feeling hurt.

Is that love?

It is definitely a sacrifice. The time and energy exhausted on raising teens is tantamount to climbing Mount Kilamanjaro…in a 50 below blizzard…without shoes…carrying an elephant.

Is the intention the difference? If I was climbing that precipice to throw someone off the top, would that be different than if I was climbing to save someone’s life? Do I not carry the elephant to mold our future society? Who says there has to be an elephant? Doesn’t there have to be? Isn’t there always?

I know I’m getting muddled here.  Does anyone get the gist of what I’m asking? Does anyone understand? Does anyone have the answer?

No. Really. Does anyone have the answer?


8 thoughts on “Love them anyway

  1. Their brains just aren’t working right yet. That’s what I’ve been telling myself for the past fifteen years. Still, as much as I believe they can’t help their own behavior, I almost always take it personally — because it rarely makes sense. I think parents would benefit from more contact with each other. Reading this post helps. Thank you for writing it.

    • Funny, I find great comfort in your words. I’m going with that then: us parents need to stick together. Isn’t it amazing how very much words matter? Shove that “Sticks & stones” crud. That’s also probably why those teens make such an impact when they speak: because they seldom speak directly to us and when they do, it’s a stab to the heart. I know it’s their way of separating themselves from us, but come on, it can be done gently.

  2. I have raised six children and they are all doing well as adults but I still don’t have the answer to your question. They lost their father early on so the buck stopped with me. All of them at some point said that they hated me mostly as teens. It hurt but they never heard it from me. As adults they treat me like a queen! One thing I do know If you get up every morning and do the best that you can and love them in caring way they will grow up fine. Sure you and they will make mistakes but then you profit from them and move on.
    The fact that you are writing so forcefully about is a indication of how much you care for them. You and they will be just fine!
    Thank you for following and I will look forward to doing the same for you!

    • Very sorry to hear about your loss. Clearly you are a strong woman to have made it through and raised intelligent children through the process: smart enough to know you are a queen! Thank you for your uplifting comments! I look forward to reading more of your blog. Thanks for taking a peek at mine.

  3. When does sacrifice become abuse? Big question you’re posing… I do think it’s important to not ‘take it on’ when we do what we can to empathize with their hurts and the dramas of leaving childhood as adulthood beckons. Easier said than done. As far as abuse, it was SO important during the years where anger was occasionally directed at me to remember, to do whatever I could to KNOW this is not about Me and is a natural part of being a teen. However I also would declare my own feelings and speak up for myself calmly (sometimes that meant returning to discuss it after calmness had returned) because we do want to teach our children how to have healthy boundaries by showing them how we have healthy boundaries. Oh man…. so much easier to write out than do. Just know I feel for you! Raising two teens as a single mom had me feeling horribly outmatched and outnumbered many times. But there are so many good books out there on parenting, and about teens and what they are going through, that I don’t think I could’ve made it to the ‘other side’ of now enjoying wonderful close relationships with my 20-something kids without those books! (oops.. long comment! 😉 )

  4. I have no answers, but I am loving the thinking I am doing as a result of your writing! Thank you for sharing and making me a better person in doing this thinking.

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