Dear Sweet Momma of a Teenager,
You are on my heart today. You see I joined the ranks of being a mom of a teenager a little over a year ago. My son is 14, and we are navigating all kinds of new and foreign lands together.
The relationship is changing at what feels like lightning speed. Some changes are good and welcome, others have my heart pounding in my chest, and in all transparency some changes have me in tears.
The thing is each mom and teenage relationship is different and unique in many ways, but some things are common to all of us.
Here are at least three things that all moms of teens have in common.
1. There is over a decade of previous parenting moments that have brought you to this space. Some good, proud mountaintop momma moments, and other big time failures. We’ve all got a few under our belt. And these experiences with our now teenage kiddos can affect how the teenage years are going.
Suddenly every mistake I made is coming up in full color and extra loud stereo sound.
The areas where I didn’t train up or focus on nearly as much as I should have are showing up.
The areas I over emphasized are becoming strained spaces.
And so, here we are. Each small issue begins to feel magnified and each of us is holding our ground. Battle lines drawn between two people who are on the same team!
2. Your child is changing. I keep trying to cling haaaaard to my little boy and he is resisting. Why? He’s not that baby boy anymore. He is evolving into a young man. And God designed him to grow. God designed him to change. God designed me that way too. So here I am eye to eye with a child who in many ways isn’t a child anymore and he needs me to parent him in new ways than I did a few years ago.
I am listening son. I am listening.
3. Your child has needs and so do you.
So babies generally make it pretty clear what they need. When they are hungry, tired, sick, etc, they cry and fuss. As a momma, you get to know the difference between a hungry cry and an irritable cry and a seriously hurt cry. As they turn to little talkers, two, three, four and up, kids are pretty upfront about their needs and wants. Then meet the tween and teen years and here I am struggling to figure out what my son needs to feel heard, valued, honored, understood, and loved. And in the process I need to be able to communicate my needs to him as well. I need him to respect that I am his mom and have a responsibility before the Lord to parent him well and I also need him to have mutual consideration that I have feelings too.
What does a momma do? How do we navigate? Where do we turn for help?
I believe this battle will be won on our knees.
God sees you sweet mom. He sees your heart. He knows your desires. He knows that you feel like you are losing all control. He sees how much you desire to get this right.
God also sees your sweet teenage son or daughter. He knows their heart. He knows they sometimes feel like they don’t have any control over their own life. He sees how much they desire to get this right.
And Holy Spirit can come and be the miracle healer between your two spirits.
Run to Him. Again and again and again.
Before you engage in hard conversations with your teenage children, spend time in prayer.
Before you give consequences, set boundaries, or release boundaries, inquire of the Lord.
Before you lose your temper, close your eyes and breathe, “Lord, come into this space and help me to be the best momma I can be to my child.”
Before you do much of anything, talk to the Lord.
This will break off enemy attacks and stop his deadly arrows that are trying to steal, kill, and destroy your relationship with your tween or teen. If the enemy can divide you and your child, he can yell his lies into your child’s ears more freely and he can attack you with shame, guilt, and other sneaky tactics.
The closer you remain to the Lord as you parent, the stronger you will be against enemy lies.
This job is already the hardest thing I’ve ever done and its also the most important. Add on leaving myself open to the attack of the enemy by neglecting prayer can exacerbate the struggle.
I am sharing this today as a reminder to my own soul and yours that the Lord is the answer to every earthly struggle including parenting.
He will equip you with the grace needed to run and finish the assignment of parenting well with endurance straight from heaven.
When things get messy, run to Him. Pour it out on Him. Ask for His advice. Worship Him as the ultimate Papa and ask Him to teach you how to parent like Him.
He will faithfully draw near to you and your child. He will put wisdom on your lips that you know is His words and not your own.
He will soften hearts in your home.
He will strengthen you for another day of lovingly and firmly parenting.
He will infuse your home with fresh doses of peace.
He will show you where to pull back and where to let go.
He will come alongside of you and remind you that you are not parenting your child alone, but with the Holy Spirit.
He will come into any space He is invited, so if you haven’t invited Holy Spirit into your parenting, today’s a new day! A fresh start!
Dear Heavenly Father,
We need You Lord. As we parent our children, we invite You to come alongside of us mommas and guide us. Lord, walk ahead, next to, and behind. Give us open hearts and open minds that are sensitive to our teenagers and their changing needs. Lord, let the relationships with our teens change and grow in a healthy manner. Break off any dysfunctional patterns or wrong thinking from both us and our children. Come and give us Holy Spirit wisdom to speak love and truth into our children. Lord, help us to model what a life lived unto the Lord looks like. Let our lives be attractional to our children so that they also hunger and thirst for You Lord. And help us to parent as a child of the Lord ourselves. Remind us of my our identity in You Lord so that we can parent from a place of secure identity in You. Lift up our heads on the hard days and give us strength to continue on the mission set before us. We cry out to You as Papa and ask that You come and work in the spaces of our children’s hearts that can only be reached by You. Lord, we release our children over to You and we trust that You have good, good plans ahead for them. Guide our children in all truth. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen.
Blessings to you and your teen sweet momma!