As for today's post, I promise you I didn't have a fight with my teen just so I'd have something to write about. It's painful to realize that she doesn't need me or want to spend as much time with me as she spends with her friends. I know if she's really sick, she'll come crawling home. This I know from experience. But if she's just tired and cross and not wanting to do anything but crash at a friend's place, then what can I do about that?
Well, I can raise my voice -- yes, I yelled. I can loudly proclaim my hurt and disappointment in the form of "If you didn't want to have dinner on Easter with me, then why did you say you'd be home for dinner? I could have eaten earlier. I could have gone shopping instead of waiting patiently for you to come home." She says, "Sorry, but I'm not hungry now. I'm tired. I'm going to crash with my friend."
So I did what other parents have told me they've done -- when pushed to the limit -- I pushed back. "Then just get out. Go on. Leave." And worse. I was hurting and I didn't think about what I was saying. I just fought back. So then we both went to bed hurting and unhappy.
We made up today, by text no less. And now it's all good. We both had a good night's sleep. We have more rest and more appreciation for the pain we caused each other. We apologized. Promised to try to do better. Promised to try to communicate better -- without yelling.
This is truly what parenting a teen is all about. The chance for a do over. It's important for our kids to see that we make mistakes, too. We try and we mess up and we apologize -- just like they do. We're in this together. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. We hope we learn from them, but if we make a mistake again, it's not the end of the world. We can forgive and try harder to not make that mistake again.
How many times can we forgive and be forgiven? The Bible says:
Matthew 18:21-22 (New American Standard Bible)
Forgiveness21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Tags: forgiveness, teens, yelling, fighting, anger, pain, hurt, parents