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MY STORY- Never an option. (side note)

My best friend at the time had a great relationship with her mom. We had both got accepted to a great university and before i found out i was pregnant, we had been scheming about how to be roommates. After the big news, her mom suggested i have an abortion. "A baby will ruin your life!" she told me, "I can take you down there, we won't have to tell your mom."

I know this was said with the best of intentions. But i had seen my mom pregnant with my younger brothers. I watched her belly grow and her ease into breastfeeding. My mom used talked to me about abortion and how God 'knows us from the moment of conception." She even told me that if she was ever raped, she would keep the baby. If she was so concerned about seeing the father's face in her child for the rest of her life, she said, she would give it up for adoption. It just wasn't the baby's fault.

Thank you, mom.

Lesson Learned for Talking with Teens: TALK TO YOUR KIDS. If you don't give them YOUR values, assume the world will. On Everything. Everything. Don't shy away against sex. Talk about abortion, drugs, alcohol. Tell them your fears. That you fear they will change their life forever by one bad decision. If they shy away, (like they do every time you try to talk to them, in the beginning) push through. Explain that sex it is a normal part of life and you hope they will have sex....someday. That you LOVE them and you want it to be the best experience for them possible, the way God intended. Don't assume they know that you have their best interests at heart when you set a boundary. Always lead with Love. If they sense you are trying to control them, don't be shocked if they rebel. I really believe it is a God given desire to begin the LONG process of breaking away from parents at this age. View it as healthy. Tell them so. But also tell them that your title, "Parent of Teenager" carries a job description, too, and a God-given mandate to instill wisdom.

When they are two, instilling wisdom might mean a small spank to keep them from getting burned in the fire. At 15, 16, 17, etc, instilling wisdom does NOT mean strong arming them and 'showing them who is boss'. It means you better have developed your own communication skills and relationship with your child enough for them to trust you. Because they now have a choice.

Comments

  1. Can you get one of your kids to write a guest post about how this has worked out for them so far? What values they plan to carry forward into their adulthood? It may be way too early - I bet you're the right age to be doing this - but it would be cool.

    I love hearing the upside to your mom's parenting, especially after the first post where a person might walk away thinking your parents failed you. It rounds out the picture to read how the living fully of her life filled in the picture for you.

    Oddly, at 36, I have a harder time deciding what my values are - things are hardly as cut and dried, black and white as they used to be. Happily I have a few years to puzzle out what we want to pass along, but I am really taking to heart the responsibility of saying *something* - nothing has to be the most useless option available.

    Thank you for your continued openess and vulnerability through this process. I'm honoured to be in on it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anthony's comment (at 18 years old) is " As long as you don't strangle your kids, and give them space to mess up...just don't let them go off the deep end."

    I agree. It is a difficult tight rope to walk, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be a great parent. I think one of basic 'tools' we should teach our kids is how to listen to that still, small voice inside. And use that to help you teach them. If you say, how do you feel about that person? What did you feel in that situation? Did you feel comfortable there, really?? If it was a bad situation, 10 times out of 10, they will say, no they weren't comfortable. USE THAT. I say, 'LISTEN TO THAT FEELING!"

    I am going to blog...this is going to get long. Thanks for being such a devoted fan. I think the topic is fascinating.

    ReplyDelete

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