Tuesday, November 18, 2008

These years in between.....my experiences so far with raising teens

The years in-between being young and being old are times to build a career, raise teens, settle down, and find out what you are made of.  If your marriage makes it through the "baby years", then you have the years of raising teens to look forward to.  It is not fun at times.  You lose all sense of control, you have almost no brain cells left (or at least you might feel that way), and the hours of sleep might just be less then when the kids were babies.  It is not that you can't leave them awake and go to bed, but you probably won't sleep much for hormones (your own) and worry about the teens in your life.  I always thought that my kids would be different, that my kids would not be typical teens and would give me little cause to worry.  Even without drugs, alcohol, and sex, there is the tension over homework, messy rooms, chores not done, relationships with siblings, and a various array of everyday "little foxes".  I do thank God that my kids are not into drugs or overly interesting in the opposite sex (at least for now) but it seems that there are a lot of things that could be better.  God is faithful, though, and there are moments where I truly see His love shining through my kids (and even me).  I am grateful for the years I had with my kids homeschooling when there was very little involvement from anyone but me.  They had friends, but it was up to me to drive them or arrange for them to be together.  They had outside experiences, but it was me that arranged them and saw to it that they were where they needed to be.  The choice I made then now affects the way we relate to each other.  My teens are closer to me than if they had been in school.  I am confident of that.  Although I look at them not having "bookoodles" of friends somewhat as a negative, it isn't always.  When I worried aloud to our youth pastor about my teens trying drugs and such, his reply was that they would have to have friends who would introduce them to it.  Although they do have friends, they aren't the focus of their lives.  And their friends are not at school, and mostly not of the "worldly" type.  I thank God that I am such an influence in their lives.  I know it will change as for now they are not driving.  However, they all like being home. They don't have desires to get out and experience the world the way some their age crave experiences like that.  Maybe they are comfortable here.  Maybe too comfortable here, but I am convinced it is not all bad.  

I pray that I am doing SOME things right now, but as for the past, I don't regret homeschooling. I feel that I was doing what God called me to do.  I also feel that when I put them in school, I was again being obedient.  God will meet me and do the rest.  I pray not to lose one of them to the world.  I pray for wisdom.  Praying and doing what I know to do is all God asks.  I am sure we all make mistakes.  I pray that the mistakes I make with my kids will "all come out in the wash".  

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