September 15, 2010


I am the mother to many children.
I try to do the best I can.
I try to teach them right from wrong.
I praise them when they make the right decisions.
I disciple them when they choose the wrong path.

I have good kids.
I have one.

One who, no matter what I say or do, simply MUST test everything.
One who MUST do the exact opposite of anything I tell him to do.
One that has decided he can and will only learn things the "hard way".
One who gives the word defiant a whole new meaning.

I have grounded.
I have taken beloved items away.
I have lectured.
I have begged.
I have yelled.
I have threatened great bodily harm.
I've cried.
I've talked rationally.
I've and rambled irrationally.
He doesn't care.

Now, this child is NOT a little boy.
He is an older teenager.
He does NOT do drugs.
He does NOT drink.
But he is enamored by those who do.

He has started, not only defying his father and I at home.
But now he is bucking the system at school.
He is not only breaking our rules.
Now, he has decided to break school rules as well.

I am at the end of my rope.
I am at a loss.
I don't know what else to do.

He is not a bad kid...

But if  he continues to make the type of decisions he is making now...
I'm afraid he's gonna end up in big trouble!
Trouble we cannot help him out of...
Trouble he can't fix....
Trouble that can ruin his life.

What is a parent to do when she is watching her kid run full force towards a cliff, and he won't listen to her as she screams...  STOP!!!!


Anonymous said...

My oldest son is the most willful child and has decided he is going to make his own path. He might be crying out for attention, and just looking for an oulet. All you can do is pray that God will watch over him and get him invovled in a youth group. I will keep you in my prayers.


Jennifer said...

You let him. And then you let him deal with consequences.

Celia said...

I am an only child as well, I wasn't a bad child, I didn't do drugs, or drink. I got in trouble at school nothing big, just usually mouthing off to teachers. My parents tried to ground me, take things away, etc. I never got into any major trouble... but I needed my own space, I felt trapped. My parents were very strict on me. I don't know your house rules, but perhaps he is feeling this way? As an only child even now sometimes I feel all alone in the world. I feel lost at times. I still have my parents, and I have a wonderful boyfriend. Yet, sometimes I feel like I don't want to be a burden on them, all they have is me... and I don't want them stressed out because of me. I think as long as he isn't getting into any legal troubles, he'll be okay. :)

Beth said...

Just found your columns this morning~ and am thankful God led me here. We are now going through this with my 19 year old son~ so, almost a year later, is life any better?? What have you learned that could help me deal with this as a mom?? What have you learned that I can use to help my son??

Thank you for sharing so honestly. Although I am sure I am not alone in this feeling of struggling adult children~ I just didn't know where to find a kindred mom. I appreciate your time, words and heart.


Anonymous said...

Been there too. Now many years have passed. Once I thought our son wouldn't make it, but he has.

We said, "Enough!" one day after yet another ugly scene. (Yes it was leather and studs and never any real trouble but he was enamored with the "bad" crowd and he looked the part himself.) He left home then, at 21-ish. He went to a family member for a while (my mother), met a really good girl and fell in love. That changed everything. He went back to college got two degrees (one Bible, & masters in teaching), and now is dealing with parenthood. He is close to his kids, but controlling--always worried they will go down the path he went.

The day his first son was born, he came to us with tears in his eyes and apologized for putting us through all he had. In that instant he said he realized the love and heartbreak a parent could feel and that he was sorry for what he had put us through.

When things were at their worst, I used to say all you've said--ending with, "What can I do? We can't kill 'em and we've tried everything else--including family counseling."

Today, he has three children of his own (oldest is 16) and is he still married to his lovely wife. We are very close with them and all of our kids--who are also grown with babes of their own. BTW, we have three other children--none of which caused a lick of trouble during their formative years.

In short, nothing changed until we faced the fact that we couldn't save him from himself, and that HE was the only one who could do that. It wasn't instantaneous but over time he did what he had to, and while it was agony for us, today we are proud of him--all four of our children are terrific. We travel together and have holidays together and finally we are whole and normal family.

I wish you all the best and hope things go as well for your family!

Anonymous said...

Believe me, you are not the only one dealing with this problem. Their are hunndred, maybe thousands out here that mirror the words you put to blog. Such a helpless feeling. I have no advice. I watched my brothers do the same thing and now my nephews and grandson. I thought it was a family trait, even when I knew it wasn't. Hang on to the foundation you built when you raised them. When the madness passes they will have that to shore them back up.

Anonymous said...

I was a kid just like your stepson. So was my younger brother. We were wretched kids. Did drugs. Lied. Stole from family. Skipped school. Lied. Came home after curfew.Lied. Ran away for over two months. Drank alcohol and smoked cigs and pot daily. Was unable to graduate with my high school class. Moved out of the family home at 16.

After working two or three minimum wage jobs (at a time) for a couple of years, I took my GED when I turned 18. I got a better job as a clerk in a hospital. Went to nursing school. Worked like a dog to get a degree. It took me 6 years to get that degree which would have taken 3 had I been able to go to school full time.

I have been a productive, working member o society since I was about 20 years old (I'm now 48). I had to decide that it was time for me to take responsibilty for my life.

Often I tell the ladies I work with that as bad as thier kids are, I was every bit as bad. Short of doing hard drugs or being arrested, I did every crappy thing a teen can do. Eventually, I grew up and accepted the need to be a responsible human being and respect myself and others. There is always hope. Pray for your son, let him know that his family will always be waiting, then let him go.

Best of luck to yall.

Anonymous said...

I am a Mom to many also...I have 9. I have found that by the Grace of do the best you can...and what they do in the end is their choice....and sometimes we can help them pick up the pieces...and sometimes we can't do anything but cry. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins...He gave everyone the opportunity to take His gift of life in heaven with Him....but many choose to do their own thing. Life is about choices... We can teach the how to choose the right vs the wrong...but in the end it is their choice. A teacher(which as a mom we are) presents the knowledge available and helps the student to understand...if the student chooses not use the knowledge correctly...the choice is the students....not the teacher. Does that being said, mean that it won't hurt when they mess up sure don't. It just means that you need to stop beating yourself over the head and admit you did the best you could do at the time. I know how terribly hard that is..cuz ya see...I had a son go to prison.

Isobe Ltin said...

Why he has decided to break school rules as well.
meet and greet Luton