(Inside: For when you wanted your teens to go for it, but instead, they froze or dropped the ball or didn’t really try at all…)
I wanted my teen to go for it, and he didn’t.
Let me restate that: I KNEW MY SON WANTED TO GO FOR IT, the situation meant a lot to him, but he still folded his cards.
My knee-jerk-reflex was frustration. He knew the steps he needed to take, the goal was his idea, and yet he froze. It felt like immaturity and annoyance coursed through my bones.
But then, God stirred my mind.
Whispered an understanding.
Something important came up that I longed to attend. This meant a lot. Not going was a big deal, yet the timing was terrible, my mom-juggling-routine on steroids, and even though my mind told me to get in the car and drive, my body froze (no-way-you-can’t), and I folded my cards.
Parents, we know our kids are highly capable. We love watching them live life to the fullest: learning, enjoying, growing, and accomplishing.
But teens have limits.
Sometimes they’re not trying to be difficult.
It’s just that they’ve held it together all day and need alone time in their room when they get home.
They don’t have the mental bandwidth for that friendship, the situation, or their initial idea.
They have so much on their plate between school and activities, they can only focus on being exceptional at one thing and are just going to be average (or below) at the others
They’ve tried and tried in their sport, but their body is at its strongest point. And maybe to others, it’s not high enough, but it’s their best.
They can’t talk themselves into going to prom or joining the club or watching show choir or cheering on the hockey team.
They might just be in a chapter of their life where they’re not trying to be awesome, they’re just trying to get through.
Or they’re simply going to be the late bloomer.
I’m not saying our kids can’t overcome their limits, of course, they can.
You will love these reminders to stop, look around, and see how beautiful your ordinary is.
But sometimes, in my enthusiasm for life and sharing that with my teens, I need to remind myself teens cannot do everything and should not have to do it all. Thriving looks different for everyone, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. Bottom line: I’m just always proud of my kids and so glad to be their mom.
So, I went back to the conversation with my son and asked for a redo.
“Good job. Your priorities were where they should’ve been, you made a good choice to fold. I’m so ridiculously proud of you always and lucky to be your mom.”
And for next time, I’m going to try and tame my negative initial reaction.
Is your teen struggling with anxiety? These cards could help…
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Your brain bounces between your day at work, what time(s) your kids need to be at practice, your teen’s missing school assignments, that you haven’t called your mom lately, the load of the laundry to be switched, “What’s for dinner?” and “Why are 3 of my brain-tabs frozen?”
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.