Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thought for Thursday {Struggles as a Parent}

We are having some struggles at home. I can say that and not feel bad about it or guilty. I'm sure we aren't the only family in America who has kid issues. Our problem is that we've hit a place where we are absolutely clueless about what to do or where to turn or what our next step should be. I look at my parents and growing up (and even now) always thought they had all the answers. I mean, hello, they are parents. However, now that I've been put in that role it's frightening and frustrating and down right scary to realize that we don't have all the answers - and what do you do when you don't?

From the moment the 4 kids came into my life, I had one main hope and goal for them during their time with me. All I want is to make sure they are fully prepared to enter the real world and be productive and successful adults. This means instilling morals and values, teaching table manners, helping them understand money management, ensuring they excel at school and having the confidence to know they can do anything that they set their mind to.

I try to not take this new 'challenge' we are having personal. I don't think it's directed at me solely or David solely. More like at life in general. I can't begin to understand the workings of a 13 year old boy brain. But I do feel like I'm failing miserably. And it's sucking the life out of me.

His grades have all dropped, he has a bad attitude, he doesn't seem to care about anything - and I know that there is a reason. But we can't figure it out. We've tried every approach - talking to him like an adult, yelling, taking things away from him. But none of it has worked. And the issue is becoming larger and larger every day.

All I want as a parent is to see our kids happy and successful. And yet, he's not. And I don't know how to fix it. There is no handbook for these type of things. My parents and friends have no advice. And David and I are feeling a little lost.

Mama's out there - if you have any words of advice or ideas to help us past this hump in the road, please shoot me an email. That's what I love about this community - that I have so many resources in all of you. And for that, I'm so extremely thankful.

Elf House Chronicles


  1. I'm really sorry you are having a tough time at home. I remember a point like that. I was being bullied. I hope that is not the situation. Peer pressure is 10x harder than 10 years ago.

    I wish for a positive outcome and good advice from other moms. I'm not one so I don't know.

  2. I'm not a parent & I was never a teenage boy, so my insight is limited. I did however have a cousin my age that seemed to go through the same stages as your 13 yo. I really hope it's not the same issue, but we can chat about it later.

    I'll be keeping y'all in my thoughts!

  3. By no means am I an expert with children but I do work with a few 13 year old boys in our youth group. I wish there was some specific problem I could like the behavior to because, like you, I'd rather pin-point the problem, talk about it, find a solution, implement it and move on with life. But now days kids are hit from so many different angles and pressured in so many different ways that it is so difficult to single out one problem. My suggestion is that if they have a youth director at church to talk to the youth director and see if he/she can talk to your son. Sometimes our youth will open up to Chris much faster than their parents because they think Chris is one of them to an extent. Might not work but it might be a good starting point. I will be prayin for you though!

  4. Hey,

    {plan on emailing you back soon}....

    raising children is definitely tough !!!

    maybe try asking him to express his feelings by creating, so a drawing, painting... hopefully what he would create may give you a clue to how he is feeling, he would also benefit from completing something as well as some praise from you both..

    sending hug and love your way :)

    Claire xox

  5. that must be tough, i don't have children but in my line of work I see a lot of behavioral things come out in kids at different's completely normal! especially during that age, he's probably going through a lot of changes...instead of panicking try talking to him and see his side, if you're calm and collected, maybe he'll open up to you and let you know what's going on. I would also suggest trying some sort of reward system...if he does something good, maybe allow him to have something back, and the more good things he does, he'll get rewarded..sometimes kids fall off track and need a little pick me up, doesn't mean you're failing as a parent, it's completely normal! best of luck!

  6. I might suggest that maybe he would be more responsive to talking to someone else other than you guys? Counsellor, family friend or maybe one of his friends or a peer? I think it often is a case of just being too close to things and needing a different perspective maybe. Also, just wondering whether the upcoming wedding is a stress at all for the kids? I mean, it does sort of make the family 'official' and there may be some stress along with that that could be hard to talk about even if asked directly. Hoping things work themselves out a bit though!

  7. Love this! Love the "open book" type of parents who can let others know they are not alone!

  8. I wish I had some good words! I am still struggling with the toddler stage, so thoughts of teenagers have not even crossed my mind yet. Still, I am reading a good book called "Simplicity Parenting" by Kim John Payne, and it has helpful advice for all stages. I hope things get better soon! Those hormones can be a dandy.

  9. Does your area have a boys and girls club or some mentor thing? Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone only a little older who has been through those awkward years recently.