I use to fret and worry over what it would be like when I homeschooled my teenage sons. Now that I homeschool two teenage boys I can say my worry should have been time spent elsewhere.
Too, before I go on, don’t think my life with two teenage sons is quiet, mild and uneventful. It can’t be like that when you have a mix of very strong personalities in one house.
Having teenagers though has really has been a blessing to me these last few years. Yes, hormones are real at this time, but too I feel that this world places an unduly amount of authority on teenagers before they are ready to juggle adulthood. I feel it’s all part of the “growth” of a person and we need to carefully choose our battles with our teen.
When there is as struggle in my home, my husband and I look back and see that the influence from this world and stress we receive from it, triggers reactions from my sons. The bottom line is that my husband and I are adamant on having a loving and nurturing relationship with our teenage sons.
We realize that not all the time is it hormones. True, I have been reading all I can about hormones and teenagers but it seems like most of the changes occur later in the teenage years and not early on.
I know my sons are very self- conscious and even get embarrassed at me laughing out in public. These are all signs of adolescence. Ask any mom or dad what they did “wrong” for the day and you will get ALL of the answers from the teen. A list no doubt.
But here is another thing I have noticed about teens and I don’t feel it can be chalked up to hormones.
When my sons want to achieve growth, whether it’s in handling personality conflicts with their friends, finding a job, learning to drive or moving ahead in another subject in our school day, they have moments of pure unhappiness and stress. Their day is spent in turmoil and it’s not because of hormones but because they do want to mature and grow.
I think to myself, isn’t that a natural thing?
Yes, as a mom I don’t like to see them unhappy but I realize too that part of being an independent adult is working our way through these conflicts in life. I feel hormones only complicates the problem.
Here are some questions I keep in minding when sizing up a “problem” in my daily dealings with my two teenagers:
- The teen wants to be viewed as an adult ready to take charge of his life. Although he may not be ready to do so, am I ready to let go of my view of him as a child?
- Do I as a parent realize that highschool is A TIME to prepare him, not coddle him for adulthood?
- Am I balanced realizing too that he cannot fully be left on his own to figure out some of life’s problems?
- Have I taught him that no matter what he faces in life, that God is his best friend and will never leave him?
- Will I let go of my “personal” feelings and realize that this is a stressful time in his life and “hurting” my feelings is not his intention?
- Can I help him to deal with his own personal growth?
- Do I realize like ANY individual, he has an inherent desire to do better and achieve?
- Can I see that not all conflicts are hormonal and may stem out of the desire to have better relations with friends, a better work ethic, a better relationship with God, move ahead in school and that that is what I have been working for ALL along in my journey?
- Do I come to the high school years only to crush my teenager and keep him a child?
I am DETERMINED to keep my life as stress free as possible so that my sons have an environment that they can both grow in and when experiencing hormones, I can be here to raise them up.
Hugs to you and your teenager today,