Family Dynamics – As Your Kids Grow Up


parents and teenagers

It’s not easy. I thought it would be. They are growing up. Even though they are still here, they’re not really.

You know the saying “It is what it is”?  I don’t like it. But I have found it to be true.
I prefer, “It’s going to get better”, but when it comes to dealing with other people, you never know what’s going to happen.

The problem is you can’t control anybody but yourself.

My older kids went and grew up on me all at the same time.

In a big busy city, no less.

Not what I had planned. At all.

I had to teach them how to drive in the craziest traffic with the craziest drivers I’ve ever encountered. It’s a wonder my hair isn’t gray and my fingernails aren’t bitten down to the nubs.

We are all recovering from stress and trauma caused by moving every year for 4 years.

And they are moving into the phase of life where they are experiencing new feelings, desires and demands.

And I’m not a very important part of their everyday lives anymore.


I don’t like it, but that’s how it is.

I can be in bed all day or gone, and they barely notice.

Wow, what a change!

When they first started driving around all over the place (in this crazy traffic) I worried and prayed for them the whole time they were gone. I have found I can’t live like that. So I learned to trust God to take care of them.


Even through some pretty hairy situations, he has taken care of them. A totaled car, a wrecked car, a sideswiped van, and a few other scrapes and dents have taught me that God will take care of them even when the worst happens.

And then the romantic involvement started.


Why, oh why, oh why?

It hasn’t been pretty.

In a way, these situations have drawn us together closer than we were for a while. Some were pulling away, thinking they didn’t need parental advice or input anymore.  The hardest was when our advice was rejected.

But these relationship ups and downs are called dynamics for a reason.

They change.

So in a way, my preferred phrase is true. Things do get better. Eventually. If you wait long enough.

Kind of like, if you teach a child the way they should go, when they are old, they will not depart from it.

I have been surprised at some of the doubts, fears, behaviors, thoughts, choices, preferences and beliefs of my older children as they have been entering adulthood. I have loved them and tried to be here for them no matter what.

I have read some good books that have helped me with this. One in particular, “Keep Your Love On”, has been a relationship saver.

But one thing I’m still learning is that they don’t need my approval. They sure don’t need my disapproval.

They just need my love.

And they have it.

I just need to make sure they know it.


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