I struggle with mothering this preteen. This kid, who is in between a child and a teenager. He is my first born son. Born out of wed-lock at my tender age of 20 years of old. I was a baby having a baby. The parenting books in the early years seemed helpful. Now in my thirties, we have had a few bumps in the road on this path to teenagehood. I struggle knowing if I am mothering him the way he needs to be mothered. Am I doing a good job? Is he being raised right? Have I planted good seeds of faith? Will my son make Jesus Lord of his Life? The struggle for me also lies in that I am a recovering control freak and the fact that I have to let go of the reigns slowly, I feel less in control.
My flesh tells me to give up on this kid. To write him off as a failure who won’t amount to anything. My flesh tells me that I have done all that I possibly can to ensure he is successful in school and life. My flesh harbors feelings of doubt when yet another email hits my personal inbox from one of his teachers. Whispers of defeat linger in my mind, “you’re not a good mother” “your son is a failure”. “He will end up like his biological father”. “Or worse.”
I must hold on to this hope. That God placed this young man in my life for such a time as this. God’s plan will prevail. I have this hope that the countless prayers I have prayed will be answered in God’s perfect timing. I’m reminded of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This promise resonates with me as a mother of this kid. Despite my son intentionally defying the house rules. I will trust the lord with all my heart regarding my son. I can put my mom worrying at ease with this scripture from Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Despite the fact that he refuses to do homework to completion (or not at all). Despite him disrupting class because he is “bored”. Despite him sneaking on social media like Instagram and Snapchat. I will choose to love him unconditionally.
I will surrender this parenting gig to the Lord. I will seek the Lord for grace on parenting my strong-willed, charismatic, born leader. I will meditate and pray for gentleness and patience (fruits of the Holy Spirit).
Are you a mother treading through raising, guiding and loving your preteen?
I don’t have the answers.
But I believe in the One who does.
I trust that God has his hand on my dear son.
And friend, you can too.