«Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is His reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them» (Psalm 127:3-5).
A MOTHER ONCE ASKED ME, «At what age does adolescence end?» I didn’t know what to answer. Her face showed concern and anxiety. We talked for a while and she said, «My daughter was a wonderful girl until she was twelve. She’s fourteen now and I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do. I can’t find a way to get close to her. She has put a barrier of indifference between the two of us, and nothing I say or do seems to matter to her.» Adolescence is a transitional stage between puberty and maturity. One of the most significant changes that happen in adolescence is the modification of the mother-child relationship. Adjusting and adapting to that change can lead to anxiety and concern. Emotional bonds must be renewed with patience, understanding, and acceptance.
Some experts define adolescence as «no man’s land»; which means: they are not children, but they are not adults either, leading them to think that they belong to «a rare species.» Dear friend, if you’re a teenager’s mother and you feel helpless, remember that adolescence doesn’t last a lifetime, but the way you handle that stage will leave footprints forever. The best thing you can do for your son or daughter during that normal season of life, is to provide loving and understanding companionship. This does not mean overprotection, on the contrary, it manifests itself when you are sensitive to their needs but discipline them with authority, without being unfair. This will reaffirm the love you feel for them. Remember to treat them as children of God created for special purposes.
Adolescence is a natural stage in the life cycle. Give yourself permission to enjoy it with your child. The most common complaint among teenagers is: «I can never talk to my parents about what interests me.» Maybe the parents’ judgmental attitude of self-protection blocks the children from exposing their private lives to adult scrutiny. When you feel tired, not knowing what to do, remember: «He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength» (Isaiah 40:29).
I am certain that your children’s happiness is a priority in your life. Continue to do the best you can with God’s help. Today, before you start your tasks as a mother, give your child a hug and tell him or her how important he or she is to you and to God.