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Home > Support > Family Life > My son is so unhappy at this moment in his life!...
 
 
Question: My second child was always a challenging kid, and now, the challenge seems insurmountable (he is 15 1/2 now). Of course, family and friends all advise me to put him in the local high school. I remember a Laura Berquist tape where she said that 'putting your teen in high school will not solve any problems...the problem will still exist regardless of where they are schooled.' He is a rebellious kid, and yes, has compromised our schooling efforts many days. I have suggested that he consider the local high school. His response is that he prefers to stay at home. And yet, he is obviously not happy here, and is causing me many gray hairs and much distress to my younger children. I really don't think he will be happy anywhere at this moment in his life. But, I wonder if I am doing a disservice to my four other children?
Answer:

Dear Mom,

Teenagers are a challenge. Remember they are a challenge not because we love them less but because they suddenly love themselves less. The teen years are times of physical and mental change punctuated by extremes in each area. It is a blessing that your son is 'acting out' his feelings. This gives you something to work with.

Looking at it from this perspective, our love, compassion and understanding must cover how they feel about themselves. However this doesn't mean we should be permissive.

Generous amounts of time communicating and an earnest desire to understand what your son is experiencing is key to getting through this phase. One bit of advice; never say 'I know just how you feel.' Instead listen so that they can express in their own words how they feel and then be sincerely empathetic. In other words, whether or not you know how they feel is not nearly as important as the fact that you truly want to listen to how they feel.

Make sure you and your husband are a united front. My husband is very wise when dealing with our sons. Men understand what a teenaged boy is experiencing. It is vital that children understand fully and to the utmost degree of seriousness that parents are not making decisions on arbitrary whims. Instead we are deeply committed to doing the will of God the Father. This is serious because it is tied to our journey to our Heavenly home. Therefore your homeschooling is part of this commitment to your obedience to the will of the Father.

Pray the family rosary every night and receive the Precious Body of Jesus at Holy Mass. When you pray the rosary, pray aloud for the needs of your son and your other children. It is very powerful for children to hear their parents praying for them before the throne of God. Remember to pray for your son, not only about him.

You are a loving and faithful parent. It is obvious in that you are trying to deal with issues surrounding your son and the Lord will reward your faithfulness. He will give you the skills and time necessary, just ask.

Dear Jesus, please send the guidance of Your Holy Spirit to us as we traverse the parenting of teenagers. You will never leave us to wander in confusion but will send the grace and wisdom necessary. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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