The Pain of Discipline

disciplineI write today at my second job exhausted, I have no breaks this week and it was a difficult night. It’s August now and my son is still working on finishing up his 5 virtual school classes before he can start his sophomore year. The first semester also has to be virtual/home-school because he didn’t finish the summer ones on time (and he’s still working on them)… and I pray we’re not starting a vicious cycle.

I try communicating each day… I ask for him to look me in the eyes when we speak. I ask for him to pause his video and to take one ear bud or headphone off of his ear. I want his undivided attention, but he doesn’t want to give it to me. We butt heads on this detail as he says, “I am listening.” I am very concerned. It’s a respect issue. It’s an authority issue. AND it’s not easy.

I am told I’m ruining his summer and his life. I am annoying, a jerk and I’m mean. AND, to top it off, I am a bad parent who doesn’t love him. It’s difficult to say the least. I am pushed, pulled, torn and broken. I feel as though I am a bad parent at times, especially when a 15 year old can say these things and think that he should have his way with no repercussion.

He keeps telling me his bedtime is 11:30, I keep telling him it’s not. I told him that since his school is starting this week, even though he’s homeschooling this semester, that he needs to go to bed like he would for school and get up and start school as if he were attending. It’s a fight. I’m told “NO!” I’m concerned… defiance is not good at all.

So, I signed into the router and adjusted the controls for each of his devices. ALL of them. The router will not connect after 11pm. That goes for his desktop, xbox one, laptop, tablet and phone.

I was abruptly woken up just after 11pm last night to one irate teenager. I have never seen such anger and hatred before as he turned on my bedroom lights, yanked my covers off and started yanking at my pillow. It was horrible, but I refused to budge and give in. I don’t want him thinking that rules don’t apply to him and that throwing a fit is a cure all to getting his way.

I have seen these temper tantrums before, but not in him… I saw them in his other parent… this concerns me. I don’t want him to be like that. To try and manipulate situations for their benefit and to throw fits because of not getting their way. I have seen too much of that, where items were thrown at me and holes were put in the walls and I don’t want my son to turn out that way.

So, I’m going to stand my ground. And, I am going to seek counsel, because I want to do right by my son. The effects of his standing up and choosing not to see his other parent could be deeper than he’s willing to admit.

I love him enough to stand strong and not give in. He doesn’t understand that this is true love and he doesn’t understand how much it hurts me when he is hurting. One day I pray he does, that he understands.

As I walked Milo this morning, God shared something with me. I finally understand how much He truly loves us. I knew He loved us, after all he sent Jesus to die for our sins… but it’s a statement we repeatedly say, but I just realized the true depth in that. Could I give up my son like that? It would kill me, inside and out… I would never be the same. No, we can’t understand the depths or fathom that kind of love in its truest form.

It goes for God’s discipline with us as well. We go through situations because He’s trying to teach us something. We also have consequences, no matter what our age is. Whether we have made a wrong choice or even if we’re not doing what God has asked us to do. We have a season of lessons that we need to learn before He takes those trials away and pushes us in the direction He wants us to go. It helps us grow as an individual and if we trust Him, it helps us grow in our relationship with Him as well. Which is exactly where He wants us to be.

I’m praying and trusting God. It’s all I can do and I know He’ll take care of everything.