Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

So, I don’t have it all together as a parent. 

My main objective as a mom is to fully devote the care of my hands to my children and to equip them for life. My desire is to try to fully understand their world and to not be afraid of something new just because I don’t understand it or its purpose as it fits into their world. As a mom to a teen today, I cannot parent based on what fit into my mold as a teenager myself. 

I can seek to protect him from what I do know based on experience (and I sure have enough of that for a room full of teenagers) even when two teens’ lives are not meant to be formed and extracted from a particular mold. 

RELATED: Dear Teenagers, Be Patient While I Let Go

I like to work through things instead of tossing something out the window into a ditch on the side of the road to rot. That’s not useful to anyone. Someone else will have to deal with that at some point, and I don’t want my child to be blindsided as an adult when God has given me the ability and time to invest in him now

I could be getting this ALL wrong. 

What I do know is that I am trying my hardest to work diligently to foster a mentality of open communication and good conversation. 

If I am metaphorically always slamming doors in my son’s face and saying no to this app or that app, then I am simultaneously saying to him, “I don’t want to hear what you have to say, I don’t care what you are interested in, and I don’t want to lean into this new technology because that’s not what we did when I was your age.”

So, what I am learning as I approach it in this manner is that if I chose to let that door stay open and that app be downloaded, I am still his parent. I can still monitor and take away as needed. It takes work, but I am willing to show up for him in this season just as I did when he was younger. Yes, my actions will be met with way more resistance, but again, we have these open conversations to help him understand why. I give him an inch of rope through that open door with an app, and I can walk through any time to check in to see how it’s going. 

RELATED: I Love You Enough to Not Give You Everything You Want

There are tools now that give parents this free-reign ability and/or you can simply pick up their phone at any time and scroll through search histories and text messages. It’s really not all that scary after all. Again, there may be pushback and eye rolls, but if you commit to parenting your child through this, then it does get easier and they know what to expect from your side of the deal. 

You see, I never have liked extremes. I don’t believe a hard yes or a hard no (obviously with much taken into consideration here) does anyone any good. Yes, it may be easier to just say no, but maybe God is using these apps as opportunities to equip your child for something that is not going away for the foreseeable future. They will grow up and move out. They will need to know when to disengage or delete altogether. Emotional health is a priority for all of us, and I have found I can help my son through these trying times with these various applications.  

I may regret all of this, but this is what I’ve committed to for now. 

I’m learning every single day about both of my children. I realize parenting is fluid and not black and white in most areas. 

Yes, there are a handful of hard nos, but most of those lessons have already been taught and the foundation of that moral compass has been laid. Not to mention his full understanding that God’s word is first priority in all things. 

Right now we are working through a situation I will be able to have more perspective on once I work through it completely. 

I am literally parenting on the fly. It’s not like when he was younger and I was always ten steps ahead to equip and protect him. Nope. Those days are long gone! 

God is using this season as a crossroads for him. I see it and can only pray he always chooses Christ as the ultimate answer to all of the confusion and static that is blaring through that Bluetooth speaker, app, and YouTube channel. 

RELATED: Dear Mom, This Is What I Need You To Remember Now That I’m a Teenager

I haven’t abandoned ship even though I feel like I’m walking the plank weekly. I’m standing on the edge of that long board with my wrists tied behind my back and asking God to redeem anything I’ve let slip by. Even when the situation seems hopeless and I’m tempted to give up, God faithfully makes a way and saves me from my own misguided self. 

And that’s the thing. I can’t do this without Him. 

Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, I am trusting that God is my guide. 

Charles Stanley says, “Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.” And that’s where my hope and peace lie . . . in His bosom when I feel so weak and overwhelmed from my son’s ever-changing world. 

Are you parenting teens through these turbulent times?

Darts are seeking to chip away at the foundation you laid during their pre-teen years, and you must choose which tactics you use and how much of that rope you extend or if you’re leaving that door open at all. 

We are all learning through this and I pray for mothers of teens daily. It’s a wild world, and we’re 3/4 of the way to the finish line!

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Laura Hurd

 I am a stay at home mom to two beautiful boys, my youngest having been diagnosed with Autism. Our family motto is that the little things are the big things.

You Made Me Love Christmas

In: Motherhood
Family in pajamas near Christmas tree, color photo

Hi kids, this is a thank you note of sorts . . . I’m about to tell you something strange. Something you may not “get” yet, but I hope you do eventually. I used to dread Christmas. I know, isn’t that weird? Most kids and a lot of adults have countdowns and decorations and music, but I had a countdown in my mind of when it would be over. To me, it wasn’t a happy time. From the age of about eight (right about where you all are now) Christmas, for me, became like a job of sorts. Long before...

Keep Reading

She is an Anonymom

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother standing at sink holding a baby on her hip

She stands alone in the church kitchen, frantically scrubbing pots and pans while the grieving huddle around the fellowship hall, and she slips out the back door before anyone comes in. She is an anonymom. She gets out of her car and picks up the trash thrown into the ditch alongside the country road. She is an anonymom. She sits on the park bench, watching her children play. In the meantime, she continually scans the whole playground, keeping track of everyone’s littles, because that is what moms do. She is an anonymom. RELATED: Can We Restore “the Village” Our Parents...

Keep Reading

I Come Alive at Christmas

In: Motherhood
Kitchen decorated for Christmas

It’s time again. Time for the lights and the trees and candy canes and tiny porcelain village homes. It’s time to shake off all that this year has thrown at me and come alive again. My favorite time of year is here and it’s time to make some magic. My mom started the magic of Christmas for me when I was little, and I was infatuated with the joy that it brought to so many people. Loved ones come together and everything sparkles and people who don’t normally come to church are willing to join us in the pews. Everything...

Keep Reading

Brothers Fight Hard and Love Harder

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two boys play outside, one lifting the other on his back

The last few years have been a whirlwind. My head has sometimes been left spinning; we have moved continents with three boys, three and under at the time. Set up home and remained sufficiently organized despite the complete chaos to ensure everyone was where they were meant to be on most days. Living in a primarily hockey town, the winters are filled with coffee catch-ups at the arena, so it was no surprise when my youngest declared his intention to play hockey like his school friends. Fully aware that he had never held a hockey stick or slapped a puck,...

Keep Reading

Stop Putting an Expiration Date on Making Memories

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and son in small train ride

We get 12 times to play Santa (if we’re lucky). This phrase stopped my scroll on a Sunday evening. I had an idea of the direction this post was going but I continued on reading. 12 spring breaks 12 easter baskets 20 tooth fairy visits 13 first days of school 1 first date 1-2 proms 1-2 times of seeing them in their graduation cap and gown 18 summers under the same roof And so on and so on. It was essentially another post listing the number of all the monumental moments that we, Lord willing, will get to experience with our...

Keep Reading

Connecting with My Teen Son Will Always Be Worth the Wait

In: Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy standing near lamppost, color photo

So much of parenting teens is just waiting around, whether it’s in the car picking them up, reading in waiting rooms now that they are old enough to visit the dentist alone, and quite honestly, a lot of sitting around at home while they cocoon in their rooms or spend hours FaceTiming friends. Sure, you have your own life. You work, run a household, have your own friends, and plan solo adventures to show your teen that you’re not just waiting around for them all the time. That you are cool with them not needing you so much. But deep...

Keep Reading

This Is Why Moms Ask for Experience Gifts

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter under Christmas lights wearing red sweaters

When a mama asks for experience gifts for her kids for Christmas, please don’t take it as she’s ungrateful or a Scrooge. She appreciates the love her children get, she really does. But she’s tired. She’s tired of the endless number of toys that sit in the bottom of a toy bin and never see the light of day. She’s tired of tripping over the hundreds of LEGOs and reminding her son to pick them up so the baby doesn’t find them and choke. She’s tired of having four Elsa dolls (we have baby Elsa, Barbie Elsa, a mini Elsa,...

Keep Reading

6 Things You Can Do Now to Help Kids Remember Their Grandparents

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood
Grandfather dances with granddaughter in kitchen

A month ago, my mom unexpectedly passed away. She was a vibrant 62-year-old grandma to my 4-year-old son who regularly exercised and ate healthy. Sure, she had some health scares—breast cancer and two previous brain aneurysms that had been operated on successfully—but we never expected her to never come home after her second surgery on a brain aneurysm. It has been devastating, to say the least, and as I comb through pictures and videos, I have gathered some tips for other parents of young kids to do right now in case the unexpected happens, and you’re left scrambling to never...

Keep Reading

To the Parents Who Coach: Thank You

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother with young son in soccer uniform, color photo

I always planned on being an involved parent, whatever that would mean. Never an athlete, always athletic, I joined the swim team in high school, taught swim lessons for spending money as a college freshman, played intramural soccer at 10 p.m. on weeknights on a college team with a ridiculous name. Later, mama to only one baby, finding extra dollars wherever I could, I coached track. And then, my own babies really started to play sports. I promised myself I would volunteer as possible, but something always stood in the way, and all I could manage was to get my...

Keep Reading

I’m Leaning into Kintsugi Parenting

In: Motherhood
Mom hugs little girl with pigtails

My 5-year-old daughter whimpers in the darkness. “I am putting the baby down,” I whisper, the rocking chair creaking. “You need to go with Dad.” Even in the dark, I can make out the stubborn, I’m-not-going-anywhere look. Call it defiance. Call it deep attachment to me. All I know is that to be so openly disobeyed makes me run a gauntlet of emotions. First, I feel irked that she’ll wake up the baby, but that’s the surface-level stuff. What really gets to me is the fear—am I doing a bad job because my kid won’t readily “obey”? Have I failed...

Keep Reading