When I posted about the recent occurances we have encountered with Rush, one of my bloggy friends said just that to me in the comments. I would like to reassure her, and any of you who think the same thing, that NO that is not what you neccessarily have to look forward to!
I don't think that this is some rite of passage that teenagers get to do and we are forced to get through.
I did a lot of things wrong along the parenting pathway with Rush. I was 18 years old when I had her. My mom had left us several times during our childhood and, to be honest with you, I didn't really know how to parent my daughter. She was cute. I got to dress her up in adorable clothes and spoil her rotten with all the things my mom never had done with or for me. I wasn't a horrible parent; I just was an uneducated one.
As I began to learn to parent, it caught her off guard a bit. Not long into Rush's life, I was a single parent and her father's parents gave into her every whim. What Rush wanted, Rush got - no matter the cost. She knew it. She knew who to give what list to at Christmas time. Big ticket item lists were sent to his parents and to my mom.
I also wasn't always a Christian parent, at least not for the first 5 years of my daughter's life but even then the churches we went to were churches that encouraged the minimum effort while claiming the maximum reward.
3 years ago we discovered a church that focused on God and giving Him every effort instead of focusing on all the things He would do for us because we graced Him with our presence for an hour church service on a Sunday. She thrived in that environment, demanded to be taken out of public school and paid her own tuition for the Christian School at our church.
Somewhere, in the midst of this, something changed and wonderlust, rebellion and pride overtook her and she has yet to be able to free herself from the bondage. Those three things have built prison walls around her that she has yet to see. This newfound freedom she is claiming has her in a bondage that she can not see. We can see the unhappiness on her and one day so will she.
We have 7 children. Two of them have gone through the teenage years ahead of her and while their travels through teenagerdom was not ideal, it was NOT this. This is NOT what you HAVE to look forward to!