i am beginning to reach a new and frightening stage in my life as a parent and as a minister. i’m about to be the parent of a teen – well actually a 6th grader because he won’t be thirteen for 2 ½ more years. still teen aged or not my oldest son will be moving into the 6th grade this summer and thus into the youth ministry. this scares me to death. i’m terrified just by the simple things that are already happening. i had forgotten how moody i was when i went through puberty. i had forgotten that i would cry, pout, get angry, laugh, and shout over things that aren’t really that important. now i get to watch it happen in my oldest son. in fact, it’s already happening.
intellectually i understand what’s happening and i know that there isn’t much i can do about it other than be understanding. yet emotionally i want to take care of all this for him and make everything alright. of course, i don’t have the ability to do this, but i would if i could. i’m not even experiencing some of the pre-teen
and teen issues that some parents are and it’s still bad. adam and i still have a great relationship with adam. he still talks to me and wants me around. i’m not going through anything really rough yet, except for a few new emotions. how am i ever going to make it through adam actually being a teen when i’m having such difficulty with him being a pre-teen.
as a minister a benefit has come out of this because i have new found emphaty and respect for the parents of teens. i understand some of the fear now and having to wonder which child i will see today – will it be the joyful child that takes everything in stride or will it be the child that thinks the world is out to get him? that helps me as a minister but it does absolutely nothing for me as a parent. really, as a youth minister how do i minister to the parent of a teen when that parent is me?