For the most part, I had a really good relationship with my parents while growing up. Sure we had occasional disagreements, but for the most part, I really liked them and they really liked me… until my senior year of high school. All of a sudden, I felt like they were the enemy, preventing me from growing up, becoming independent, doing what I wanted to do.
Anyone else out there experiencing this? Let me shed some light on your situation.
In a sense, your biological clock is ticking.
(NOT the baby making one, but the I-wanna-grow-up one). As the prospect of freedom and independence come closer and closer, you are beginning to stretch your wings a bit more, pushing your limits a little farther. You may also be choosing to spend more time around your friends than your family. The desire to soak up the last few glorious months of high school with your besties far outweighs your desire to hang with your parental units and siblings.
Meanwhile, your parents are getting nervous.
“Did we raise her well enough? Teach her everything she needs to know? Will she make good decisions? Will she manage her time well?” Their time raising you is coming to a close. They so badly want you to be successful in college and part of them feels a burden for it–as if it will be their fault if you aren’t. (btw- it’s 100% on you. You can go ahead and stop blaming your parents for ANYTHING in your life now. I’m serious.) So, they’re tightening their grip on you (or so it feels that way). They are also realizing this is the last few months they have with you before everything changes. They are sad, maybe even remorseful, that you will be moving out soon. So, they too want to soak up every last moment they have with you before you leave. Then, when you choose to hang with your friends over them, it’s like rubbing salt in their wounds. I’m not saying don’t hang out with your friends and only spend time with your family. What I am saying is…
Give your parents some grace.
Tensions are high because they want to hang on to you and have every last minute with you, while you are wanting the opposite. Be kind to mom and dad. Be sweet to your siblings. These people know you better and love your more than anyone else in the world. Don’t be a jerk to them your last few months of living at home.
I’ll give you two verses to hang onto right now.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:1-3)
I know you’ve heard this verse a 100 times and it gets old fast, but its a good reminder. Don’t just obey your parents, honor them.
Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)
This verse includes your parents and sibs. If this is a struggle for you, ask God to help you. You’ve got access to the fruit of the spirit! Ask Him to pour those out of you when relating to your family.
Your challenge for the week: write your parents a handwritten card thanking them for tangible ways they have provided for you and cared for you recently. Drop it in the mail or just leave it on their bed. They’ll love it. Leave a comment or email me if you’ve got any good stories from the week of loving your parents well. I promise you, if you change your attitude towards them–giving them grace and seeing their perspective–it will lighten the tension. It will also grow you up more! Life is full of difficult relationships and it’s all about how well you deal with them. So practice now with those parental units, who deep down, love you like crazy.