Nobody warned me my oldest child would already be showing the awful preteen moodiness signs at just ten years old. He is mean. He is grumpy. He is easily agitated. When he’s in a “mood” we all just kind of stay away from him. We don’t want to “wake the beast.” He came home like this today and we just let him have his space. There is not much you can do when they are in their moods. But stay away (far..far..away).
At one point tonight, he came out of his dungeon -I mean room-and started complaining about how much he hated his life and how life was so unfair. I’m not really sure what he was whining about. The TV show he liked wasn’t on or he was too hot in our heated house or something a spoiled child complains about. After his plate of cheese and crackers (that his mother made for him) fell off of his desk and he declared how he had “the worst life ever.” I’d had about enough. He is ten now and knows a little bit more about the world than his younger brother, yet it is a delicate balance between scaring the you know what out of him and reminding him how extremely fortunate he is. Trying not to lose my temper, I gently reminded him about our visit to the doctor’s office last week. We were there for a check up and there was a poster of several starving children from around the world on the wall. Brady was (once again) complaining about his no good, dreadful life when I pointed out the poster. He tried not to act like he cared but, truthfully, he was really bothered by it. Later, he asked how we could help feed them.
I fear a lot of things for my children. I fear for their safety. I fear for their health. There are a lot of things for a Mom to worry about these days. However, one of my biggest fears for my boys is they will grow up to be men with no compassion. I would like for them to grow up thinking Jesus is the center of the universe, not themselves.
Tonight, after he was finished having his pity party, I told him about the Syrian refugees. I didn’t go into details or politics but I did tell him there are many, many children out in the world tonight who do not have a home There are thousands of children who would do anything to be “too hot” or to have a plate of cheese and crackers and then another one when that one spills. He rolled his eyes, but then a few minutes later asked me a few more questions about the refugees. He was taking it in.
Later, when I tucked him into bed, I told him to start thinking about how we can help people over the holiday season.
And while I am worried about my boys and their compassion for others, I can always look inward as well. I need to remember that kids often become what they see. I’m hoping these service projects they have done in the past -and will do in the future- will one day become habits. Not just projects. They also need to see their parents serving with true servant’s hearts. Not bitter ones.
Through my own actions, I pray I will raise men who will not only care, but men who will also do.
Now let’s just pray we make it through the real teen years.
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.