I have very little memory of my teen years but as I watch my kids grow, something in me wakes the desperation I felt, the lost of control, the desire to be lead, guided and protected. I know I didn't show it, I pretended to be strong; but I needed to feel loved. I needed someone to step in sometimes and say "I love you". I needed my mom, I needed my dad. They were not available to meet my emotional needs, their life issues were bigger than realizing how much I needed them. My parents tried their best to provide for us, however my dad health problems and my mom caring for him on a daily basis took a hit on how much they were able to be available for my siblings and I. My emotional needs were neglected.
I read Ephesians 6:3-4 in the message Bible, and told him "Son God wants me to take you by your hand and lead you, so for the next week you and I will spend 5min holding hands", boy was he stubborn, he fought me but when I asked him over and over "do you want things to go well for you? You need to trust our leadership," he said "I want things to go well but I don't want to hold your hand for 5min", I said "it's 5min out of 24hours it's just an exercise" he said why not just tap hands, I said "No, you must hold my hand." He wanted to be in control but it was clear he also liked the fact that I was taking the lead. He even said "Mom, you will not win." I said that's ok it will then not go well with you as the Bible says. He eventually surrendered and held my hand, not a hard grip but a kind of loose grip. After two minutes he said "think about it mom, you could be spending time with your husband and your other children but you are here wasting time." I didn't respond I just smiled. I think that moment was the trigger. I saw that I didn't feel love, because even though my parents did spend time with me, correcting me, disciplining me, they did not do things that told me "you are worthed my time." My parents never made it to my school plays, it was hard to talk about certain things with my mom. I was out of control inside, sadly my parents didn't know how to take me by my hand and lead me. I would not know how to take my children and lead them if it wasn't for the Bible.
My son reminded me we all just wants to be love. When you feel love you learn how to trust even if the way someone loves you looks crazy. Eventually he laid back and waited the 5min. At the end he quickly got up. We will do it again tomorrow. A few days have past since we started this exercise, the first two days was complete silence, on one we took a 5min nap!. On one of the times he talk the whole 5min ( one rule I made for the exercise is he could talk but I will remain silent the entire time ) after the time was up, I asked if I could respond to some of the things he said, he was very open to listening, we spoke for about an hour after that, had a very deep talk about somethings on his heart, was able to clear some misconceptions he had about some decisions dad and I had made in applying a punishment we had given him, and laugh about a trip he took at the end.
Children want to feel love; it's amazing how little it takes, just a willing parent being proactive.