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Good Enough Mother Confession: I’m Ready To Let My Teen Go..

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Good Enough Mother Confession:
I’m Ready To Let My Teen Go.. 

 

Before I dive into this I need to post a disclaimer:

  1. This post will be raw and honest.
  2. It may not be the most coherent because of the 4 glasses of wine I consumed before crying myself to sleep last night.
  3. I am writing this with permission of the teen that this is about.

 

MY HEART IS BREAKING.

My husband Buff, and I are at a crossroads; we are going to have to allow our son Cole, who becomes a full-fledged adult in the next few weeks, to make a difficult choice.

He either abides by the rules of our house or he leaves.

There is no gray area. It is that black and white. It is that simple.

Related: Good Enough Mother; How I Hit The Brink And Found My Way Back Again

We’ve had issues, as the parents of most teens typically do. We saw therapists, made threats and adhered to punishment when he did not follow through.

I feel like I have aged two decades in the past two years.

Our wonderfully made, headstrong son, wants to do things that we are adamantly opposed to. He asked us about them because using teen logic (which only makes sense to teens), he wants to be open with us and that, in his mind, should count for something.

In exchange for us to agreeing to these things he wants to do, he also expects to sleep in our house, eat our food, wear the clothes we bought, drive our car and text friends on the phone we pay for.

Teen logic.

 

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Cole and me sharing McDonald’s.
Sometimes it’s the simple things. 

 

The truth is, until he is an adult, there is only so much we can do. We certainly don’t want to hobble his future, which is why we hadn’t resorted to Draconian measures.

That all changes when he becomes an adult in a scant couple of weeks.

Related: Good Enough Mother: Lowering The BIG BOOM! Why I’m Not Afraid To Punish My Teen

I’ve gone through all the emotion, even blaming myself and my Good Enough Mother  mantra.

“Maybe if I had been here more. Maybe if I had ridden herd more. Maybe if we hadn’t experienced the job upheaval that we have the past several years.”

Maybe.

Maybe not.

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Sigh…. 

At the end of the day, it is Cole’s life. I cannot and I will not, follow him around, warning him about making bad choices; I’ve spent 18 years doing that, now it’s time for him to grow. And go. Unless he can stomach the rules.

They are not that difficult and we are reasonable people.

Abide by a curfew. Abide by the law. Respect the people who pay the bills.

If he feels it is too much, Buff and I have explained we will wish him well as he steps out on the path he feels he must take.

And when I say step, I mean that.

“His car”? Well that is technically ours. And it stays in our driveway.

“His phone”  Yep. Ours too. And I’m more than happy to remove one more line from our family data plan.

His college tuition? Find a way to pay for it.

Cole says we are punishing him. Nope. We are allowing him to be an adult. Choices have consequences.

Looking-at-the-camera1

I love my boy. Buff does too. But we have been here before, to no avail. Now the decisions he wants to make, the choices he feels are right for him, we are going to allow him to, even if they break our hearts.

As the parents of an African American young man, we pray for his safety and hope he doesn’t pop off to the wrong person. I pray for the return of the child I once had an easy relationship with; the one who would slip his hand into mine and felt the need to protect instead of challenge me at every turn.

Related: Better Not Bitter: Why I Won’t Track My Teen

There’s one more thing I must say, if I am being truthful.

I’m angry.

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I hate the stress this has caused our family. I hate that my daughter, who didn’t ask for any of this, gets wounded by flying shrapnel.

I’m pissed because Buff and I gave our all. Our lives, over the past decade of entrepreneurship, have have been harder than we anticipated and I wish Cole could see past the teenage myopia, appreciate what we’ve been doing and at least TRY to make it a bit easier.

My silent prayer is that someday Cole realizes all of this and doesn’t beat himself up too badly. He’s a teenager; in some respects they cannot help themselves.

Raising kids is not for the faint of heart. I did what I could. We did our best. But now we are at the end. If these are the decisions my son feels he must make, I will let him, no matter how much they hurt.

Through my tears, know this; I love my boy.

But I am ready to let him go.

Say a prayer for me and mine.

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41 Comments

  1. Scotty Reiss

    May 18, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Wait. I thought boys were the easy ones! Hugs and strength to you all. He’ll be fine, you’ll be fine (I hope! I think!) Thank you for sharing; that invokes the village. Now we’re all looking out for Cole (whether he likes it or not).

  2. Cynthia

    May 18, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I have tread this path once with my son and now am in the midst of treading it with my daughter. My heart breaks for all of us.

    First, my son is now a successful and loving 32-year old that is my pride and joy. While a young man, he is that boy that slips his hand in mine and protects me. He also repeatedly tells me thanks for staying the course with my tough love when he was struggling with authority, bad choices and anger management. I didn’t see any glimmers of hope until he was at least 23 but definitely not fully until 25. You know, the pre-frontal cortex maturation age.

    Second, my 20-year old daughter is now in full teenage myopia stage. I continue to stay the course. The only difference between your method and mine is that I keep her on my cell plan with very limited options and I pay for her education and dorm. I do not believe that she can be successful and safe without an education. However, her dreams of the elite private school are on hold as I am only providing the minimum state school plan. Her phone connection provides comfort for me that I can still communicate even if it is one way. She does not have access to my money, my home, my cars, my material goods but always has access to my love.

    Hang in there. It may feel like you are the only and that your hopes and dreams and financial investments are gone but they will grow up. We have to be there to catch them but do not have to enable nor entitle them. You are not the only.

  3. Marcia

    May 18, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you for your transparency. I so feel your pain and appreciate you sharing. Through a bitter separation and pending divorce I’ve had to temporarily let my teenage boys go because of their decisions. A mothers love never ends and it sometimes makes painful decisions that are necessary. I pray for you and your sons relationship that it will be restored in Gods time. In the meantime–take care of you. He will be back.

  4. Ayanna

    May 18, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I’m definitely not ready for the teenage years…sigh….Prayers up!

  5. Michelle Donatto

    May 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    This is indeed heartbreaking Rene. Raising teenagers is certainly not for the weak. When we do all that we can, but they still insist on being belligerent, it’s hard to step back and allow them to fail. Our definition of fail, as they certainly don’t see it that way. I honestly sometimes wonder if they see at all.

    I will send a prayer for you, for Cole, for Buff, and your sweet daughter, as the entire family suffers when one goes awry. Let’s pray that Cole has that light bulb moment that Oprah speaks of, before his 18th birthday, and will choose to abide by your rules, and accept your loving guidance.

    (((((((((HUGS)))))))))))

    Michelle

  6. Sandra Sanders

    May 18, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Oh Rene, what a sincere heartfelt piece you wrote here. I don’t have children, but I remember my parents somewhat saying the same things to me growing up. You, and Buff are right. Once 18 he is legally “FREE” to make his own decisions, and suffer whatever consequences come with his decisions. I’m sure you and Buff did your best, and now it’s up to “Cole”. Don’t beat yourself up about it. “LET HIM GO” and let him figure out that “LIVING LIFE” is not easy, and abiding by a few simple rules is a lot easier than trying to buy a car on your own, pay rent, pay utilities, and trying to figure out how to fill that little fridge with groceries. Now at “52” I’m so glad they let me have my little stray away from home, because it made me “APPRECIATE” what I had there, and I’m thankful that as my parents, they were there when I fell flat on my face, and went back home to abide by those few simple rules. “HANG IN THERE” and I will be praying for “Cole” and your family.

  7. Sue Green

    May 18, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Hi Renee,
    I believe you when you said that you’ve done all you could. My husband and I have gone through a similar situation with our teenage son. You are right when you say, “it’s his life.” I feel the same way. We’ve done all we could providing for him, getting him counseling etc. We all have a path in life. For some reason, some seem to choose the more difficult path. I think that they will eventually learn from their mistakes, some people can only learn from experience . As parents, we can talk until we’re “blue in the face,” some teenagers just won’t listen.
    In the meantime, all we can do is pray for their safety and that they find their purpose in life.
    Renee, I know during this time, we can feel so alone. Just know that there are many people experiencing the same issues you are. Continue to pray for your son. God answers prayers and has a way of working things out for the best.
    You are a very inspiring woman. I admire and appreciate you and your honesty.

  8. Dawn B

    May 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    The hardest thing to do is to let them go. It’s a cruel reality under the best of circumstances. When my oldest moved to Texas with my blessings, I cried for 4 days. I have experienced the death of a child and this was WORSE than that. She made the choice to leave and I had to wear a smile and send her off with the confidence that I was happy for her and believed in her. All the while my heart was being dragged along the pavement behind her car. I think if Cole were to actually experience full responsibility and consequences for his actions he will make some better decisions. Those decisions might include admitting that he doesn’t have all the answers. They include realizing that as parents, we are doing our best and we are the only people in the world that truly love them without falter. Steel yourself for the pain that may come but know that you are doing the right thing. You are doing the best thing for him. He may not realize it or appreciate it right now. It may not feel too great to you either. Stay strong, keep the course, thousand points of light and all that shit. Have another glass of wine and kiss your son on the forehead while kicking him in the ass.

  9. DawnKA

    May 18, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    It’s tough. I have been through the turbulent teen years with my Dorothy Rose who I called The Challenge. She knew everything, blamed everyone, compared how I disciplined her differently from her siblings who were nothing like her and always made the simplest avoidable mistakes. However, I was once a challenge to my parents, I was made to handle challenges and I let my position be known. No parent want to let their kid go especially when they have such strong stubborn tendencies that may not fit well with others. It’s tough but sometimes it’s for the best.

  10. Susan Pazera

    May 18, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I am praying for all of you!! I know this is so hard but I think you are doing the right thing. Know that you have a lot of people thinking of you and some are even going through this too! One of my favorite quotes ( by Marilyn Monrow of all people) is “I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”…Here’s hoping that better things will fall into place soon. xoxoxo

  11. Jwana

    May 18, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    As the mother of two now adult boys I have had to do the same thing. My son chose to make some decisions that I nor his dad agreed with. It was the hardest thing in the world to come to the realization that he is an adult and must make his own choices. I pray for God’s protection over both of them daily. I did the very best I could with them and for them. It helps me to know I am not alone. I will pray for you and all the mothers and fathers who have done their best for their children. I have to remember that the Bible says “train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it”. Hats off to you Rene, let him go! ***deep sigh and crying right along with you***

  12. Des

    May 18, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    You know my heart goes out to you. I’ve been sitting on an article for a year now that I can’t bring myself to publish…afraid it will haunt me in some way if/when my kiddo does something extreme that I’ll end up blaming myself–my article–for. I know how irrational that is. I get it. But my heart is hurting watching him hurting, lost in a world of misdirection. We cannot live their lives for them. That’s true. And we certainly can’t predict the future. We have to go with our guts and hope it’s the right thing for everyone involved–our kid, ourselves, and their siblings. I pray it all turns out well–for both your kiddo and mine.

  13. Beneatha

    May 18, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Praying with and for you. I too am experiencing the same pain. The past year , I have aged so much from stress. But I prayed and let it go.

  14. Raya

    May 18, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    My sister shared this link and damn – it was like reading about my relationship with my own child! I too want the best, cried angry ugly tears, and everything you did with your husband. It hurts to see them make these crazy choices.

  15. Nicole

    May 18, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Found this post through a twitter link. Going through the the same thing. Decided not to put him out due to heart felt advice from parents who DID put their teens out. We won’t go into what their experiences were right now. Once I decided to let him stay these messages came through.

    https://youtu.be/0GMK4fVnUUQ

    https://youtu.be/owx4iakqEw0

    I’m a believer in Christ so the timeliness is not random. Don’t know your beliefs but perhaps these messages are for you too.

    I will tell you this, my friends and I agree that this hangup we have with that part about sacrificing our whole lives is just that, a hangup. It’s not in vain, it’s just not time for the harvest!!! God won’t keep the child from having to learn how to make right choices so the mom won’t cry. Grrrrrrr, what a hard realization for me.

  16. Erin Lane

    May 18, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I have nothing but love and strength to send you. Parenting is beyond hard. I pray for a postive outcome.

  17. Rene Syler

    May 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I need to make one thing VERY clear; I am NOT “putting my child out”. I am saying there are rules to follow in this house, just like there are rules if he is in the military or rents an apartment. Those rules MUST be adhered to if he wants something in exchange, and that something is rom and board. That’s all. THX

  18. GB

    May 18, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    This post hits home, so let me provide some male perspective. I think you have come to the proper conclusion unfortunately it’s happening at an earlier age than it seems to happen most of the time. We have two sons who are polar opposites. The younger, who is 23, is our version of Cole. He’s still at home after having wasted time at a couple colleges and has had a hard time keeping a job because he’s smarter (and slicker) than everyone else. We have simple rules and he’s made it clear its a burden for him. Result: he’s got to go. As I tell my wife, I can’t walk on eggshells 24/7 because of what might aggravate him. His nonsense — and there’s been plenty — cannot bring down everyone. If you want to be a man, then go be one. What’s being provided for him at this point is above and beyond. It’s tough but it has to happen. I commiserate with you.

  19. G Lew

    May 18, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I read this and it made me teary because I thought I was on this island alone. We are at our wit’s end and while we don’t want to put our son out, we have decided if he can’t follow the house rules, he must go. We have been beating ourselves up trying to figure out where we went wrong. We provided the best of everything and now we feel as though maybe we gave too much. Even though our son THINKS he is ready for the streets, he is not and if terrifies me that he will not last a week based on his bad decision making. Pray for us as I will be praying for you all, too. It works!

  20. Ann at MundaneMagic.com

    May 18, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    My heart aches for you and Buff. I’ve only made it to year 19 of parenthood, but the unpredictable years have brought extreme highs and lows. The one lesson I’ve learned is that even with high expectations, my kids must learn to fail and recover. I mostly looked like the ‘worst mother in the world’ when I allowed my child to do 100% of their work for school, not have perfect grades, and mess up some tryout experiences. I’ve always been on their side and provided their needs, but I’ve let them mess up all along. The four years of my oldest’s high school years were filled with monumental challenges. Opportunities she pushed away and family life which fell apart due to my crumbling marriage. It was a climbing marathon for us all. This year she flew away to college and began to excel. Nothing is perfect, but she has learned to work it though. I’ve cried about some of her choices, but I’ve also told her that she has my unconditional love.

    I know your son will find his way back to your counsel. I’ll be praying for you all.

  21. Liz

    May 18, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    This is the bravest post I’ve read in a very long time. I commend to and your husband on your stepping aside and allowing your child (because they will always remain our children, no matter how grown) to adult himself. This is THE MOST DIFFICULT parenting of all parenting. Sending you much love and strength, my friend.

  22. Eva

    May 18, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Beautifully writte, heartfelt. As a mother of three, I have been through one thing or another. I have found that you never stop being a mom and all we want is for our children is to be happy productive individuals.

    I stand with you during this difficult time!

  23. Flo

    May 18, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    I teared up reading your words. For you, for Cole, and because your story took me back to the hardest time in my life, even as a Cancer survivor–that was harder. I could have written what you wrote. What I can tell you is, my son is 30 now. He never did finish high school, but he got hs GED. (I have a PhD, his dad a JD). he never graduated from college, but on his own he has taken about two years worth of college credits classes which were interesting and useful to him. He smoked pot, used meth with people at work for a few months, and when he was 18 he spent a year in prison because he got chesty with a man who insulted his girlfriend, in the wrong town. But he didn’t make babies, he’s always taken care of himself, he’s always worked, always been responsible about money, always been a man people could trust.

    He had some bumps along the way, didn’t take the path I would have chosen, didn’t end up where I envisioned, but I’m proud of the man he is today. At 30 he’s got a great job with a lot of responsibility, a sccessful, loving girlfriend he loves, a new house of their own, and he’s a devoted uncle to his sisters’ kids.

    I want to say to you everyone is struggling now, but your son still has everything you, your husband, and daughter ever gave him, inside, and it will win out in shaping the kind of man he becomes, and the life he makes for himself.

    Trust yourself.

  24. Tiffini Mason

    May 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    My life as we speak… 😭😭😭😩😩😩

  25. Beth G

    May 19, 2016 at 12:11 am

    I don’t know you or where you live or what you have gone thru but if I did, I think we would be friends. So appreciate your truthfulness, as brutal as it may be. I will be praying for you as your son reaches this point. I have two children who will turn 18 in July (and two more who are a bit younger) and have seen another friend whose son left last fall when he turned 18. We all have our own paths to follow and mistakes to make. I pray your son’s will not be ones that will affect him in a detrimental way but will shape him further into the man you raised him to be.

  26. Mrs. B

    May 19, 2016 at 12:37 am

    I saw your post on FB and wanted to let you know that prayers are going out for you. My husband and I share your same philosophy of child rearing and thankfully, we made it through (so far!) with all three children reaching independent adulthood. Our middle son was exactly the same as yours. I felt as if I had carried him on my back just to get him through high school. Smart, intelligent and a very handsome — he couldn’t abide by any of our rules. Like you guys, we tried everything; punishment, rewards, threats (and the belt) — didn’t faze him. We let him get a summer job, he didn’t abide by work rules and was fired within three weeks. Boy Scout rules were too strict, got into trouble with youth church groups, had to face juvenile court judge for hijinks in school, you name it — he tried it. I was at my wits end. He didn’t drive as a teen, because we wouldn’t let him take drivers’ ed due to his behavior. We refused to pay for cell phone bill, so he didn’t have one. (He wasn’t going anywhere, so no need to call us away from home!). Because he didn’t do well in school, we all agreed that there was no way we would invest in college and he had no desire to go. Meanwhile, his older brother saved his fast food job money and bought a car, a cell phone and paid his the majority of his own college expenses. We gave Son #2 an ultimatum: if you continue to live here, get a job, a drivers’ license and car and move on OR join the military. (Now this was in 2003-2004 and the world was in true turmoil, so the military suggestion was to just scare the hell out of him and steer him towards some type of job — any job – barber, mechanic, mail clerk, ANYTHING). A beautiful female military recruiter caught his attention and he choose the military. This sent me over the edge, since he choose the military out of pure defiance to us. His boot camp was in San Antonio and I was relieved that when (not if) the Air Force kicked him out, I was within a 3 hour drive to go pick him up. If he couldn’t follow my rules, certainly the military would send him packing. I prayed and turned him over to God. While at boot camp, I sent him weekly notes of inspiration; bible verses, quotes, family updates and let him know that we loved him — that’s all he got from us. I was terrified to let him go, but it was his choice. The military experience completely changed him from a very arrogant, defiant Black boy to a man — it was miracle. He thrived in boot camp and later relayed he told his colleagues, the rules were “nothing compared to living with his mama”. He went on to serve 10 years in the Air Force, visiting Germany, Africa, Korea and several other places around the world. I am still astonished and very proud of him. He currently lives in Dubai and has an excellent job. While the military may not be an option for you son, I say all of this because I want you to know that he can and will grow from the seeds you and your husband have planted. It may not happen as quickly or in the order you want, but it will happen. Had we wasted money on college or allowed him to stay with us he would not be anywhere close to life’s accomplishments. Continue to love him and let him take those steps on his own — just like when he was learning to walk as a baby. It hurts to see them fall, but he’ll find his way. Life has a way of teaching the best lessons. You have given him life’s best treasures, love, health, education, family support and training. These seeds will germinate and grow. Trust in the Lord and pray for your son. God Bless you all.

  27. Renee Mornay

    May 19, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Temporary insanity is what you are dealing with. Time is the only factor, I know because I am you, two teenage boys now young men.
    Yes, you are going to cry, hurt, have moments of rage, you are suppose to, it’s the love in your heart as a mother.
    Release another cork because..
    You also realize you have made substantial sacrifices and pissed off. How could he?
    Believe me let him be a man its the best thing you can do. His sacrifices and struggles will determine his approach and destiny to Manhood.

    You will survive just keep love in your heart…

    Last note to your son ” Know that you are not above the law my brother. And that’s serious…

  28. Pamela Rice

    May 19, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Praying that you all will be comforted in the arms of the Lord. I pray that your son will seek the wisdom of God, and follow His direction. He’s steeping out like the prodigal son, and he will return thankful for the sacrifices and love your family has provided. He will be stronger and wiser. May the peace of God blanket you all during this time of transition.

  29. Grace Snow

    May 19, 2016 at 9:40 am

    We are going through the EXACT same thing right now! The only exception is that our daughter left in anger a month ago, five weeks before graduation, and we are barely on speaking terms. We are absolutely heartbroken that all the joy and celebration has been taken away from the ceremony next week. It helps so much to know that we are not alone! Best of luck to you! Hang in there!

  30. Erica Bunker

    May 19, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Sigh Rene… I’ve been there… twice. It gets easier. When you know that you’ve been the best parent you know how to be, you sleep soundly at night with your decions. I’ve given the “it’s my way, or the highway” come-to-Jesus talk to my two older kids. You raise kids in a fashion of whom you want them to turn into. But they’re their own people. They’re going to make their own choices in life. As my grandmother use to say, you have to wash your hands of them and turn them over to God.

    Good luck to your family and I hope your son remembers when he walks out into the world that he’s already been raised! I’m sure you and Buff did a wonderful job and he’ll remember that he has good sense!

  31. Lashawn

    May 19, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Hugs and prayers for all of you

  32. zorina price

    May 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    The best thing my parents did for me as a relatively spoiled and entitled teen/young adult…was to cut me off!!! I believe my father told me that I ‘would be pushing my designer clothes around in a shopping cart’ because they would no longer support me and my attitude. At the time, I didn’t understand, I was angry, I was sad BUT it forced my hand and I had two choices. I could continue down a path of destruction or I could get my life together and grow into the adult I ‘though’t’ I was. I toggled the fence for a while and ultimately got it together. My parents instilled enough love, morals, respect, good-sense etc in me that even when I (thought I) was alone, I found a way to succeed. Trust in yourself, your decision as a parent and your son <3

  33. Danielle Smith

    May 19, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Oh my friend….sending prayers of love and strength. I can read the hurt and anguish in your words. I know it has taken quite some time on this path to reach this moment, but I fully support you as a mother and hope (and plan) to follow the same as needed. Parenting is, by far, one of the most challenging things I have ever done in my life. I have found the ‘easy decisions’ are frequently not the right ones. You are teaching Cole valuable lessons…. as hard as this is – I truly believe these lessons are FAR better learned from you, than from bosses, girlfriends and strangers….they a) won’t have his heart in mind as they teach and guide and they won’t love him unconditionally. Thinking of you. xoxo

  34. Rhonda Stephens

    May 19, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    I admire your strength and your love for your son. Mine is 17, and despite a fairly smooth road thus far, I know how quickly things can change. I hope that I would have your conviction to stand firm. We are all in this parenting thing together. Hoping for the frontal lobe to make a grand appearance and steer your boy in the right direction. Please know there’s an army of mothers out here rooting for both of you.

  35. Clara

    May 19, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I feel what you and your husband is going through. It was my daughter, who is now an adult, with young women of her own to counsel. She can appreciate where our attempts at correct parenting came from ( love and concern for their well-being) Our son was a gift to our sanity.

    Yes, we sometimes absolutely must let go and let god, but it doesn’t lessen the pain that that imparts! Keep praying, keep your heart open and allow him the freedom to make his mistakes. He’ll be back, wiser and o much grateful for the love of his parents.

  36. Ky G (@KrickettwithaK)

    May 19, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    My love and prayers to you, your family and most importantly your son. My son is 4 years old now and I can’t imagine going through this. I read this and was in tears for you. I have been reading your blog since the closet days but have commented often but I felt compelled to this go around.

  37. mangomama

    May 20, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Praying for you and your family…no “pat” answers here– praying for wisdom for your specific family and your son.

  38. Deborah

    May 20, 2016 at 10:10 am

    As the mother of an 18 year old son; your article mirrored my experience with him practically word for word. I have aged over the last few years. I am unhappily planning high school graduation activities, fretting over college tuition, room & board, books while at the same time living with a silent, sneaky, sullen “roomate”. I do not recognize this stranger who has a key to my home. When he was little he never wanted to spend the night with his grandparents because he always needed to know what “My Mommy is doing”. Now I barely get a hello or good bye. My first born son is a responsible 31 year old; we had our teenage ups and downs, but nothing like this. I’m afraid he will get into something he can’t himself out of and will not confide in me or his Dad. He does talk to his older brother. That is my only saving grace.

  39. Erin

    May 21, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I know this plight as a daughter w/ siblings of Parents who had no time for it. And watching them struggle particularly w/ my younger brother in the same way I envision your daughter is. And additionally as a Mommy of three. I applaud you for your candor. So often, these types of decisions are not visible and swept under the rug. Continued prayers and prayerfully your Son will find his way. And sometimes the best way to facilitate that, is to just let him have it. Keep the faith, He will come back to you. That so called grass is greener on the other side notion tends to fade quickly and the novelty gets old FAST.

  40. Alison

    May 22, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Wow. It’s oh so comforting to know that I am not alone. This mirrors my experience with my daughter. My son was not like this at all so that was such a blessing in contrast. I pray every day for her safety and for her to see through to the other side.

  41. CORDENIA

    May 26, 2016 at 12:28 am

    Sending up LOTs of Hugz and Prayers! I KEEP EveryONE of My Beautiful, Strong-Willed Young, Black Men WRAPPED in Intense Prayer as they travel this Earth. Thank you for sharing the many sides of parenting…and of Life in general.

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