Do you think your parents feel comfortable (or would feel comfortable) if you shared things that are happening in your culture: music, media, attitudes, sex or drugs? Do they want to know? These were the questions I recently asked a group of high school students in a survey.
The answers varied. “Yes, they are comfortable, but I don’t like talking to them about it. They want to know, but I don’t like to talk a lot.” “No, my parents aren’t comfortable. I hope they don’t want to know what is going on!” I was so happy when I read this one: “Yes, my mom feels comfortable. I talk to her about almost everything.” I would venture to say, that girl has a great relationship with her mom!
What makes a great relationship with your mom and what part can you play in helping you and your mom to have one?
Let’s first look at what doesn’t work. I read an interview recently with a girl who was seventeen and it blew me away. She talked about how badly she wanted her parents to know what was going on in her life: who she was dating, how far they had gone, how he treated her and the mean things he said to her. She didn’t tell them though. She was afraid of how they would react.
As a mother, this crushed my heart. I want my kids to be able to tell me the things in life that they are struggling hard with. I want them to know that they are not alone. I want to be able to pray for them, love them and hold them when they need it. I can’t do that for them like I would like to unless they are honest with me.
Honesty. That can be tough. Yet without it, how can someone support us when we need it? How can someone help us to avoid trouble if they don’t know it’s there?
I have great relationships with my two teen daughters. Although my relationship with each daughter looks different, there is one thing that is the same. Honesty.
In our history of relating together, my daughters and I have worked on being truthful; honest about good things and honest about the bad stuff too! Because they have been truthful, there is an underlying trust that runs through our relationship. Trust is like super glue; even when things get difficult and there are problems to solve, knowing you can trust each other helps the relationship to stick together! Honesty is the protection shield in your relationship. Think of it like the password on your Facebook. Honesty lets the other person in.
The Lord has given us moms to be these exact people. People who are safe to let in. People who can help us up when we fall. People who will love us even when we find it hard to love ourselves. People who believe in us.
Give your mom a try. Ask her not to freak out, to just listen to you. If you give her a chance, you may find her to be just the type of friend you need!
Some of you are not fortunate enough to have a mom you can lean on. Maybe your mom is not a believer or she is just unavailable. If you are one of those girls, perhaps there is another adult who’s a Christian with whom you have a relationship and whom you can trust. If you don’t know of anyone, pray and ask God to send you someone to be like a mom to you. I have two small groups for teen girls that I meet with. I really enjoy being an adult friend to these girls. I’m sure there is a friend out there for you too!
Ecclesiastes 4:10, “For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” (NKJV)
© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.