Okay, blogger buddies, I'm having a tough day. I need prayers from all, and some advice especially from those with teenagers.
Let me set things up:
Yesterday at church, our pianist was out because she was at a conference. Both of my kids play the piano..not fluently, but well. We've known for several weeks that she was going to be out yesterday and I tried to encourage both of my kids to get together a couple of pieces to fill in for her while she was out. They opted not to fill in.
We go to a very small church and so I just couldn't/can't understand why they wouldn't want to help meet a need and just do the best they could. DD has played for the church before, but she made one mistake and has beat herself up ever since, even though we (her parents) and all of the church assured her she had done a great job. The pastor even said, and I quote, "That was beautiful".
So last night I couldn't contain myself and I told them that I couldn't come up with one good reason why the piano wasn't played yesterday. Let me tell you, what I said lit a fire under my two kids that I shouldn't have started.
I'm not going to give you a play by play on what was said, but what we (myself and DH) learned is that we're not "normal" parents and we don't let them be "normal" teenagers.
Friends, I feel very beat down today and it's not my intention to send rain clouds your way, I'm truly looking for answers.
Let me begin by saying, We have awesome kids. We really do. They don't give us much trouble at all and the little they do can truly be chalked up to the teenage years. I know they're saved and love their Heavenly Father. But after our conversation last night, I find myself wondering if I'm living in a fantasy world and the facts are that my kids disagree with everything we've said and done.
We require that our kids call when they arrive at their destination and when they leave. Even if they are making several stops, we require the same thing. Why? We want to know they are safe. DD and DS tell us that "normal" parents are fine if the kids just check in on occasion. We don't trust them.
Our kids have a curfew of 10pm. Sunday-Thursday, Friday night depends on what the plans are and Saturday night is usually 10:30 or 11. Again, "normal" parents don't require their kids to be home so early. Again, we don't trust them.
We tell our kids lights out at 11pm Sunday-Thursday, no requirement on Friday or Saturday (just be WIDE awake for church!). "Normal" parents don't set a lights out for their teens. On Saturday we don't let them sleep past 10am. "Normal" parents let their teens sleep as late as they want on Saturday. We don't trust them to be able to get up when they want and get their schoolwork and chores done on their own. (problem with that one is, if I don't say anything..chores don't get done. I've tried the being silent on chores thing...)
"Normal" parents let their kids have freedom to dress and express themselves the way they choose...haircolor, piercings, tattoos, clothes...DD has had pink hair, red hair, black hair (natural color is light brown) and blond streaks mingled in with the natural. She also has 3 piercings in one ear and 2 in the other. DS's hair is dark blond and he's had yellow tips, blond tips. He's allowed to wear it far longer than I'd like, but I felt we'd reached a compromise and he has 1 piercing in his ear. He's worn chains on his pants, studs on his belts and skulls on his shirts. How much more "normal" do I go there??
The thing about playing the piano....neither feel "called" to play piano. Okay. My thinking is even if you aren't "called" can't you just do it now and then to meet a need??? What are the piano lessons for and how do you get the experience??
Again I want to say sorry for unloading like this, but I truly, truly desire the advice of those that have been there done that...and the prayers of all.