Who knew toddlerhood and teendom would be so similar?! Parents on the other side nod their heads, “Yes – so much the same, just different body size … and more words…lots more words (but pretty much just about the same sense).”

Of course, that’s not completely true, unless you’re in the midst of a “discussion” – the kind where said teen is trying to defend a position that really has no defense. It’s usually something they’d like to do that falls outside the wise realm of reality – but they’re going to do their best to find something not only redeemable but compelling as to why they might be right. Sound circular? Maybe. Mind-numbing for sure. That’s when Jody Capehart’s “disengage” strategy comes into play.

Beyond tantrumesqe conversations, skinned knees move back to the frontlines in the teen years.

Let’s face it, we all know when our kids hit the toddler years running, and it’s always when life is great and their running with glee, some crack in the sidewalk reaches up and grabs their little shoes causing a tumble and a couple skinned knees. It’s excruciating. But as parents, we don’t fall apart. We tell them, “Hop up! You’re just fine… It’s only a little scrape… Stop crying, you’re ok.”

Teens have the same scrapes. Sidewalk cracks nail them, too. The scrapes aren’t on a knee, but usually hide on the inside (they don’t want anyone to see – let alone their mom or dad who might try to do something about it). Reflex wailing is stuffed. Feigned indifference hides the pain.

I thought about it today as I wiped tears from FHA’s eyes post knee-scrape. That little bloody knee didn’t break my heart. I expect them. Why don’t I deal with the teen bumps with a similar attitude? Teams won’t be made, parties won’t include, hurtful comments will fly, parents will fail, the list goes on. I think I need to prepare my heart to meet these soul-scraping inevitabilities the same way I do FHA’s falls. They stink, but they certainly aren’t life defining. Then maybe I can encourage the teen kid the same way I do the toddler.

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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