As a parent, one of the most important jobs I have is to raise my children to be respectful, independent, God fearing young men who will one day make me proud to call them son. Thus far I have been enormously blessed with a grown son who has shown himself to be just that and more.
To add in a laugh, my other son was born 20 years after his brother. Yes I know; what was I thinking? Believe me, there was absolutely no thought on my part to do this at all. Yet, 12 years into raising my 2nd “only child”, I tell you, the struggle is REAL!
My younger son is by far NOT a bad kid. He however is spoiled and is growing up in a different generation that some of “us old folks” have trouble adjusting to. My son’s generation is driven by technology. You call them, they text you. They have questions or want to share things they see in life with you, you get a text or email. Fading are the days when kids jumped out of bed on the weekend to eat quick and dash out the door to play with their friends. Nowadays, they wake up late because they stayed up late only to resume last nights’ antics involving a headset and a gaming remote.
This isn’t all that my son does but it now takes “encouragement” to get him to spend more than a couple of hours on the weekend outside of the house. While some would say that’s not a bad thing because the world is a cruel place and inside you can keep them safe. That isn’t not entirely true these days because cruelty and evil can slip in over the “internet” and you may not even see it coming.
But I do have a “rising” good kid. He’s smart, loves to read, gets straight A’s in school (that is a requirement to keep his gaming system), and on his better days thoughtful and engaging beyond a text or email. It takes effort on my part to stay connected with him “face-to-face” through the eye rolling and teeth sucking that comes when I want to “talk”. And yes he still has all his teeth. I am however keenly aware of the differences between my sons and how my child-rearing strategy has changed and continues to change with this male millennial in my house.
My older son can tell you that his butt was not sparred as he grew up and he often thought I was trying to kill him. I wasn’t but sometimes a little butt action will do you to keep you on the straight and narrow. My baby boy hasn’t “adjusted” well to the same strategy so I have had to adjust, mainly out of fear that he’ll need therapy! So other methods of discipline have been devised that have the same effect as a good butt whipping had in years gone by.
My not so little one values his money and his gaming system way more than the pain of a spanking. And being the baby with older parents, a grown brother, uncles, aunties, cousins, and a whole slew of more financially stable friends, his birthdays and Christmases net a pretty penny towards his college fund. I don’t take all of his money but after tithes and savings, he can accumulate a few “Tubman’s” to spend as he pleases.
Recently when his grades seemed to be taking a back seat to his focus on a game, I had the blessed opportunity to acquire over $200 from him. You would have thought I ripped out his soul. His “selective remembrance” came up a few months later and again I reminded him of the consequences due to his lack of responsibility was the forfeiture of his prized money. When tears didn’t work and after another long lecture, I think he finally gets it. Being a Mom ain’t no joke and I take my job very seriously. When the situation and circumstances change and old habits and ways no longer work, I am more than willing to be flexible and creative to come up with new and inventive ways to “show how much I love him”.
Having less energy and more resources have been an enabler to my son’s lack of maturity. Yet when I see him clear the dinner table without asking, share his last with a friend, or freely pray for peace and good things, I let my guard down for a minute and thank God for his continuous hand over my spirit and my son.
He is a good kid and one day, Lord willing and with more “adjusting” he will one day grow up to be a GOOD grown man too!