It’s hard to describe the challenges a single parent encounters. I would have never guessed there could be so many. And naively, I believed I was past the worst of it. Obviously I wasn’t. Because this new challenge, I’m currently in the midst of, is one of the toughest. Reaching my son, connecting with him, and helping him discover a path for his future feels at times. impossible.
I’ve tried tough love, softer love, structured love, and even more love. It’s to no avail. He is sixteen and the truth is, that right now, he doesn’t want my love. He doesn’t want connection or direction. He believes he knows what’s best for him, he’s got it all figured out – hypothetically. Maybe I’d feel more comfortable if he would take steps towards putting his plan into action. However, his steps aren’t moving forward because he is stuck in quicksand.
This isn’t an excuse, this is the reality of raising a teen who has grown up in this generation. Kids who have little interest in anything but ‘hanging out, smoking pot, expecting everything and giving nothing’.
He’s stuck in a generation of kids who haven’t learned responsibility, accountability, discipline, integrity and respect. Even though the battle I face is with my son, I am well aware that I also battle against this generations; parents, teachers, law makers, media and our society as a whole. It’s a huge battle and some days it seems I will never win.
My son’s father has been absent from our lives for so many years – he is an addict – fighting or succumbing, to his own demons. So not only has my son felt the devastating effects of this huge void, he has been the recipient of his father’s DNA.
I’m left to tackle this impressive storm, alone.
Throw in the lack of respect and severe judgement our society gives to single mothers, pour in this ‘problem generation’, and add to the mix – a bit of financial struggle. You’ll find that what’s developed is the perfect storm. Overcoming it definitely looks bleak.
I keep trying different approaches and I’ve yet to find one that’s effective. That doesn’t mean it isn’t out there, I just haven’t found it. I’m still searching. I’m still thinking creatively. Yet every step I take, comes with questions. Am I pushing too hard? Am I intruding too much? Am I doing this right? I don’t have answers. I must rely on my gut. I must not quit, even when I feel broken myself. His future is at stake and is entirely dependant upon me and my ability to parent.
As I did yesterday, as I will do today… and tomorrow – I will rely on an endless supply of love for my child…and I will use that love as the strength I need to guide him successfully into his future.