Q. My teenage daughter is so rebellious and I don't know what else to do. I've done everything I can to make her change. She sits in the back seat at church and laughs, and at home she curses at her brothers and sisters and at me. I know I'm not the best mother but she blames me for her life because I could never hug or kiss her. I try now, but it's too late – she doesn't want anything to do with me.
A. It may look like it's too late, but believe me, it's not. The tricky thing about teenagers is they are so very emotional and stubborn and they do what they feel but have no idea what the root is to their behavior. When you ask them why they do what they do, the usual response is, “I dunno." Here are some facts that you cannot ignore that exist, no matter how rebellious or distant your daughter is behaving towards you:
1. She desperately needs your love and approval.
2. She does not like herself at all.
3. She bases her self-image on the messages that you've sent out to her.
4. She feels deprived of love.
5. She will carry this emptiness her entire life if it is not healed.
Her rebelliousness, her anger, her cursing, all stem back to these basic facts. Imagine an empty well with parched dry ground at the bottom. To fill it back up with water would mean pouring gallons upon gallons of water on to that dry ground, just to watch it soak in and disappear before you could begin to see the water actually start to accumulate at the bottom and rise to the top.
Your daughter is that parched well. As tough as it may seem, and as useless as it may appear, you need to pour out "gallons" of love over her to make up for all that lost time. When she was little, she needed that love, but you withheld it for some reason or another. Don't expect it to come easy or to bring about immediate results. Just do what is right, pray and use your faith and before you know it you will have a transformed teenager at home.
Courtesy of Living Faith Evangelical Church
1235 Pacific Avenue Long Beach, Ca 90813