He's 18 years old and going through growing pains. I can remember what it's like to feel grown and feel like you have all the answers, but people still treat you like a child. Let's face it, 18 really is still young and no, you don't have all the answers at that age. In the past couple of years, there have been some times where things have felt impossible with him....trying to get him to listen at home and focus at school. But despite all that, what he needs is love, love and more love. So I am resolving to pay more attention to him. Not to the things he has done or ways he's messed up, but to him. What he's says and thinks and feels...and maybe, just maybe, validation as a human being will be the beginning of his breakthrough. I don't know of this will work, I don't know what type of results this will yield, but I'm willing to try it out.
I've invited him to come spend the weekend at my house. Just to get away from it all for a weekend....no arguing, no punishments, no chores, nothing. Just some time to air out and relax. I don't know what to do to ease his pain that he keeps bottled up inside or to motivate him to go all the way with his education, but I'm taking my lead from the Dalai Lama on this one: "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." There are many ways to hurt, far beyond the physical. I know that I have had a sharp tongue in the past and my words have hurt people close to me, including my little brother. So I have stepped back from trying to discipline him.....I always felt like I had to do so. But I was hurting more than I was helping.
My goal, is to simply show him love and forgiveness and to let him know that he can always come to me anytime he needs a shoulder to cry on, shelter from the rain, or just some space to air out.
I hope that through peace, love, patience and tolerance we can all be drawn closer to our loved ones whom we may have previously written off. Family is the most valuable natural resource....treasure it, preserve it at all costs.