bedtime is always an issue when we deal with teen aged kids. every night, i sound like a recording saying to my boy that it’s already 10 pm and it’s already time to bed. and the same story goes that we debate first for about 10 to 15 minutes. he argues that even if he’d lay down at 10, he usually gets to sleep between 1 to 2am. naturally for me, it’s not acceptable because he has to wake up early for school and i insist that the later he lays in bed, the harder it will be for him to fall asleep. we already tried various strategies besides nagging. like if he’d shut down later than 10, he would be penalized the next day. no computers. no tv. if you have your own teen aged kid too, you would probably know more or less the ending of our story. the kid complies, but not after seeing you turning into incredible hulk! with that smirk as if he’s having a ball seeing me all green. grrrrr!
but every morning when i wake him up, the hulk in me is gone with the night. instead, i turn into my old self again while i prepare his breakfast, and the uniform he would be wearing. and i focus on him until i see him ride the school bus, and finally out of my sight. aaahh! mothers.
what keeps me sane through all this, is the realization that discipline is a relative term and one can not really measure how much a kid needs. some kids are by nature subdued, rational and responsible. so they need less. some are bratty, careless, apathetic, wild. sometimes these kids need OD. ooops! and it will take a genius of a mother to know the exact dosage of discipline to give their children. and when.
you see, i am not a genius. so i do the trial and error method. and with this method, i learn from my children too. the usual dosage i give is discipline with a dash of firmness and a pinch of consistency taken with a glass of understanding. and like king solomon, understanding of what is right and what is wrong, is what i always pray for in dealing with difficult issues. especially with raising my kids. because on my own, with my human nature, i can never fully comprehend the complexities of it all. only solomon can do that. but i am ready to learn, if only to raise my children well. because i love them. and i want them to grow up pleasing before the eyes of the Lord. maybe that’s what king solomon and i have in common, not wisdom. but love. (you see, even this hulk has a heart!)