Are you a mom or dad who is so frustrated, angry, and fed up with your son or daughter you wish you could quit being their parent? You don’t want the job any more. You want to runaway like they have, or have threatened to do. You want to wave a white flag, throw in the towel, and say “I give up!” “I quit!”
I have. Some days were so hard with my daughter when she was struggling with addictions, cutting, and mental health issues I wanted to run away.
But we can’t quit . . . I suppose we could. Some parents have. You may know a few.They physically left. Sometimes through divorce. Sometimes in other ways. Though physically present, they were no longer involved.
They withdrew into work or hobbies; they left all disciplining, difficult confrontations, and hard consequences to the other parent. They prefer to be the good guy or “friend” and not deal with the dysfunction. The other parent takes all the heat. In scenarios like these, no one wins. If you’re in this type of situation, I’m so sorry.
But, maybe you’re a fully involved parent who’s doing their very best, and if you’re married, your spouse is in the thick of things with you. You’re a united team – only the battle is beginning to get to you.
You’re running on empty. You don’t know what to do or where to turn next. If you were honest, you’d admit you don’t know how you can keep going.
Where does a parent go when they want to quit?
To other parents who’ve been there. They’ll listen without judgement and won’t be frightened away. They’ve heard it all before. They’re strong and seasoned. They have priceless insights from personal experience.
To outside resources. For help understanding our child’s issues and our reactions. The internet, library, bookstore, websites, books, etc.
To a support group. To process emotions and keep the focus on ourselves, not our child. To remind us we’re not crazy and we’re not the only ones. We. Are. Not. Alone.
To a counselor or clergy. Sometimes we can’t help ourselves. We need trained professionals. It’s not a weakness to admit this. It’s wisdom.
To God. For supernatural help and strength. He understands our anger and pain. He’s had a world full of wayward children since the beginning of time. He’ll go through this with us and will never leave us.
To The Bible. For Divine wisdom. Insight. Comfort. Courage. Guidance. Hope. To hear from its Author in our time of need.
To our knees in prayer. For connection with God Himself. For holy conversations. To pour out our grief and complaints. To bring our brokenness into the Father’s Presence for His healing touch – for ourselves and for our child. Where else can we go?
Nothing is more humbling or leveling than having a rebellious, challenging child. No matter what the issue is, it can make you feel totally incompetent. The next time you feel like quitting, remember this list. If there’s an idea you haven’t tried, maybe today’s the day.
I’ve done each one. Together they helped me persevere and not give up.
Check out our Hope for Hurting Parents website for more helpful resources: hopeforhurtingparents.com
A book that has helped me and my husband is: Hope for A Homecoming by Sauer and O’Rourke