Parenting Teens While Battling Chronic Illness
Why Didn’t Someone Warn Me!
Parenting Teens While Battling Chronic Illness – So my life as of late has taken a downward spiral. The juggling act of chronic illness and three teenage kids has official caught up to me. I knew it would happen at some point, but I wanted to believe I could keep my kiddos young forever…you know back to the time where you knew their every move, where they listened to what we had to say or sitting in time out was good enough to get them to understand they did something wrong. Ahhh…the good old days.
My oldest daughter who is 18, is graduating from high school in just 2 short weeks and there is still tons left to do. Time has flown and now I can look back when the other moms said “Enjoy it while they are little” and understand exactly what they meant. She became the mother hen around here when I was diagnosed. She quickly helped with cleaning and cooking, even helping with her younger siblings. While doing the balancing act of going to school, keeping fantastic grades, and playing sports. It truly will be hard when she leaves this fall for college, but she worked so hard. She was accepted to a great college and she’s going into the medical field. I couldn’t be prouder!
My stepson who is 16 going to be 17 in less than a month, has recently decided to give us a parenting workout and its exhausting! We have always been in their business and very active in their lives, we trusted him and what he told us. He gets great grades, teachers speak highly of him, and he is very involved with sports. Recently we have found he’s been vaping, selling vaping products, smoking weed, drinking, driving crazy, and yes even taking other kids medication for ADHD (which he does not have). All while keeping his grades at A’s and B’s. So….how did we find out? Through a random room and car search after being caught at school vaping on his break during his SAT testing. As parents we know it’s “normal” for teenagers to experiment and even push the limits, but the reality of what we found was every parents worst nightmare. We sat him down and watched him lie to our face without missing a beat and then finally admitting guilt, but also admitting he likes the way it all makes him feel and sees nothing wrong with what hes been doing. As you can image our hearts quickly sank when we realized this was more then experimenting, this was the beginning of addiction and had been going on for months! Addiction runs deep in his biological moms family and we didn’t want the grip to be on him..we fought to hard to get him where he is today. The battle began..grounding him from everything, taking his car, driving him to the bus stop and to work, and searching him as he leaves and enters our home. Yes, even random drug tests. The easiest thing would have been to kick him out because we had a similar issue this Summer, but we thought we squashed it and it wasn’t nearly as bad as all of this. Currently, we are 3 weeks into this battle. It’s exhausting and a ton of work, but we are not willing to give up on him and his future. We are praying that this too shall pass.
My youngest daughter who will be 13 in less two months has grown up fast. She too has become a great helper with cooking and cleaning. She has kept a 4.0 all year and involved with sports. She’s at the stage of experimenting with her “look”, clothes and some minor make up and she is already beautiful, fighting off the boys will be an issue. I feel having my two older teens, that are much older then her, makes her grow up faster then what they did. Trying to still keep her innocents yet hearing our battle with her brother and why we are upset in the house, quickly leads to a lot of questions we thought we could save for later. Middle school age is tough and hearing some of her stories on how her “friends” are treating her makes me want to scream. Knowing high school is around the corner for her and doing this all over again makes me want to hide until it’s all passed, but I have to remember to just breathe.
I will now pass on the knowledge to you… If you have little ones please enjoy it while they are little, because they do grow up fast. I hate to say it, but it doesn’t always get easier, it can get harder. Put in the work now to ensure good kids and good decisions. Even when they do stray you know as a parent you have done everything you could. Never give up on your kids! Everyone says parenting teens is hard, but parenting teens while battling a chronic illness I think may be harder. This stage is stressful!