Monday, February 23, 2015

What the matter with kids?

The same thing is wrong with kids that's wrong with the adults around them. In the past 5 days, I've had two teens of my close acquaintance struggle with some pretty serious issues.

One of them is my godson's brother. It's a complicated situation, so suffice it to say that he wants to change his name back to the name he was given at birth, prior to his adoption. For the record, neither name is particularly "weird" and he is 18 and in the Army. Because he's 18 and all that goes with that, he immediately told his family about his decision and gotten some major blowback from his mom--not the easiest person in the world on a good day--saying she will disown him if he goes through with that. He's surprised, which he shouldn't be, and hurt, which makes sense. I have no idea if he'll do it because he is, after all, 18; so far it's just a Facebook name change. From my standpoint, he should do what he wants but he needs to understand consequences of those actions. And I'm super-happy he's 1000 miles from his mom for the foreseeable future. Best choice he has made is to join up, get some seriously solid discipline in his life, and get out of his toxic household.

The other problem is more serious. I teach Sunday School to middle school kids along with a parent of two of the kids in the class. Obviously, over the past two years I've gotten to know these kids--the whole class--pretty well and love them to death even when I'm ready to throttle them for being goofy. Yesterday, the mom of one of the kids pulled me aside to tell me that her 13-year-old son is going into the 'hospital' tomorrow for addiction treatment. Last year, they discovered he was cutting himself. Then he joined the football team in the fall which brought some social standing in school and seemed to inspire a more confident bearing. Apparently in November he discovered a pot supplier and started using that, and at some point added some painkillers he found in his parents' medicine cabinet. His mom told me that he had specifically told her that it was OK if she told me what was going on. So I found him in the Sunday School room--alone--after church and gave him a big hug. Meanwhile, his 14-year-old sister is overcompensating as usual and being a completely hyper-spaz "perfect child." Thank God she's actually smart and funny, but she's really needy right now too.

Kids have hard lives. They don't always know the best way to get through the hard parts and make things harder in the long run. It's painful to watch.

And don't get me start on my own son. Sparky's awesome, but there are times when I just want to shake some sense into him, even as I realize that he's got to figure out this whole thing about life/job/school for himself and live with his decisions. Fortunately, he seems to be muddling along in mostly the right direction. Finally.

2 thing(s) to say:

Kwizgiver said...

I can relate to this post. Sometimes it's hard to leave it at school.

Cat. said...

I thought of you while I was writing this...the stories you know that you can't talk about...

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