Susan Hines-Brigger wrote an article, "Lord, Help Me, I Have Teenagers" for the January 2016 issue of St. Anthony's Messenger. That simple prayer is one I think all parents of teenagers can relate to. I know I can. While I have always prayed a great deal for my children, having two teenage boys has brought it to a whole new level. And I don't even want to think about the young girl as a teenager. One day at a time - that's all I can handle.
There are days when I truly question God's decision to allow teenagers to have free will. I want so much for them to make good choices and to be the people God wants them to be, and yet, I know from personal experience that being a teenager often means making some poor choices and needing the Sacrament of Confession perhaps more than at any other time in our lives.
The decisions made as a teenager can have such lasting consequences, for good or ill. The stakes are so high. Being a teenager isn't fun - while it has its moments, it's a challenging time of change and figuring out who you are and what you believe in. I think it might even be more painful being the parent of teenager when one has to figure out how much to hold on and how much to let go, and how to love your child even when he is being completely unlovable. God is the only one who can help me. He's going to be hearing a lot from me over the next fifteen years.
In her article, Hines-Brigger shared the following prayer from the book What Teens Want You to Know (But Won't Tell You):
Lord, help us to really see deep into the hearts of teens, in the same way you search and probe our own hearts. Give us the grace to want to see you and your Spirit as you dwell within each of the teens in my life. Amen.