Teens and Hypocrisy

There is this “unspoken” paradigm out there that teens are good at spotting hypocrisy in those older than themselves. Physiologically, teens are going through some of the most amazing growth times with the frontal lobe of their brain. They are searching, learning, seeking and noticing. So perhaps there is something to this paradigm.

My problem: how to get my teen to see his own hypocrisy. He is laid back and glides along, trying to make sure everyone stays calm. I am the one saying move it and do it – now! Recently this teenage son of mine asked me to read one of his papers for his religion class. The assignment was to write about what the perfect church would be like. The fresh and innovative ideas of the young are being mined by their teacher, but that is just my hypothesis.

As I read my son’s declaration that there needed to be a schedule so as to reduce stress – I nearly fell out of my chair. Michael loves schedules and knowing the rules, very true, except for one. He doesn’t abide by the rule of what time to get up in the morning, get dressed and get his lunch made. After I recovered from my shock, I asked the teen why he was being such a hypocrite, wanting schedules to prevent stress when he ignores the morning schedule and is the cause of much stress in our morning routine (huge understatement here).

It  happened again this morning. Again I asked the teen why the rules he wanted to reduce stress in situations didn’t apply to him. He had no answer for me. I shall not push it too far without making sure I am still connecting in relationship with my son. I don’t want to push him away forever during these important teen years, but I’ll admit it – I’m flat out tired. The heroic efforts we go through each morning to save that teen’s rumpus from being tardy to school should be recognized and rewarded!

But the truth is most of us are like this teen. I don’t like to admit it, but some of the things that I’m the most adamant about, I don’t always hold myself to. We can all be hypocrites at times. So, I’m working with my teen and his refusal to get going in the morning and the incredible tension it causes to his mother who suffers from Crohn’s Disease and isn’t supposed to have tons of undue stress. I’m also asking God to search my own heart. Help me to be true to the things I say are important, not just expect it from others.

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