Encouraging Myself –

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The difficult teen will do things their own way, in their own time, regardless  of your wishes or schedule.
The good teen will do what you ask, when you ask,  even though they may complain a little.
It’s easy to love a good  child.

The difficult teen will try your patience and understanding every  day.  They will challenge the depths of your love, the core of your soul  numerous times throughout each day, until you wonder if you have any strength  left.  The good teen will try your patience and understanding from time to  time. They will challenge your ability to see just how many extracurricular  activities you can cram into each day, until you wonder if you have any energy  left.
It’s easy to love a good child.

The difficult teen will sneak  out of the house at night to buy drugs, only to have the police knock at your  door at 3am on a work night so you can come down to the station to pick them up.  They’ve been arrested.
The good teen will sneak out of the house at night (on  a weekend) to TP the soccer coach’s house after a big win, only to go back to  the coaches house the next morning.  To help clean up.
It’s easy to love a  good child.

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The difficult teen will skip school, even when you drop them  off out front and watch them walk inside.  No matter how hard a parent tries to  help or force a child, the difficult teen may not graduate from High School.   The difficult teen won’t be going off to college.  The good teen might  consider skipping a class or two, but doesn’t want to get caught. A parent  doesn’t have to make an effort to keep a good kid in school. The good teen  ponders which college they should attend.
It’s easy to love a good  child.

The difficult teen is often withdrawn from family.  They don’t  smile a lot, they don’t get real enthusiastic about much. A parent’s heart breaks  a little more every day.  The good teen is often tells family about things  that happened during their day.  They smile and laugh a lot, and are enthusiastic  about a lot of things. A parent’s heart soars a little more every day.
It’s  easy to love a good child.

So many people give up on the difficult teen.   Write them off as being unworthy of their efforts.  Distrust, because they don’t  understand.  Give up because it’s the easiest thing to do.  So many people  cheer for the good teen.  Try to help them in any way they can. Trust them,  because it’s not hard to do so.  Encourage them to succeed because they seem to  want to.
It’s easy to love a good child.

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It’s easy to love the good  teen.  The parent’s of them, thank God their life is going as planned.  That  they have good children to love. Sure, a parent loves their good teen  unconditionally. But they haven’t really had to put that to the test.  They  haven’t had to test the limits of their understanding and forgiveness.  Their  souls and faith are intact because they haven’t been shattered. Do they realize  that the most important things in life are the little things? The path of the  good teen may not be exactly what a parent would have chosen, but they know that  everything will turn out all right.
It’s not easy to love the difficult teen.  But I thank God for  them, for without the difficult teens, how can we possibly understand what  unconditional love really is?  How would we know just how deeply we can love,  and how easily we can forgive?  How would we otherwise test the endurance of our  souls, the depths of our faith?  How else would we realize just how strong we  really are?  How else would we know what is TRULY important in life.

The path  of the difficult teen may not be what a parent would have chosen, but it is the  hand that they were dealt.

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