Wednesday, March 7, 2012


We have a much loved family member who comes from a trauma background. She just celebrated her 18th birthday. It's not really true, but in some ways it feels like she just ran out of time. Time for the therapeutic parenting to really soak in, time to mature and learn to control impulses. Time to be the child she never truly let herself be while she still needed to feel in control.

And I have a kid who's running out of time. She's 15. She doesn't act 15, she doesn't feel 15, she doesn't even want to BE 15. But she is. Funny how that happens.

Most parents reach this place with their growing children, where they wonder what will become of them, what they will make of their lives. In our house these transitional issues take on a life of their own. Like the toddler they so often resemble emotionally and behaviorally, traumatized children are extreme.

What 15 means in our house is that Sis has only
  • 3 more years before she has to make her own decisions without supervision keeping everyone safe,
  • 3 more years before she is legally responsible for how her decisions may affect people outside our family without us to buffer,
  • 3 more years before certain behaviors and choices could land her in some very unpleasant places.

Of course I do know that it is also just 3 more years until some possible very awesome wing spreading and success. We haven't seen much movement in that direction. We're still hopeful, though. There's a lot that can happen between 15 and 18! We just have to make it over what I'll call the "previously traumatized 15 1/2 year old kiddo freak out". I've seen it on several great, fun, challenging young men and women. Beginning at fifteen and a half there seems to be some kind of a gauntlet they have to run. And the world holds its breath.

The Solution
One thing my beliefs have given me is the confidence that we do have the 'solution', even if we are entering previously uncharted territory with our young ones.
Lots of prayer.
Lots and lots of prayer.
While they are under our care, and perhaps even more once they are no longer in our homes.
For their safety, for others' safety, for good decisions, for health, success and healing.
But mainly that they be drawn closer and closer to the maker and to the person He created them to be, no matter where life takes them (or they take themselves) in the coming years.

After all of the life, love, and structure we pour into these beloved ones, they hit 18 (really fast!).
There really isn't anything else.


  1. ...and even MORE prayer! That really is all we can do ... and it is plenty.
    But, at least for me, there is the need to keep trying, urging, helping...but attempting to make mine experience the bumps on her own. Nobody ever said life would be easy!
    It's a very very hard time!

  2. Yep. I definitely think that 18 is the new 13, especially when it comes to our kids. And at that developmental level they still need a lot of parent intervention,even if they fight it.

    So sorry it's hard!