Mother’s day is the one special day put aside to honor the one you call “Mother”. For Mom, it may mean breakfast in bed, or a special dinner, perhaps a gift or some flowers. Children offer sentiments usually as a gesture that is taught to them by their parents, or perhaps school. Their sentiments are sweet, but they hardly know just how much work and worry goes into being a mother. Teens offer gifts of an obligatory nature, even though the fact is, they are often in conflict with their mothers during these turbulent years. Grown children and those who have their own kids usually finally understand and appreciate their mothers.
Some think their mothers are too harsh, especially in the teen years. That may or may not be true, but given what they have to worry about, there is good reason. For example, a study done in 2009 showed that in the 30 days prior to the study, 10% of the students had driven after having consumed alcohol; 28% had ridden with a driver who had consumed alcohol; and 42% had themselves consumed at least some alcohol. To teenagers, this may seem harmless and fun. Mom, however, sees the big picture. Besides the fact that any of those instances could have ended tragically, the fact is that it may also signal a future in substance abuse.
Another example is the Marin Institute which reports that children who drink before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism. Mothers keep up with this information. This is the big picture, the one that teens are not yet worried about. A mother must weigh this information with allowing a child to grow and learn. Thinking her child may be riding around with someone who has been drinking, or has already tried drinking and could become alcoholic, is enough to make anyone tense.
A mother who interrogates her teen doesn’t “hate” them, as the teen may suspect, but rather, loves them enough to care. A mother who often discusses the dangers of drinking and/or doing drugs isn’t nagging, but rather, loving you enough to constantly remind you of the dangers. A mother’s love doesn’t always seem like love, especially to some teenagers, but it is. No one loves a teenager more than their mother, in most cases. They are willing to go through the turbulence in order to prevent a future substance abuse problem for their child.
On Mother’s Day, let’s remember the moms who care enough to be tough… and teach.