My family usually doesn’t go to the movies unless it’s the dollar movies. Well, the last movie we saw as a family was “Brave.” It’s a cartoon about a woman who liked to shoot arrows and ride horses. She was rebellious against her parents because she didn’t want an arranged marriage, so much so that she accidentally turned her mother into a bear. The mother nearly died several times in the movie, and it was the daughter’s fault. When the mother was lying (apparently) lifeless on the ground, my 7-year-old daughter burst into tears, turned to me in the dark theater, and said she was sorry. She apparently identified with the main character so much that she thought her rebellion had killed me, and she was sorry. Of course, the mother ended up not being dead after all, and they lived happily ever after.
When we walked out of the theater and into the bright sunshine, my family had a conversation about teenagers. My 12-year-old son said, “She was so rebellious toward her parents.” I explained to him that when he becomes a teenager, he will be overly emotional, and he will think that we as parents are against him. “Why would I think that?” he asked. “Hormones,” I replied.
All four of my children insisted that they would never be that rebellious. I said, “But it was legitimate that the girl in the movie shouldn’t have to marry a man she didn’t love. It seems like the parents weren’t listening to her. And that is how you will feel as teenagers. You will feel that we as parents don’t listen to you. But you need to understand that your dad and I will always listen to you. We can change our mind based on what you say. We are responsible before God for the decisions that we make for you. Because we have more life experience, we usually see things more clearly than you do. We want you to have the best life possible, and we will always try to do the right thing. But we sometimes make mistakes because we’re not perfect. All we can do is the best that we can.”
My kids said that they knew that we would always try to do the right thing and they trusted us. They insisted that they would never go through teenage rebellion. I said, “Just wait… When the time comes, remember this conversation.”Tweet