Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms recently commented on her strained relationship with her eldest son, Lance Bottoms, 16. Mayor Keisha and her husband share 4 children - 3 boys and a girl.
In the caption of a photo of Lance with his prom date, the mayor wrote: "16 today and headed to the prom. WOW, WOW, WOW.... I've heard my sweet baby boy will like me again in about 5 years."
Her story is similar to millions of parents whose sons are going through puberty. The boys become moody and cantankerous. Gone is the little boy who was once the apple of his mommy's eye.
Some of the parents who follow the mayor on Instagram empathized with her and assured her that this is just a phase her eldest son is going through.
But why do children turn on their parents when they hit puberty?
The Parent/Child Relationship is Only Temporary
The Bible says the parent-child relationship is only temporary. The husband-wife relationship is the permanent one. All children are born into this world with one common purpose in life: to ensure the survival of the human race through procreation. The human body is specifically designed for that purpose.
There are 2 stages that a child must go through in order to achieve their purpose in life.
Puberty is the physiological process in which a child's body matures into an adult for the purpose of reproduction. This is the stage when boys and girls become sexually active and girls are capable of being impregnated. Puberty is triggered by a rush of sex hormones that causes physiological changes in the body.
2. Leaving Home
Sex hormones causes physiological changes in the body. But they also cause emotional changes in the brain. The child-parent relationship becomes tense as the son begins the process of separating from his parents, becoming independent and ready to raise his own family.
At this stage the teenage child rebels against the authority and dependency on their parents. It is necessary for the child to leave the parents in order to become a mature, independent adult with a family of his own.
The Bible says: "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).
The Bible also says that in order to cleave to his new wife, a man must respectfully leave his parents.
"Leaving your home does not mean you permanently withdraw and no longer have a good relationship with your parents. That's isolating yourself from your parents, not leaving. The commandment in Exodus 20:12 to honor your parents means that when you leave them, you need to go with respect, love, admiration, and affirmation for their sacrifices and efforts in raising you."
"But you must make a break from them and sever your dependency on them. As time passes, you must be diligent to prevent any reestablishment of dependence at critical points in your marriage.” (Dennis and Barbara Rainey).
Read more at Marriagemissions.com.
Photos by Paras Griffin/Getty Images, Instagram.com