Home Lifestyle New Year Resolutions: Reconnecting with Your Distant Teen

New Year Resolutions: Reconnecting with Your Distant Teen


ResolutionsA Christian father recites how a reestablished connection with his suddenly sick daughter changed his life and faith five years later
Many parents typically find the process of bonding
and connecting with their young teen fairly difficult, mainly due to their growing desire for privacy and independence. Labeling it a “phase,” many parents tend to sit back and hope their teen eventually “grows out of it.
A typical tactic for sure that could and often does turn out okay for the parent. But is gambling that time will essentially “fix” your child the best way of finally connecting with him or her? Well, from his own experiences, book author Paul Stepusin begs to differ.
Paul, a Christian father and husband, successful businessman and family provider took pride in these roles. But as his daughter Rebecca turned 18 and was heading to college, he felt that despite an obvious mutual love for one another, the once personal relationship held between father and daughter was now diminishing.
As she was becoming a woman, Paul had a tough time accepting she was not daddy’s little girl anymore. This did not sit well with Paul, but he like many parents, placed faith on time magically placing things together – until a routine check-up with the family doctor happened.
That routine check-up revealed Rebecca suffered from a historically uncommon form of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that usually affects children much younger than her. The road to treatment was one of much uncertainty and unanswered questions. But one thing Paul was certain about was taking time into his own hands by re-bonding with his daughter asap – despite how uncomfortable or embarrassing it may be for him.
Paul’s book, Rare captures how he was able to reconnect his father/daughter bond with Rebecca, and how important it became for both of them to do so, while cancer was looming.  He reveals ways on how he remained persistent without becoming a nuisance, and how he began to read body language while using non-verbal cues to connect early on. He also stresses how parents must overcome inner-pride and take the time to open up with their child emotionally. It is only then when true personal moments are captured between a parent and a child.
The Role Faith Played
Rare also uncovers how Paul struggled with his faith more than ever during this time. His inability to see God’s works in Rebecca during her time of sickness brought anger and mistrust. However, Rebecca ironically became closest to God as her sickness grew. Her trust in Him was apparent to everyone who was around her, which eventually made everyone see the miracle of spiritual healing she was receiving from God, including Paul.
“God was there all along, but it took the strength of Rebecca when she struggled most to see his love and mercy. It is very ironic, but her belief in God’s will allowed me to open my eyes for the first time during all this to witness His grace,” said Paul.