How do you change things that have gotten worse? I am a single mother of four all by different fathers. I have always known the Word but refused to follow it, all along knowing I was making the wrong decisions. It's no wonder why my 14-year-old is where she is at this point. I tell her I love her but do I? I mean would a parent be laid back and let their daughter do what they please? Buy them what they want just to make up for what they never had growing up? I have made many mistakes with my children, many. God has blessed me with these beautiful smart children and I have let them down in more ways than one. Could you email me words of wisdom? I am trying now to pick up all the broken pieces and it is very hard.
Hindsight is so much better than foresight. I can't recall how many people have told me, "If I only knew then what I know now." That is one of the reasons it is a shame that in our culture we ignore our older folks. They've lived through so much and accumulated so much experience, but we insist on repeating the same mistakes thinking we know better.
You've learned why God said certain things are harmful by doing it the hard way and experiencing some of the harm. So now the question is where to go from here. You could keep going the same direction, but you know that won't improve the situation. Or, you can change and start following God's teachings instead of fighting them. Even if you can't undo the damage your past has caused, at least you won't be adding additional damage. But likely you will be able to make some improvements in both your life and in the life of your children.
Yes, it will be hard because you have to make up 14 years of lost ground and you only have a few years left before your children are out of the house. You might not get perfection, but at least you can aim for improvement. And waiting another hour isn't going to make the task easier -- it will just make it that much harder.
I wish I could give you more specific advice, but since I don't know the specifics I'm limited. It helps, though, not to get bogged down in the entirety of the problems. Pick one or two major issues and implement a fix for those. Give it a few weeks to settle in and then move on to the next big issue. It is the same advice I have given to a number of parents. Coincidently, a boy who was getting out of control four years ago wrote me last month to say thank you. His father had contacted me about how to bring discipline into his home because his 14-year-old son was becoming wild. We went through specifics and it appears he implemented them. And his son appreciated the effort made when he got to the other end of growing up.