You reach the point where you have a clear understanding, not an intellectual understanding, but a visceral comprehension that our children are going to be who they are. They have different ideas and plans and their own way of wanting to live, just as we did. It need to be honored.
They sometimes want to see if they will still be loved unconditionally even at their worst. Children want to know that-need to know that. When they’re at their worst will you still love them?
Our immediate reaction is to reject the negative behavior or push it away by making it clear that the behavior is unacceptable, or by emotionally pushing the child away or being physically distant. Someone way smarter than me once told me “The times you want to push them away the most are the very times you need to pull them closer.”