It’s a strange feeling knowing that there are people in my kids lives who have more immediate influence on them than I do. Though my boys didn’t often seek out my advice when they lived at home, I had more of a sense of the things they were thinking through or struggling with and found opportunity to invited myself into their lives.
Now their professors and their peers, their work supervisors and their roommates are the ones who prod them, challenge them, comfort or counsel them. Oh, on occasion we’ll be included on a major decision, but sometimes I feel like I’m the last to know. And actually, I don’t have most of the answers so I’m really thankful for the community at Messiah.Letting go, Picking a major, independence | Comment (0)
There’s a familiar saying, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” I have my own version of that wisdom: Fill out your child’s application and it’s mailed in long before the deadline. Watch and answer questions while your child fills out the form, and he’ll learn to do it himself.
One of the hardest things for me to do, as a parent, is to sit back and watch my kids struggle with something I know I could handle in quick order. But that’s exactly why they don’t know how to operate all our household appliances or shop tools. (They HAVE known how to work the washer and dryer for years, thank goodness.)
It’s especially tough when it feels like their future rests on getting forms and applications completed accurately and submitted on time. But by the time they are heading off to college, it’s probably time to choose not the easiest way, but the better way.Filed under Responsibilty, independence | Comment (0)
My kids surprise me sometimes. Just when I expect they’re going to forget to follow through, just when I am certain they’ll forget some important detail, just when I think they’re not paying a bit of attention, they blow me away by acting like adults. And it’s easier for them to act like adults, when I treat them that way. If I keep nagging, keep reminding, keep doing things for them, it sends the message that I don’t think they’re capable.
Since our goal in parenting has always been (theoretically) to get our children to become responsible adults, letting them practice that now seems like a grown-up thing for ME to do.Filed under independence | Comment (0)
Summer is a rather awkward time for our family, and it’s been that way for a number of years. Even before the boys graduated from high school, summer was a time when our normal family routine fell to pieces and every year we had to reset expectations and boundaries—No, the car does not belong to you so you still have to ask before making plans. Yes, we do expect you to tell us when you make other plans for dinner. Yes, you live here too and we know you need to be able to invite your friends over.
Young adult children want to be treated like young adults (even when they don’t act like they are) and parents can have trouble remembering how grown up their “kids” are. Their wings are strong and flight-worthy, but we’re all crammed into this little nest together for just a while longer.Filed under independence | Comment (0)