Saturday, October 16, 2010

A WORD FROM A SHADE-TREE PARENT

Shade-tree parent; I know how to handle a few things from on-the-job training by having three children of my own and working with 100s of other families over the years.  Professional?  No.  Experiential? Yes.

What I'm about to tell you is just in case you might be going through some of this and it would be God's timing. 

A neighbor stopped by my house this week as I was watering the lawn.  Her family goes to a nearby church.  I have a question for you, she quipped.  What do you do when your daughter is dating someone you don't approve of? 

Ah, not an unusual question.  Times are tough when parent/child perspectives are out of sync.  Yet, it is an opportune time if managed well by the leader; the parent.

Kids need to know the parent trusts them and believes in them.  Write this down....They will make mistakes.....just as you did.  We grimace when any mistakes are costly; yet maturity gains its greatest momentum in precisely those situations.

My advice to my neighbor:
  • Don't create any division while she is 20 that you are going to grievingly regret at 30.
  • Communicate your caution and concern and then move on to assurances of the strengths you see in your child.  Speak up; but do it with respect.  You do know things she doesn't.
  • Realize they must be free to live their own lives.  If you press her into dating another and the marriage doesn't work out....she will blame you and you will carry guilt the rest of your life. 
  • If your child blows it in any form, be prepared as the Prodigal Mother to receive the daughter with celebration; not condemnation of I told you so.
All through the years I've wanted to say to my kids along the way....Oh you don't want to move there, you don't want to live there, you don't want to......etc.  But I refrained for in each case they did want to do exactly as they were doing....and one of the things I like about all of my kids is they follow their heart's lead for God.

I hesitate to hit "publish" on this one for the sheer truth that some who are reading this need exactly the opposite, by chance.  Yet...I will send it forth for that one who could use a part of these ideas.  Just keep in mind...they are shade-tree concepts and not professional.  Dig?

1 comment:

Christi said...

Good post - I'll have to remember this advice!