A word of caution.....or encouragement....or warning.
You are entering a phase where a big part of the job is to be silent.
Now....for some of you this will not be a challenge. You will glide through with flying colors, because for reasons I cannot understand, keeping your mouth shut is not only easy....you take great joy in it.
I, on the other hand, have had to practically put duct tape over my lips on some days. It's not that my kids are doing anything wrong. It's just that I might do things differently and I love to express my ideas!
But here is the truth. I cannot control them. I cannot make decisions for them. I cannot guilt them or shame them into doing what I want them to do. I am not responsible for them. I am only responsible for me.
My power comes in the ability I have to pray over them. No one can take that away from me. And in reality, it's the most powerful thing I can do for them......and it goes a long way in building a good relationship with them as they become adults.
No one likes to feel controlled by someone. We all resist when we feel like we don't have a say so over our own life.
As parents, we can show our kids respect by allowing them freedom to decide for themselves who they are going to be and how they are going to choose to live their life.
They are writing their own story. My name can't be on the book cover of their life. Only their name can be. And what is written on the inside, will be their responsibility. If the story is a good one, it will be filled with great passion for life. Good choices, bad choices. Successes, failures. It will grab our attention as we read how failure turned into the greatest lesson learned. Their story will be brilliant....but it must be theirs, not ours.
Our greatest adversary in this parenting phase is fear. Fear that our kids will not act or live their life the way we have raised them. We are afraid they will make choices that will bring hard consequences. We don't want them to suffer. This is where remembering how much God loves them.....much more than we do....brings freedom from fear.
Let me add this....we do have the power to not financially support a life that is not making wise choices. We have the choice to not enable. As we are praying, we can also draw boundary lines. This is healthy parenting....letting them go, loving them, supporting them with our words, letting them know we are for them and we believe in them.
We won't do everything right in this phase, just like we didn't do everything right in every other parenting phase....but rejoice with me as I give God glory for never leaving my kid's side, for never leaving my side! Rejoice and give thanks for wisdom that comes when we ask for it and the strength to be silent so God can speak.