As the mother of two teenage boys, one 19 and one 16, there are days when it breaks my heart that they are not little anymore. That they no longer look up to me as the wonderful Mommy who has all the answers and can kiss their boo-boo's all better.
I get it.
However, I have learned that if we don't parent in a way that plans and accepts this truth - that the goal really is for them to grow up, be independent and care for and raise families of their own - then they will grow up dependent, insecure and unprepared to take responsibility and face the challenges of adulthood.
It is definitely an uphill climb to teach them responsibility and character but the dividends for us and more importantly for them as they seek God's will and plans for their lives, is truly worth teaching them how and then reminding them for the millionth time (with patience and love of course....) to
pick up their toys,
take out the trash,
clean their room
or whatever task their age and responsibility level matches. To follow through and actually require them to be responsible.
Trust me and start when they are young and think you are cool and are excited about being big girls or big boys just like Mommy or Daddy. That window closes quicker than any of us imagine.
Click on the link below from Parent Cue by Reggie Joiner to read more encouragement about the importance of realizing we are raising adults not raising children. He is a co-author of the parenting study I'll be leading at our church - iargyle.com - this summer.
Blessings and Courage in Christ,