Expectations! I can tell you emphatically that I have them for my kids. I can’t tell you my entire list of all my expectations for my tweens and teens because there wouldn’t be enough space to list them!
You know the drill…Keep your room clean, don’t talk back to me, don’t fight with your siblings, get your homework done…
And the list goes on…and on…
But the most important one would be. Don’t embarrass me!
You know what I mean here. Don’t do something that my friends will see…that would make them think I was a bad parent. Don’t lie, cheat, steal, drink, or get someone pregnant would probably be at the top of the list. Of course, you have your own list based on how you were raised.
The Respect Dare may have been written for married women, but as I sat in a Daughters of Sarah classroom (the class that the book is based on) I was focused on my relationship with one of my teens. I’ll admit it needed lots of work. I had expectations that this teen had no desire to fulfill. Every step I took toward attempting to move this one forward toward adulthood ended in more anger, more frustration, and more tears for both of us. Rules didn’t apply. Fun didn’t work. This one wanted to move out and I was ready to see that happen. Nothing I attempted brought us together.
Until Daughters of Sarah…
It was all about my expectations.
You see, I wanted this teen to change! I wanted relationship! Why couldn’t this teen and I have a connection like I had with my other kids?
And Daughters of Sarah taught me that it was about letting go of expectations for other people…even my children. It was time to start focusing on my relationship with God. I needed to rely on Him to solve the problem. The only person I could really change was me!
I love how Sarah Young puts it in her devotional Jesus Calling, “When your private world feels unsteady and you grip (Jesus’) hand for support, you are living in conscious dependence on Me.”
That’s what I want as I go through The Respect Dare again; this time with you. I want to know Him more and depend on Him to change me.
Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Isn’t that what we want for our kids? Maturity.
Well, the same goes for us. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I hear something come out of my mouth to my teens, I wonder if I’ve arrived at that place of maturity! I have screamed, I have been known to use condescending language and flippant remarks, I have issued ultimatums in anger, and truth be told, if the video camera was rolling…those watching would be laughing their heads off! Maturity? My behavior is anything but.
As we go through Nina Roesner’s book together, I would encourage you to focus on expectations for yourself and think of the expectations you need to let go of for your teen. What areas would God like you to change in dealing with your teens? Most likely, it is an area where there is the most conflict.
My list looks like this:
- Allow my teen to manage his own daily schedule without me continually asking if his homework is done.
- If anger starts to rise, I will request that we have a cooling off period and resume conversation when the sparks have died down.
- No longer harp at my daughter when she speeds into the driveway.
If you are like me and have multiple teens, having more than three goals might be overwhelming. If all three can apply to all the kids, then it will be easier to build relationship with each of them.
I would encourage you to spend some time in prayer with the God who can change lives!
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Thanks for joining me on this journey~
Wherever this journey takes you…TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
My desire above all else is for you to strengthen your relationship with God and your tweens and teens!
“Let go…and let God.”
Dare you to bravely share the three things you are going to work on changing “in His strength” as we take this path together.
Double dare you to subscribe to my blog!
Be sure to join Nina Roesner, www.ninaroesner.com, and Leah Heffner, www.leahheffner.com as they take The Respect Dare journey with me. You can visit our website at www.GreaterImpact.com for more information about our ministry.