The Respect Dare – Dare 18 – Does Fear Have a Grip on You? – For Parents of Tweens & Teens

“Cassie, you’re not going to that party! You know how we feel about these high school parties. We don’t know the parents or the students,” Marsha responded. “We’ve got plans that evening anyway.”

“Why is it we always have plans when I want to do something? What is it we’re doing?”

“I’m waiting for your dad to let me know. I’m guessing we’ll go to eat after the game. You’re welcome to invite a friend to go with us.”

“Mom, everyone in the band always goes to the party. All my friends will be there. They are always chaperoned by band parents so what’s the big deal? You act as if something bad will be going on! It’s like you always plan something so I can’t have any fun with my friends!”

And with that Cassie stormed to her bedroom and slammed the door.

A couple of hours later, Brandon, Marsha’s high school junior, came bounding into the laundry room. “Mom, I’m heading over to Adam’s for a few hours to work on Chemistry.”

“How are you getting there?”

“You said you were going to be doing laundry the rest of the afternoon. I thought I would just take your car since you won’t be driving it. Is that okay?”

“Where does he live?”

“Not too far. He’s about 10 minutes away toward Saltair.”

“I don’t know, son. Maybe I should take you. Those roads are pretty narrow and that bridge at the bottom of that curve scares me. I’ll just grab my purse and take you over there. I might need the car anyway.”

“Mom, you’ve got to be kidding! I’m 17 for heaven’s sake. Why can’t I just drive over there myself?”

“Brandon, my job is to keep you safe. I need to pick up a gallon of milk anyway, so this way I can get it on the way back.”

“Mom, I’ll just bring some home when we’re through studying.”

“Honey, I need it to fix dinner.”

“I know you are just making that up so you have to drive me!”
he flung the words at her as he grabbed his book bag.

As Marsha and Ron were climbing into bed that evening, Ron asked, “Honey, what was going on at dinner tonight? Both Cassie and Adam were in such foul moods. Anything I should know about?”

“I’m just tired of both of them asking to do things that are just not safe!” she mumbled. I feel like I always have to be on guard to make sure I have an alternative to their request. Cassie wants to go to one of those high school parties after Friday night’s game and today I had to drive Brandon over to a friend’s house because he thought he could drive on that narrow winding road down by the river! It just exhausts me! They just don’t understand all the horrible things that can happen to them.

“So I’m assuming both of them were upset because you told them both “no” to their requests?”

“Yes! I always have to be the bad guy.”

“Marsha, Adam is 17 and Cassie will be 16 in a couple of months. When are you going to let go?”

“So you think I should have said “yes”! You’ve got to be kidding! I’m not going to let my 15 year old daughter go to a party after the game where I don’t know the parents or the kids! And Adam needs more driving experience before he drives on that road!”

“Honey, so when are we going to let go?”

I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

As parents, some of us have more difficulty than others of letting our children grow up. Part of it could be our upbringing if we grew up in a home where fear was passed on to us by our parents. Others of us struggle because of something horrific that has happened, so we constantly have a nagging sense of fear that is hard to get past. Whatever the circumstance, I would encourage to ask yourself if it is time to start letting go. Our tweens and teens need to know that we trust them. They need to know that we want to protect them…but beware of holding on too tight.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Dare you to assess whether you respect your tweens and teens enough to loosen the reins if you are holding on out of fear.

“Let go…and let God,”


Hope you will join Nina Roesner as she provides insight on marriage and Leah Heffner as she blogs to wives with little people as we go through The Respect Dare together.

 

 

 


3 replies
  1. Jim
    Jim says:

    It’s tough letting go. But we have to, because they will soon be adults, and they will then be free to go if they choose.

    I remember the first time my daughter got invited to a slumber party. I didn’t know the parents. Boy was I nervous! I picked up the phone and called the girl’s mother. I introduced myself, and then asked, “What music will they listen to, what movies will they watch, what activities will they be doing?”

    In almost every case, the girl’s mother was very pleasantly surprised that a dad cared enough to ask those questions! In these cases, the mother proceeded to let me know exactly what they would be doing. I thanked her and hung up, confident that that mother would keep a watchful eye on what went on.

    In one case, however, the girl’s mother was offended that I would ask such questions. When that happened, I knew instinctively that the kids, not the mom, ran that house. That was the one time I didn’t allow my daughter to attend a slumber party.

    You can’t watch them every minute; neither should you. But ask God to help you with these matters. I am really thankful to God for helping me.

    Reply
  2. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Jim, it looks as if you are a wise, involved dad! That’s awesome! Connecting with other parents who will be making decisions for your child can resolve so many issues later and helps our children make good choices based on watching us. Letting go is hard, but so much easier when we know that they’ve watched us choose wisely through the growing up years.

    Reply
    • Jim
      Jim says:

      When she graduated from high school, the rules changed; she could now have TV and internet in her room, only she had to keep the volume down so as not to disturb others. In other words, adult, not child, rules. The adult rules lasted till she got married and moved out.

      She is very happily married now to a wonderful man. I am the best of friends with both of them!

      Reply

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