I spoke to a mom of a new college student just a few weeks ago. Her daughter had just come home from college for Christmas break for the first time. The mom was joy-filled at getting to see her daughter for a couple of weeks, but she talked about how stressful it was on the entire family. “I’m kind of hoping she’ll decide to get an internship or something for the summer,” she admitted. “Does that mean I’m a bad mom?”
Most of us don’t know what to expect for those “firsts” that our kids encounter or do we?
Whether it is a driver’s license, a first date, a serious boyfriend, or a holiday home from college, most of us haven’t anticipated our what comes next. That’s what Dare 23 is all about. If we are having a sex talk with our daughter after we’ve found out that she’s already been intimate with her boyfriend, that’s when we discover that we haven’t planned far enough ahead.
Most of us are already doing this for the day-to-day of life as a family. Whether it’s assigned chores or rules that we’ve set in our home with appropriate consequences, we see a need and we put a plan in place to take care of the problem. You have the skills. And we know what it takes to get things back on track.
What I’m talking about here are those monumental milestones where things will be different. It’s anticipating all the conflict that can arise when things are different in your home. With freedom, our kids will most likely pendulum swing to the far extreme of their grandiose idea of “total freedom” instead of what we as parent’s intended as gradual freedom.
Take my friend, for example. Her daughter comes home from college with the plan to see all her high school friends. Late nights (after all, she doesn’t have to study), sleepovers, shopping, a come-and-go-as I please mentality just like she had at college. Meanwhile mom was dreaming of time to bake cookies together and fun trips out–just the two of them–like old times.
Two totally different plans for what Christmas break was going to be like.
The reality was that dad still needed to get up for work every day even though the garage door was opened at 2 am by their unthinking daughter. The girl’s brother was still in school and trying to study for exams. With the daughter bringing friends home, the laughing and giggling was making it hard for her son to concentrate. And mom was frustrated and disappointed that her dreams and expectations from her daughter weren’t turning out as she planned.
Dare 23 is all about the up-front dialogue; planning ahead and anticipating the potential pitfalls.
It’s all about communication — in advance.
My experience with moms is that most of us don’t know what we don’t know so we just let things happen and then deal with the conflict later. Another thing we fail to do is get dad involved in these monumental decisions and plan together.
Several years ago I was talking to a mom while I was getting my hair cut. Her first daughter was getting ready to graduate from high school. This mom announced, “I’ve told my girls that I pay for things until they are 18. College is on them. My husband and I have paid for the best private school in the area to help them be successful in life. What they do with that is up to them.”
Whether you agree with their decision to pay for college or not isn’t the point. What is important here is that both parents had agreed on a plan up front, they put the plan for college in motion before the girls even took their first step into the halls of the high school, and communication was on-going with every choice the girls made with regard to their college selection.
That’s parenting ahead.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
The plans of the diligent certainly lead to profit, but anyone who is reckless certainly becomes poor.
Proverbs 21:5 can apply to relationships as well as money. Our relationships will blossom with our kids if we can anticipate conflict before it happens and begin the communication process early.
Dare you to anticipate the next big milestone with your teens and tweens. Start the communication process now so they will know what to expect.
“Let go…and Let God”,
Communication is key in all our relationships. And learning to deflate the defensiveness with our kids and reduce the conflict and stress in our homes is paramount. Wouldn’t you like to have a more peaceful home where the stress of the day to day interactions can calmly be resolved? Knowing our kids, anticipating ahead, and making small changes in our communication can have a huge impact with our tweens, teens, and our 20-somethings.
We’ve put together a training retreat where in three days you can learn the skills that will radically transform your home. Not only will we teach you how to implement these new skills, but you’ll have an opportunity to practice them in an encouraging environment away from judgment. You’ll have time to refresh your soul in a park-like setting where you will be encouraged to unpack the “now” you are in and learn how to start over with a different perspective.
Here’s what women are saying about our Deflating Defensive Training Retreat:
“It was like the light-bulb finally went off! I’ve read a mountain of books, but this approach is different. Learning in-person from the trainers made all the difference. I wasn’t able to understand until they modeled it for me and gave me someone to mirror. That’s the thing that was life-changing for me!”
“The retreat taught me how to interact positively with family members who have a history of attacking me verbally… I learned the tools to use when this happens. And it worked when a recurring irritant happened just days ago with an important person in my life!”
“I’ve already encouraged my sister to come with me to the next one.”
We hope you’ll consider joining us this year! We promise your relationships will grow in ways you never thought possible.
Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.