What Are You Worrying About?

As the beginning of the school year dawns a new season in our kids’ lives, maybe you are like most moms and are on the lookout for what you need to be worrying about.  I’ll admit that it is the same for me.

As my kids were finishing up those last few months of their senior year of high school, my worry meter was on high alert.  While my kids were anticipating their new freedom–heading off to college — I feared the worst.

What if I hadn’t taught them everything they needed to know to survive on their own?

What would happen when I didn’t remind them to make sure their homework was finished?

Would they get up for those 8 am freshman classes when I wasn’t there as a safety net?

Yes, I knew they could run the washing machine, but would they forget and leave their clothes in the dryer to be found by someone else–and taken?

My list was endless as I  watched the countdown until college dorm move-in began.

I found myself  becoming more and more unsure of their success.  Little things they would do would remind me of their immaturity.  The things they didn’t do were reminders of things I had failed to teach them.

And, of course, my type A personality would not let me fail.

And I found myself doing the opposite of what I should have been doing.

I went into teacher mode — nagging them about every detail of the things I thought they should be aware of before they went off on their own.

Now mind you, I didn’t see it as nagging.  I thought I was helping them develop survival skills.  But instead of nurturing the relationship, I was in hyper-vigilant mode assessing every detail of their lives under the microscope of future success.

And what my kids discovered was:

Proverbs 27:15

A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike.

Your kids might not be heading off to college this fall, but do you find yourself constantly reminding them of things they need to do?  If so, let me ask you a question.

What are your parenting fears?  And I want to encourage you to make a list of those fears.

Once you’ve done that, ask yourself “what idol is attached to that fear?

Whether we realize it or not, all of us have dreams and expectations for our kids.  We want success to come their way. And sometimes those dreams and expectations become an idol that we consciously or unconsciously give voice to — hence we nag our kids about the things we idolize.

Do we idolize a perfectly clean room?  

Or straight A’s?

Or siblings who get along all the time?

Or perfect kids which translates to us being perfect parents?

In my case I was idolizing success for my kids as they moved off to college.  Oh my, how would I handle it if my kids dropped out?  Or turned all their tighty-whities pink in the laundry?  Or didn’t make it to all their classes?

My fears turned to a doomsday mentality as I translated my kids’ potential failures as my failure as a parent.  And it stifled our connection until I recognized the toxicity I was adding to the relationship.  

Dare you to identify your fears as you parent your tweens and teens and make course corrections before it is too late.  After all, if they do turn their underwear pink, they might call and ask for some advice on how to make sure they do their laundry right the next time.  

“Let go…and let God”, 

With the start of school, now is a great time to grab a few friends and go through With All Due Respect together.  This book will not only draw you closer to God but will hone how you think about your role as a parent.  And who knows, even if you aren’t struggling in your parenting, I’m guessing you know someone who is.  Why not take an opportunity to connect with this mom and help her with a difficult season in her life?  After all, none of us get it right 100% of the time.  To start your group now, click here.



Should I Share My Shame-Filled Secrets With My Teens?

Let’s face it, we all have regrets from the past.  Those deep places in our very soul that tend to haunt us from time to time.  They rear their ugly head at the worst possible moment.

These are the things we hold on tightly to, hoping that no one will ever find out the truth.  Grateful that they are in the past.  Praying desperately that others will not find out who we really are as well as praying that those who do know will never tell. We tend to judge ourselves for these mistakes and think that if our kids find out they will no longer respect us. 

We also struggle in our parenting when our kids reach the same age we were when those shameful moments occurred.  Typically they become the very the things we fear the most for our kids.

As fear wells up within us, that’s when we tend to try to control even more.  And as our kids see the tightening up of our grip (because we have firsthand knowledge of those dangers) they start pulling away even more in their desire for freedom.

The question that comes up most often is, “Should I tell my kids?”

And then the worrying begins.  “What if they don’t respect me anymore?  What if they go do what I did?  What if they get upset because they feel I’ve lied to them?”  And the list goes on.

A dear friend gave me permission to share her story as she wrestled with these same questions.

She kept getting nudged by God to share her story with her kids.  Wanting to be obedient, yet fearful of the potential outcome, she wrestled with turning God’s prod into action.  Talking with her husband and praying about it, they decided together that it was time to tell.

As she shared with me her regrets of abortion, she recognized how blessed she was to have the support of her husband as she shared her story with the oldest two teens.

But here’s the best part.  Rather than condemnation from her kids, rather than feeling like they had been lied to all these years, they showed her compassion.  One even said to her, “I always knew you were Mom, but now I really understand who you are and why you parent the way you do.”

One of her sons who tended to be more quiet and aloof is interacting with her in a more frequent and intimate fashion.  This friend not only feels blessed but thankful that she shared her story.

Isn’t that what we all want?  Don’t we want to move from authority figure to a person our kid truly knows when they are on the threshold of adulthood?  Don’t we want them to see that we are human rather than giving them an air of perfection?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there does need to be a level of maturity with our kids before we share those secrets.  And by all means, our kids don’t need to know all the details.  But I love how this dear friend and her husband set things up with their kids.  They shared the heartache and struggles, but they did it with a desire for deeper relationship after the exchange. 

So what did they do right?

  1. Chose obedience from God and prayed as husband and wife for direction.
  2. Mom and Dad went as a united front showing support for each other.
  3. They made the discussion intimate, yet special–a babysitter for younger kids and out of the ordinary snacks that were a special treat for those who were listening.
  4. Mom shared and told the kids up front that she wanted them to know who she really was.  She also gave the kids the right to no longer maintain the relationship with her if they so chose if they felt trust had been broken.
  5. Dad was good about making sure that the teens agreed that the younger siblings were not mature enough to hear this news and it was Mom’s story to tell when she was ready to share with them.
  6. Dad also made sure that he reinforced that this was Mom’s private family story and those outside their home should not be privy to it without Mom’s permission–in other words, this is not to be shared with your friends.

I love how this family not only recognized God’s providence that this was the time to share, but they put much thought into the moment ready to release the potential rejection from their kids.  

Being honest with our kids about shame-filled regrets teaches them that we are sinners just like them.  We’ve made mistakes that we aren’t proud of but we respect that our kids are mature enough to handle truth.  It also gives them a safe harbor when they make mistakes knowing there will not be condemnation because they know we can accept that they won’t always be perfect.

Joel 2:25, NASB

“…I will make up to you the years that the locust has eaten…” 

Psalm 3:3, ESV

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

Dare you to be real with your kids when the time is right.  Those shame-filled memories can be replaced with healing for you and bring more tender connection with your teens.

“Let go…and let God”,


Have you gotten your copy of With All Due Respect yet?  It’s parenting self-discovery training in book form and makes a great small group study discussion.  Not only that, but you’ll learn so much from the women in your small group and will connect with God in a new way.

If you want someone to walk beside you in your parenting, we hope you’ll join us for the With All Due Respect e-Course.   You’ll be encouraged in your parenting and have opportunity to ask questions.  I’ll be joining you on the journey and can’t wait to meet you.  To take advantage of this opportunity, click here.