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:
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.