Tag Archive for: communication

Dare 21 – The Respect Dare – Another Request?!? For Parents of 20-Somethings

Standing in the laundry room after a few days out of town, Anita was amazed at the piles of laundry that still needed washed, dried, folded, and put away. “This will take me hours!” she voiced to no one who could hear. Having just moved the second load into the washer, she was wistfully looking out the window at the beautiful day when she heard the phone ring in the other room. “Maybe I should pretend that I’m not back yet and go out and sit on the deck with a book,” she laughed to herself hoping to have a quiet day to relax and play catchup from the fun extended weekend with her husband.

Looking at caller ID she recognized the number. Her 23-year old daughter was calling to probably check to see if she was back. Picking up the phone she responded with a cheery “Hi, Kari. How was your weekend?”

“It was just okay. Nothing exciting.”

“What did you do?”

Kari just shared minor snippets. Anita had the impression all Kari really did was work through the weekend. Then the true reason for the call became clear. “Mom, I’m standing here with mountains of dirty laundry and I won’t have enough money this week to go to the Laundromat. I’m off today. I thought maybe I’d swing by and throw a couple of loads in your machine if that is okay.”

“Kari, I’m sorry. I’m doing laundry right now and I’m sure it will take me to the end of the day. Maybe you can do it another day this week?”

“Mom, this is my only day off work this week. I really need some clean underwear.”

“Maybe you could try to wash a few pairs out in your sink and hang them to dry? That should get you through the week.”

“I guess I could do that. I was just hoping to get all my laundry done today.”

“Hmm, that’s too bad. I’m really sorry I didn’t know sooner. I could have potentially postponed a few of my loads. Now I’m in full swing for the day.”

“By the way, any special reason why you are so short on cash this week?”

“Mom, I wasn’t really going to tell you, but Mitch and I decided to go camping on Saturday. It was my first Saturday off in over a month. We ended up in a big fight because he didn’t have enough gas to get us back home. I got stuck with having to fill up his tank which means I don’t have enough money to get through the week.”

“Have you asked him to pay you back?”

“We’re not speaking at the moment.”

“Did you work out the financial arrangements before you left on the campout?”

“I thought we had. Obviously, I was wrong.”

“I’m sorry it didn’t work out how you would have liked. Maybe you will find a way to talk to him this week and work things out.”

Kari chatted a little more bemoaning the woes of her relationship with Mitch. Mom listened intently, offering emotional support that she knew her daughter needed at the moment. As the conversation started waning, she quietly offered to let her mom go back to her laundry.

“Hope you can get enough of your underwear washed by hand to get you through the week,” Mom chuckled. “Let me know if you want to come over another day before work this week and throw in a load or two.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-5

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;

 

Sometimes as parents of 20-somethings, we are overtly willing to put what we are doing aside to “rescue” our children from natural consequences. In some instances, it does make sense to bail them out even when we know it will cost us something; time, money, or emotional energy. Other times, they need to learn to make-do with what they have at their disposal and learn to manage their time and resources better without always running to Mom and Dad for last minute bailouts. Either way, don’t forget to fill the emotional tank.:)

Dare you to discern what lessons your 20-something needs to learn on their own while still striving to keep the relationship intact.

“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.

 

 


Dare 18 – The Respect Dare – Do You Leave the Front Door Open? – For Parents of 20-Somethings

Twenty-eight year old Ashley sighed as she gave her husband Derrick a hug, “Guess I really should go home and spend the day with Mom and Dad for Father’s Day. I know that I’m supposed to honor him, but it is so hard given how he treated us when we were dating.”

“Do you want me to go with you?” replied Derrick.

“Wow! That’s so sweet of you given how he acted toward you at our wedding. I love you, but I won’t subject you to his wrath.”

“Honey, I can handle it. Besides, I got the prize.”

“Aww…you are so sweet. I’d say we both won,” she whispered tenderly. “Let me think about it. The hard part is that Dad and I always had such a special relationship. I feel like when I go home I can’t be ‘Daddy’s little girl’ anymore.”

“You’ve got me now,” he laughed as he scooped her up in a tight bear hug and gently threw her on the couch. She laughed as he started tickling her and gently nuzzling her behind the ear.

After their passionate kiss, she replied, “I’m glad I chose you. If I had to choose…I knew you were the right choice.”

With that comment the tears came flooding. “Derrick, why did he make me choose?”

Later that evening Derrick broached the subject again. “Ashley, maybe it makes sense for you to go visit your parents by yourself. Please know that I’m more than willing to go with you, but maybe if you go by yourself, your dad won’t feel so threatened. Maybe you can talk about it. Maybe…maybe he’ll come to accept me…accept us as part of the family.”

“I can certainly try. I just hope he’ll listen. Maybe I’ll call Mom and share with her what I’m hoping for with Dad. Maybe she can talk some sense into him before I get there. Derrick, you are such a good man. Thank you for suggesting that I go home and work through this with my parents. I’ve always dreamed of having the opportunity to take our future children to grandma and grandpa’s house and play games and have fun there. The way it was when I was growing up. Now, I’m almost afraid of what Dad will say if I do go home. I’m afraid that it will stir up the anger all over again. I guess that I thought that no matter what I’d always be ‘Daddy’s little girl’.”

“Ashley, just remember that you’ve got me. You’ve got us. Whatever happens at your parent’s house doesn’t change the fact that I love you. I’ll be praying that your Dad will get the fact that you still want a relationship with him. Honey, I’ll never make you choose between him and me. I know that there is room in your heart to love both of us.”

Ephesians 1:3-10 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Have we been so hurt by our adult children’s choices that we have failed to extend grace to our 20-somethings? Have we made it hard for them to return through our front door? Do we sit in judgment forgetting that our children still need our love? Have we forgiven them for the choices they make…even when we don’t think they deserve it?

Dare you to have open dialog with your 20-somethings to see if there are open wounds of the past that need to be lanced so they can heal.

“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.

 


Dare 3 – The Respect Dare – Personal Assessment

Tanya sat on the stool at Leanne’s kitchen island sipping her steaming tea. She loved these opportunities talking to her friend as the sun was shining through the entry. They were talking about their grown children, laughing at their new “freedom” with kids out of the house.

Leanne’s cell phone vibrated on the counter. “Excuse me just a minute, I need to take this,” Leanne muttered. “It’s Jenny. I’ll let her know that I’ll call her back.”

As Tanya listened to the short conversation, she let her mind wander. “Why don’t my kids call me like that?” she thought.

As Leanne hung up with her daughter, Tanya asked. “Do your kids call you every day?”

“Well, not all of them,” she laughed. “Depends on which one it is. With four kids that are twenty-something, they lead pretty busy lives. Jenny usually calls daily through the week on her way home from work, Darcie usually calls every two or three days unless she is struggling with something, then I may hear from her two or three times a day! Marty usually calls every day or so, and then Mitch typically calls at least every week or two.”

“Wow, that’s hard to fathom. My kids rarely call. I feel so disconnected from their lives.”

“You sound a little disappointed,” Leanne ventured.

“Yeah, I really am, I guess. For some reason, family doesn’t seem that important to my kids. It seems that the only time we talk is if I initiate the conversation.”

“I take it you’d like to be more connected to their lives?”

“Of course! I just don’t know what we did wrong.”

“Can I offer a suggestion?” asked Leanne. With a nod from Tanya, she began, “Don’t focus on what you may have done wrong. No one will win with that logic. Why not try to think about steps you could take to build the relationship? It might not become exactly what you want it to be, but it could become a lot better.”

“But, how? I don’t think I would even know where to start!”

“Why not start with taking them out to lunch? Share with them what you are feeling. Tell them what you are hoping for the relationship to be. Find out what they are looking for in your relationship at this point in their lives. Ask how you can be there for them, and then reciprocate, letting them know what would help you feel engaged.”

“You make it sound so easy. It’s obviously working for you.”

“I’ll let you in on a secret. When each of my kids were making their big move out of the house, I took them out to lunch and told them how excited I was that they were heading out to their new adventure. I assured them that I was their number 1 fan and would always be here for them. I also told them that I wouldn’t be calling them regularly to ask lots of questions. I wanted them to feel independent. But, I also told them how much I loved them and that I hoped they would call me regularly so that I could know what is going on in their world. I told them I wanted to be their friend and hoped they wanted the same from me.”

“Wow. Wish I had done that. You seem to have real friendship going with your kids.”

“Tanya, it is not too late for you. Pray and engage with them…not as a mother, but as a friend. God will do the rest.”

Philippians 1:6

…he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

As parents, most of us long for relationship with our adult kids, especially our single twenty-somethings. Sometimes that means taking a personal inventory of who we are and how we attempt to connect with them. Too often, parents continue to “parent” their older kids, expecting them to still “obey”. When their adult children resist, feelings are hurt and relationships are stilted. Why not use this opportunity as we go through The Respect Dare together to assess where you might need to make changes in order to see your relationship with your children grow?

Here are a few questions to get you started. I hope you’ll pick two or three to focus on while we’re on this journey together.

  • Do I choose to live my life for God more than I am concerned about what other people think?
  • Do I let my twenty-something know (appropriately) what I am struggling with?
  • Does my twenty-something confide in me?
  • Do I know how to give advice to my twenty-something such that they hear it and often take it?
  • Am I still trying to control my twenty-something’s behavior and get them to do what I want them to do?
  • Do I make demands of my twenty-something and feel disappointed or angry when they don’t respond?
  • Do I communicate with my twenty-something so that they want to have relationship with me?

Moving into adult/adult relationship with our kids is tough. We are expected to give up control…and I’ll admit, sometimes that is a hard thing to do…especially at times when we might be footing the bill.

My hope for you is that above all things…Think relationship!

“Let go…and let God,”

Debbie

P.S. Hoping that you join Nina and Leah as we blog our way through The Respect Dare.