Tag Archive for: how do I build a better relationship with my kid?

Does My Teen Really Need Me Anymore?

Several years ago, as a Human Resource Manager for a large engineering firm, one of my jobs was to interview employees who decided to leave the company. At the time, I was pregnant with my first, so I didn’t fully grasp the concept of total commitment to parenting. As this employee told me that she was choosing to stay home with her children, I asked, “Aren’t your children in their teens?”

She shook her head affirming my question.

“You are such a valued employee and could actually retire in a few years. If your children are almost grown, then why would you decide to stay home NOW?” I naively inquired.

The look on her face said it all. She was trying hard not to share the story with a “too young to possibly understand and never been a mother” co-worker.

“My children need me and tomorrow will be my last day,” she stated in a matter of fact tone.

I later asked her manager if he knew why she was choosing to leave. My immaturity left me totally baffled and I wanted to fully understand. “Her son is in trouble. She thinks if she is home, she can help turn things around.”

“What an awful situation to be in,” I pondered as I now had at least a little insight into what this woman was facing and why she was leaving a job she obviously enjoyed.

Psalm 127:3

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

As I ponder this story now, I know exactly what this woman was feeling. She treasured her children. As a mother, she was willing to give up a job she loved to get her son the help he needed.

Unfortunately, it usually takes a time of crisis before we really remember the treasure that is living under our roof.

It’s easy to remember that children are a gift from the Lord when they fit in the crook of our arm, nurse at our breast, or bring those weed/flowers from the backyard as a tender gesture of love. But then they get to the size where they can wear our shoes, our clothes, and are almost as tall as we are, and they start exercising their independence in ways that are foreign to us. We forget that we need to be doing everything in our power to maintain relationship with these tweens and teens even though they are pushing our buttons.

Sometimes we also forget that our children have to learn life lessons. They will make mistakes, but through them they will grow to be mature adults. My dare to you today is to remember that even when your tweens and teens are making life difficult for you and pushing the limits, they are still your treasure. You are at a time in your life when they do still need you.

Dare you to give up something today to spend time with those you treasure and encourage them in the process.  After all, “whatever we pay attention to grows”.

“Let go…and let God,”

Are You Coasting As a Parent?

I was listening to a podcast this week about setting goals for 2019.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of goal setting, I typically think of my career, my finances, my health, and other areas that I can quantify.  I’ll admit that becoming a better parent is on my list, but it usually stops there.  I don’t take the time to think about what being a better parent really means to each of my kids.

There was something else the Kelly Thorne Gore said in her podcast that had me thinking. 

“There are five weeks left in the year.  Are you coasting until the end of the year?  Please know that a lot of things can unravel during those five weeks when we coast.”

Hmm…an unraveling of the goals we’ve set because we are coasting.  As I contemplated further that idea of coasting I realized that it means we’re going downhill and things seem easy.  What happens when we reach the bottom of the hill?

There were seasons in my own parenting that I’ll admit I was coasting.  These were the times when life was good and I would relish the season, take a deep breath, and relax a little in my focus.  After all, my kids seemed to be doing the right things and there were no major family hiccups or push backs.

However, just about the time I was ready to deem my child mature, something catastrophic would happen that would send me spinning as a parent.  “What was I doing wrong?  Why the sudden change in their choices?  I can’t believe I’m having to deal with this,” consumed my thinking.  These are the times my heart would race, my frustration would flare, and I found myself grasping at anything that would put my teen back on the path toward maturity.

And the pattern I uncovered as I thought through the “how did we get here?” was that these were the times when I realized that I had taken my eye off the goal.  I truly was coasting without any sense of urgency or intentional focus.

Being intentional in our parenting means we have a vision for the future.  What are we really hoping for as our teen becomes an adult? 

Are we focused on behavior, attitudes, faith, friends, or accomplishment?  Is their happiness our ultimate goal?

Or are we encouraging them to become who God wants them to be with appropriate guardrails and boundaries in place while we solidify a healthy relationship?

So with five weeks left in 2018, I want to challenge you to set some parenting goals for yourself.  Not the new year’s resolution type that will be forgotten in less than a month, but the kind of goals that will propel you into the future with intent.  Goals for your parenting that will be quantifiable so that when your world does get hit with a calamity, you’ll know how to quickly get back on track.

Here’s a place you might start:

  1. What is going well right now with my teen?  What are the areas my teen needs to grow in?
  2. What is going well in our relationship?  Are there areas where I am too lenient, too strict, too involved, or too complacent?
  3. Am I in a place of influence in my teen’s life?  If not, what steps can I take to make it safe for my teen to seek my advice?
  4. Am I spending enough time with my teen?  What do we do when we are together?  What changes, if any, should I make in this area?
  5. Am I gentle and kind or am I constantly nagging?  If necessary, what can I do differently in this area?
  6. What else needs to change?

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Proverbs 16:9

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

Dare you to spend the next few weeks with God asking Him to help set you on the right path in your parenting.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If you know someone with kids 9-29, maybe a great gift idea for this holiday season might be a copy of With All Due Respect:  40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens & Tween.  A companion option might be our online eCourse that accompanies the book where they will have opportunity to learn from moms who have been there.

And we continue to get positive feedback from teachers who have read it. Why not make your teacher gift giving easy this year?

Have a blessed day of gratitude!