Tag Archive for: I am afraid for my kid

What Makes a Good Mom?

When I’m in the depths of despair with one of my kids, frustrated with their choices, and wishing things could be different, sometimes I have no idea what being a good mom really looks like.  I vacillate with what the right decision should be in the moment and it’s easy to get down on myself–after all, I should have been able to change the situation.  Right?

As I have been contemplating this in the NOW I’m in, searching for truth, and wanting so badly to be the best mom possible in the middle of the circumstances, I’ve started asking myself, “What would a good mom do in this situation?”

Sometimes being a good mom means being a tough mom.  Regardless of what my child wants, I need to be strong enough to do what he needs in the moment.  Figuring that out isn’t always easy.

At other times being a good mom means showing compassion and allowing my teen to see my heart that resonates Jesus with skin on.  A hug, a gentle touch, or a word of hope can move my young adult to a place of believing in themselves again.

Being a good mom is sometimes guessing who we need to do in the moment. And when we don’t get it right, rather than getting down on ourselves, being willing to apologize and push the reset button trying a different tactic to get forward movement.

As I’ve been contemplating all the aspects of being a good mom, I’ve started compiling a list of the different things I need to be.  Some of these come easier for me than others.  But at times, I need to play the position that doesn’t come natural because it is what my kid needs in the moment.  My automatic reaction might not be the best approach.

So here’s my current list.  I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface and I’d love for you to add to it at the end of this blog.

As you go through the list, my hope is that you’ll take an internal inventory.  What comes naturally to you?  What do you need to add to your list of skills so that your reactions to every situation are not always the same?  If you find that you fall short in an area, this is an opportunity to think about what will be different in your next difficult parenting interaction.

But above all else, give yourself grace.

A Good Mom…

  1. Listens intently
  2. Uses concise communication so there is no question as to the point
  3. Encourages and supports rather than criticize
  4. Knows that their child’s happiness is not at the top of the priority list
  5. Is God-dependent and confident that He has the answers for every situation
  6. Is willing to apologize and make amends without making excuses or blaming someone else
  7. Models healthy relationship
  8. Discusses kid concerns with Dad so that a unified decision can be reached
  9. Let’s her kids make mistakes rather than try to control situations
  10. Willingly pushes the reset button when things aren’t going well
  11. Acknowledges and respects that her children are separate human beings and not extensions of her
  12. Is calm in the middle of life’s storms
  13. Takes care of herself so that she can better take care of her children
  14. Knows her values and models them for her children
  15. Is aware of conversations/conflicts that are getting out of control and chooses to pause the discussion until everyone is able to communicate with a sense of calm
  16. Assesses situations to find the facts before jumping to conclusions
  17. Let’s her ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and her ‘no’, ‘no’ without manipulation from her teen
  18. Stands firm in her values when making decisions
  19. Shows empathy and compassion
  20. Offers encouragement
  21. Coaches her teen through difficult situations
  22. Avoids jumping to conclusions
  23. Is consistent
  24. Asks open-ended questions that encourage her teens to tell their story
  25. Teaches her kids that God is walking with them through every struggle 
  26. Chooses to accept her child as God created them rather than comparing them to others
  27. Keeps fear in check so that worry isn’t the focus of daily living
  28. Creates a close circle of friends with whom she can share her parenting struggles without concern for gossip
  29. Loves unconditionally
  30. Allows her kids to think for themselves

And above all else has a relationship with Jesus Christ and trusts Him for the outcome. 

Psalm 62:8

“Trust in him at all times, oh people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

Psalm 20:7

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”

Psalm 56:3

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

Psalm 112:7

“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.”

“Let Go…and Let God”,

 

 

 

What if I Mess My Kid Up?

As I talk to mothers across the country, I hear it more and more, “I’m afraid I’ll do something to mess my kid up”. 

I want us to take a step back from that statement and think deeply about what that real fear might be.

  1. Do we think that we might say something that will make our child want to leave home and never speak to us again?
  2. Are we afraid that our actions might cause our kids to make choices like drinking, taking drugs, cutting, getting pregnant, or something else?
  3. Do we think that they’ll need to be in therapy when they get older because of something we did?
  4. Are we fearful that if we don’t teach our kid everything they need to know our child might make a mistake and something bad will happen to them?

I’ve heard some women make comments like this and laugh afterwards hoping it comes across as a joke.  I wonder if deep down, under the surface, there is a subtle thought that one false move could turn their fear into a nightmare.   I wonder if holding onto that fear will move them toward abdicating their God given authority and perhaps swing them into the permissive parenting zone in order to not rock the boat with their kids?

Let’s face it.  We all want to be the best mom we can possibly be to our kids and the reality is that we won’t always get it right. 

No, we-won’t-always-get-it-right.

I hope you are breathing a sigh of relief here. 

I hope you are taking a deep breath and letting that reality sink in. 

You can let go of the fear, the anxiousness, and the “did I do that right? questioning”.  We don’t have to always second guess our decisions and wonder if everything will be okay.  The bottom line is that sometimes it won’t be all right.  Sometimes we will cause our child pain or frustration.  That is how they have to learn at times.

We also need to remember that we aren’t God.  If we parent as if we are in control of our kids’ world and their happiness, we’ll most likely mess them up anyway.

If you will, take a step back and think of where God has woven the tapestry of your own life.  Your childhood set you on a path.  You learned some tough things as you grew up.  You learned survival skills, and how to take ownership.  You learned that there will be good times and bad times.  You learned that your parents aren’t perfect and that sometimes Christians don’t always act like Christians.  You learned about relationships, and conflict, and a host of other things.  And sometimes it was painful.  And, yes, sometimes we’ve had to go to counseling for it so that we can better understand our past.

And that is okay.  Life should be a growth process.

The contexts in which you have learned have been in every aspect of your life — as a student, as a daughter, as a sister, as a wife, as an employee, and as a friend.  Through those contexts God has woven our testimony for our good and for His glory.

And He will do the same for our kids if we don’t get in the way.

Can we trust Him?

We don’t have to feel the weight of being the perfect mom.  We just need to be the best we possibly can given the tools we have in the moment.  The best thing we can do is learn who we are in the context of scripture and apply principles from His Word so that we will be what our kid needs in the day to day of life.  

We need to give our tweens and teens the freedom to make choices.  We need to build relationship.  We need to encourage independence.  We need to resolve conflict well.  We need to interact with respect.  We need to apologize when we mess things up.  And we need to be their safety net when they make wrong choices.  

God is weaving our kids’ journey that He wants to use for His glory.  And truth is that we might not like the path He allows them to go down.

The question we need to ask is, “Will we let Him be in control?”  Or, will we take ownership fearing that we will mess them up?

2 Timothy 1:7 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control.

Matthew 6:31-33

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

John 14:27 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Psalm 23:4 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Letting go of fear means that we don’t have to worry or fret any more.  Letting go of fear means we can love more deeply regardless of the choices our kids make.  Letting go of fear is that we can admit that sometimes we will blow it.

Letting go of fear means that we trust God’s promise that He will work all things together for our good.

Dare you to see where fear might be impacting your relationship with your teen.

“Let go…and Let God”,

If you like what you are reading in my blogs, can I ask you for a favor?  Please share it on Facebook.  The more it gets shared the more we can impact families.  And that is my true heart’s desire — that as moms we will learn the Biblical context of respect in all of our relationships and especially with our kids.  We want to not only leave a legacy for this generation but the generations that follow.

For more information on what Greater Impact does as a ministry, check us out at www. greaterimpact.org.

If you’d like our free course, click here.