A few weeks ago I wrote about my relationship with my oldest daughter, and it’s amazing how many moms reached out and shared their stories with their “older” kids.
One thing I have heard from all of them is that – they will always be your kids, no matter how old they become. Plus, there’s definitely a natural pull to doing things their way and better than you.
You know what, to be honest – I have had that feeling as a parent as well, towards my own parents. But, I honestly just wanted to do similar things and then adjust certain aspects to achieve certain emotional goals in my parenting journey. But even then, like I said before – nothing is guaranteed because they are their own person and will more than likely make their very own unique decisions.
Before I tell you what I did to help my teenager through her “slump” – I have seen throughout the years, the importance of apologizing as often as I can about my loss of self control and making mistakes that I can see hurts my children’s hearts. Inevitably, that’s what I’m hoping to gain. Heart connection.
I said to my one friend – my hope is to have a relationship, where we can agree to disagree but still honor each other’s hearts and continue to love each other even though we do things differently.
Anyway, so this is what happened and what I did. There had been a lot of fighting between the siblings and I had noticed that my oldest was the instigator and was actually becoming really nasty – which is so out of character for her. There were other signs that were very out of character (which I will honor her by not mentioning here). We could have clamped down on her and done all “the discipline things” that we would normally have done but there was a part of me that just felt – this wasn’t the time for that.
This is normally when I pray and ask the Lord what to do – because honestly, like I said in my previous post – I had no clue. After just leaving it at the Lords feet and asking Him where to next – I had a sense that she needed time with her own friends. This really resonated with me and after looking at the situations and her actions – It was evident that she was bored and needed to have interactions with her own age group.
So, after chatting to my hubby and thinking through a creative idea (because lockdown has it’s limitations, right?) – I gave her my phone (which I felt was odd after we didn’t discipline her at all – now I was giving her a privilege) I told her to contact one of her friends and set up a “play date”. The conditions were that they were to meet outside, in a people free area and with their masks on so that they could have some time to catch up with an adult supervising from a distance.
Guys! The light that returned to our child’s face was insane. She immediately adhered to all of the stipulations and it was set up.
I won’t go into all of the details – but needless to say, it was the best thing we could have done for her.
We had explained before this that she had burned the connection to our trust and that it would need to be earned back and rebuilt – but this was a moment where she could gain what she needed and get that trust back.
It was about two weeks until I wrote this and there wasn’t any attitude or unnecessary behavior – I have learned so much from that moment.
• I have learned that releasing rather than pulling tight unlocks healthy responses.
• I have learned that trusting that the Lord has my back is the only place to be.
• Inevitably she’s not mine, she is His and I have to constantly go to Him what she needs and how He can use me to assist her in her journey.
• I have learned to let go – shoo! Guys, everything within me was saying, “this is not the right thing to be doing for her – you should be clamping down harder! Hold tighter!” the surrender factor is insane and I have a feeling it’s only going to get harder as they grow older – note I say “they”. She’s the first one and if this was hard – I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when the others hit this level.
Well, that’s what we did and I am so glad we’re learning more through this process.
What was your teen life like? How do you think your parents did? Dare I ask, What do you think you’ll do differently? Comment below and dish – I really wanna learn more yo.