Growing up is tough. At 40 I sometimes forget that I was once 13, 9 and 7.
I spoke to a friend yesterday and said to her reflectively, “I need to do a better job of letting my kids own their feelings and not directing them on how they should feel.” She agreed that this was a struggle she too was facing.
My new “clean up” project has to do with me. If one of my school age kids is upset over something that happened to them and this is what I look like after I hear the stories
almost everyday, my quick 40 year old “Kristi” reaction may come out the wrong way. I struggle with tone and sarcasm AND if I react too quickly:
- That may be interpreted as You Don’t Care About My Feelings, You Are Not Listening to Me, Why Do I Tell You Anything
- I may not give them the opportunity to process, tell the entire story, and reflect.
- I risk teaching them that reacting quickly is the only way to handle situations.
- I cripple their ability to problem solve.
- They will struggle for a lifetime if they don’t come to terms with the fact that each phase of life is tough for a multitude of reasons.
- They will not develop one of the most important traits we all need to survive in this world, resiliency.
As parents we need to
- model how to survive even the toughest obstacles
- model how to move towards emotional healing
The article below explained emotional healing in such a user friendly and reasonable manner. Click the link below:
If numbers 1 and 2 that I listed above are impossible for you, you will never understand that Jesus has a purpose and plan for your struggle.
I am PROOF He will use your ROCK BOTTOM for HIS glory, if you will allow him too.
You will never live life to the fullest if you can’t move through numbers 1 and 2 and leave your struggles in the rear view mirror.
When you do, I 100% guarantee LIFE WILL GET EASIER.
If you don’t put the small stuff and big stuff in your rear view mirror, you are still living in the past and crippling your future and possibly the futures of your children.
As this stage of parenting, I should be extremely present. I just have to consider timing and my level of involvement. Present doesn’t mean hover.
When they are adults, hopefully they have a great network of people who help them navigate emotions and reactions.
My prayer everyday is that when the timing is right, they will have a spouse, siblings, friends, cousins that navigate life with them. Dave and I of course will always be here, but they need to find their people.
Our job is to provide the foundation for them to travel down the paths of life as best they can gaining more independence each year.
A recent Podcast episode of the show “Nobody Told Me” was about time management and the “busy” generation. One major point was that often times adults can’t manage time because they can’t make decisions. This makes them feel “busy” because things stay on their “plate” and make them feel overwhelmed.
The episode resonated with me and the way I don’t want to parent. I don’t want my girls to live unnecessarily stressful lives.
Of course we have seasons of where we can’t help but think things like:
Where did the time go?
If only I had more hours in the day?
Why is my life so much more demanding than ****** life?
Why is my life so much worse than ***** life?
HOW DO WE TEACH OUR KIDS TO NAVIGATE THE “LITTLE” ISSUES SO WHEN THE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS HAPPEN THEY ARE BETTER EQUIPPED?
HOW DO WE TEACH OUR KIDS TO OWN THEIR FEELINGS, BUT NOT LET THEIR FEELINGS OWN THEM?
TRUTH: GOD CREATED THE WORLD IN SEVEN DAYS. The least we can do is not be selfish with our time especially towards our children.
WE NEED TO PARENT WITH PATIENCE, BE PRESENT, AND JUST LISTEN. WE ALSO NEED TO PROTECT OUR KIDS FROM BECOMING A STATISTIC LIKE THE ONE BELOW.
Of course, parenting is not always the factor, but it is listed as a possible cause. I see the reaction on the little faces I love when I react harshly. What is that doing to their heart? Overtime, imagine the damage that could be done.
Last week I began to notice that my 9-year-old has a tougher exterior than she did just a few months before. She isn’t as easy to snuggle up to. She seems slightly guarded. She shares less.
This is just another phase.
She has to deal with school, homework, studying, extracurriculars, peers, siblings, and parents.
She is sometimes hard on herself, but has recently been making statements that are too heavy for a 9 year old.
- I’ll get up earlier and go to bed later so I can work harder.
- I’m not good at that.
- I get distracted when people make noises and that may be why I am not doing well.
- Everyone else says everything is easy.
Developmentally 9 is the average age where kids really start to make grandiose, good/bad- no in-between comments about their ability.
This is really appearing to be the age where the outside influences are stuck in her brain and she can’t leave the problems at school. These outside influences are making her think statements that aren’t true.
At 9 years old she is already feeling the pressure of the outside voices and allowing those voices to become her inner voice.
At 9 years old WE have to shape her inner voice. Shaping her character is more important than sports, grades, and awards.
Shaping a child’s character is more important than the social life of parent and the social life of a child.
The only thing I want for my girls to hear at the end of their lives is “Well Done” when they meet Jesus.
Sports, grades, awards, and negative social influences don’t play a role in hearing those words.
My patience wears thin here on the home front. It annoys me that she forgets to bring stuff home or tells me she didn’t use the book during the open book test because she thought she knew it. It annoys me that I seem to be slightly less cool than I was in August.
Then I thought of my own week:
- I was short with her.
- I forgot to do things I said I would.
- I tried to get a task done quickly, made a mistake, and had to fix it.
- I wasn’t the best me.
- I annoyed her.
I am quick to notice the shortcomings of my kids.
- Do they lay in bed at night and notice mine?
- Do I add to or take from their ability to develop love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control each day?
- Do I add stress or have the calming ability to take it away?
I know I serve a God who doesn’t keep track of my failures.