Tuesday, July 21, 2009
When It's Time to Let Them Go
From the time they are born, our greatest goal is to raise them to become productive, well-balanced and happy adults that can conquer the battles of life with relative ease. Going to school, eating well, washing their hands after they use the toilet, looking both ways before they cross the street, saying please and thank you and tying their shoes can take up so much time that we forget that we are to be shaping character above all.
And the best way for character to develop is for each of them to learn to make their own choices, and to be true to themselves - especially when they reach the teen and young adult stage when decisions can be so much more life changing. As heartrending as it may be when they don't jump at the opportunities that we think are so "right" for them, it's so much more painful to try and force them to be what they are not, and then see the situation explode before our eyes.
Here are some things I've learned and have worked well so far over the years:
!. Show your soon-to-be adult, that you believe in him/her, that you see the great potential just waiting to be developed
2. Find out what they truly feel about the direction of their life and what they want. Make sure you keep what YOU want out of the picture.
3. Encourage honesty and sincerity - with themselves, with you and with God.
4. Help them sort through any confusing or conflicting feelings or thoughts without pressuring them to fit your mold.
5. Pray with them and teach them to pray, to ask God for His guidance and to fight back against all the negative feelings he or she may have. When your child learns to depend on God, wants Him to be Lord of his life and develops a close bond of trust with Him, the rest will fall into place without any pushiness on your part.
6. Back off and practice what you preach. Trust God to do what is now out of your hands - turning your child into a new creature for His glory.
You didn't think you could control them forever, did you?