Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Parenting Isn't For Cowards

We have a wonderful daughter and couldn't ask for more. Laura is bright, intelligent, conversational and just plain all-around good. So why can't I get that through my skull?

Parenting not for cowards? (I know I stole the headline from Dr. James Dobson.) The courage needed is not just for discipline or attitude adjustment during the growing up years (hers and mine); courage is absolutely required to complete the "letting go" now that she's an adult. My only task in these past nearly two decades was to train her to be on her own and she's learned her lessons well. But it's so hard to not ask where are you going, with whom and when do you expect to return. How is it that the change from giving advice and counsel (unrequested) to being available for questions requires courage?

To you young parents out there ... this is a process. Prepare them and yourselves for these days by learning to release more and more. Too abrupt a change can be harmful for parents and child alike. Too much freedom, too early, ditto.

To you older parents (empty nesters or experienced in releasing) ... take some time to help (mentor, counsel, and especially pray for) the younger parents as they traverse the rushing waters of moving their children through this process. You know the pitfalls and the joys. Share them freely.

Why not read Ephesians 6:1-4 today and remind yourself and your child of their Godly call. I have faith God has given me the courage to be the parent He wants me to be. I pray the same for you.

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