You Must Be Doing Something Right....
My children are ages 16 and 18. My Son is a recent High School Graduate, and my Daughter has one more year of High School.
If you asked them what kind of parents that thought they have, they would probably tell you that we are more strict than almost all of their friends parents. Their friends often don’t understand the choices we make for our kids. But I can also tell you that in those moments that they are not in drama or freak out mode, there have been a few instances where they have quietly thanked us for the hard choices that we have made concerning them. The path to a full and happy life are not full of easy choices. Sometimes it’s doing the hardest thing that will bring you the most joy.
Like I said in my introduction, family is important. My Dad passed away when I was in third grade. This left my Mother to care for 2 young girls on her own. My Mother was fortunate enough to still be a stay at home Mom, it just meant she needed to be very careful with her financial decisions. Our family still lived in the area where my Mother grew up, and although all her siblings had moved away, my Grandparents still lived in town. The truth is, my Mom didn’t need to raise us “on her own”, because my Grandmother was very involved in our lives, as was our church family. As my Grandparents aged, my Mom became their caretaker as well.
I hold my Mother in high regard. She was and is still, a very strong woman, even in her 4th quarter of life. She taught me so much about family. You’ve heard the phrase – “It takes a village….”, this is something that I wholeheartedly agree with! I gave people very close to us the authority to speak to or correct my children when they were doing something wrong. I gave my mother full access to what I was thinking in my parenting and asked her very pointedly to tell me when she saw something I was doing wrong or could do better. There is wisdom in age, and I was benefiting from her hindsight. Quite often, people do not want to overstep your parenting in fear of offending you, so if you don't let them know that their perspective may be helpful, you will loose anything they had to offer.
Not only have my children learned respect, and compassion through these experiences, but they have received the correction from a woman from a different time. A time where church life, modesty, and the moral code among other things was different than that of today. I myself am more relaxed than my mother in some respects as most generations that follow are, but I am thankful for these experiences that helped shape my children into who they are.
This week, my children are both in Costa Rica on a missions trip, which will include helping to build a new home, and working with kids that have a very hard life. I am so very proud of them for giving of their time and talents. My husband met with some of his clients this week and he had the opportunity to tell them where and what our kids were doing this week. In a time and location of the country where most don’t talk about their faith, one of the clients nodded his head and replied, “You must be doing something right.”
The hard choices to tell our kids they couldn’t do or go somewhere everyone else was going, going to church every Sunday above all other activities or sports, making them fix relationships and say they were sorry, admitting when they were wrong, learning that the truth was far more important than lying, compassion is not weakness, God is #1 and we will back you 100% if you come upon opposition. These daily struggles of teaching them, even when I felt like I had nothing left to give some days, I would do it all over again because I love them enough to make those hard decisions and stick to them even when it made my life harder. Let’s face it, they are only with us a very short time, and it goes by so very quickly.