Over the last few days, I’ve just had the awesome opportunity to interact with various age groups of young people. Not in major ways, but in simple little things like driving them from A to B and just having them pass through our home and observing them at various events and chatting.It’s in these moments that I try to culminate what kind of parent I want to be to my children when they become teenagers. I’ve learned to ask the questions that other adults aren’t asking and see what the response will be. I feel it will help me learn where the next generation is at and therefore give me some insight into what kind of environment my little people are going to eventually end up in.
Today I was hit with two things:
- I need to continuously pursue my children.
I’ve noticed that with teenagers that they can shut you out and probably for good reason. But I’m determined to pursue my kids. To dig down deep for them – even if they don’t allow me in, I’ll be on my knees making sure that I cover them in prayer. I’m hoping that in us continuously pursuing them that they would find us a safe place to land with what ever they’re dealing with. How this is going to unfold, the Lord only knows – but it’s my hearts desire to have them be free to be themselves with us and come to us with anything – no matter how big or small it is.
- I need to encourage them to strive to know themselves well.
I know this sounds a little strange and funny at first – but get what I’m trying to say here. I really want to be present in where they’re at in the moment, but also have an idea of where they’re going and who they want to be. I hope they don’t flail around trying to be what they perceive other people want them to be. I want them to know who they are and what they want for their lives based on their own desires and nothing driven from the outside. Like the previous point – I don’t know how this is going to pan out – but it’s my desire for them and I’m praying we can guide them into thinking this way.
The reason I’m in this head space, is because I’m hoping to start early. I have always felt and have also learned that reaction is worse that response. It’s something I’m currently learning as an individual. It’s so easy to immediate react to a situation based on how I’m supposed to be perceived and what is expected but this lacks wisdom and that’s my want right now.
Response is giving a bated answer and taking the time to think, process and thereafter deliver a clear cut decision. With response there is also planning based on previous thought and study.
I want to be that parent – I want to be well informed and have as many tools as I can, to be able to “respond” rather than “react” when the teen years hit.
Inevitably it will all boil down to their God given gift of free will and our relationship as a family.
There is so much to learn and I think this parenting thing isn’t going to end – quite frankly. Yes, I’ll become my kids friend one day – but even then, I’m still going to be the parent.
Any tips from you well learned parents of teens – your comments and tips are GREATLY welcomed. I honestly feel quite naïve but yet remain completely hopeful for great outcomes. Help me/us be better parents with your awesome knowledge.