As our children grow up we look for signs of normal growth; is Junior getting taller than his sisters, is little Princess coming out of her awkward phase. Those are physical characteristics, but there are other signs of being a normal teen that we as parents can get stuck on. I know this one personally, and now that I’m several years into it, I can see the conflicting messages I was sending, and a little bit of crazy thinking.
In the past I have found myself questioning our children’s behaviors; why isn’t she interested in dating anyone? When is he going to ask that girl out? When I was this age I was never home….
Now, I don’t view myself as a worrier at all, I’m just not wired that way. But I do notice a lot, and hear what other kids their ages are doing and when my teen isn’t, it makes me question, and need to understand. I will tell you that I have rarely received an answer that I understood. I have actually pushed my kids in the past, encouraging them to move into what society deems as normal teen behavior. Here’s the crazy thinking part: as soon as they take me up on the very thing that I have encouraged, I get concerned about a whole new list of things!
What if this is the one? Now we can never leave him home alone again. What is she doing when she’s not at home with us?
Parents, this is so unfair, and even detrimental to our children. First of all, let’s all relax a little and stop pushing our kids into something they are obviously not ready for. Believe me, the time will come. Too soon. Secondly, when it does come, trust your child to make good decisions, rest in the years of investing in these treasures you’ve been given. Obviously, don’t place them in situations that can foster bad behaviors, but can we keep the conversations with them, and prayers for them, going and trust that they are moving along at the pace they should?
Fathers (and Mothers), do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:21