Have you ever had that moment when your child is in their room supposedly doing their homework, when you get that gut feeling they probably aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing? You know in your soul that you need to put down your ipad, get up off the couch, and go check it out? But…
You quickly begin to second guess yourself. They have to be doing their homework, after all you told them too. Are you right? Are you just paranoid? Truly, they are old enough to handle it, aren’t they?
You know you know what’s going on. I mean really … even though it was 10 or 20 years ago, are you so old that you truly believe your child is accomplishing what you struggled to achieve yourself?
Maybe it’s not homework between you and your child, maybe it’s…
- Trusting their room is getting clean, after they’ve been in there for an hour.
- Ignoring the ‘gut feeling’ that one child is being unkind to the other.
- Thinking they can handle texting all by themselves.
- Hoping they will be able to control themselves sitting side-by-side, together, alone with a ‘person of interest’.
- Thinking there is no need for any kind of Internet monitoring/blocking pre-caution.
- Hoping they get straight A’s when you see them slacking at schoolwork.
- Wishing they’ll grow closer in their relationship with God, when you see little evidence.
In our home, we’ve fought through quite a number of these and probably even more than I can quickly recall. However, for me personally being a dad with three daughters … it’s mostly been about the boys as they entered their teen years.
Why? Probably because I am a ‘boy’. My antennae are on high alert, scanning the landscape for any and all signs of possible threat to the spiritual, physical, and emotional welfare of my daughters. Helping her to notice and be aware of her surroundings, observing, having an escape route out of unintended situations.
Encouraging her to make the right choices that serve her well now and in the future. Holding her accountable to her decisions and her faith.
I’m not always successful, my reaction is not always pretty, but the majority of the time I respond in a meaningful way and that has required me to get up off the couch, away from my computer, put down my phone, close the book, stay up late, think before speaking, pray over it with my wife, get trustworthy counsel, and build a loving relationship with my daughter.
But where does it all start? It begins with not ignoring your parenting prowess … that moment when you know you need to and should follow-up with your son or daughter related to something you ‘feel’ might be a bit off or just a quick check-in to let them know you are on their side, have their back, and you are holding them accountable.
It’s why our children have parents … YOU are the one with the experience behind you, you are the one that has ‘been there done that’, you are the one that should know better.
You know the feeling when these situations present themselves … the longer you sit there, the longer you try to ignore it, the longer you do nothing, it just keeps nagging you until it grows into a moment of decision and you have two choices to make…
- Ignore it and do nothing. Be lazy. At least it feels that way sometimes in the moment. If I just do … nothing, the whole situation will just melt away and we know that isn’t the mature choice.
- Put in the required effort. The only real logical choice is to ‘dad up’ and ‘mom up’ and go with what you know is right … to help them overcome the temptations we all have and make the right choices. Help them stay on track.
The history of mankind has proven one thing for sure … we are all the same, we struggle, we are human.
Does this mean we shouldn’t ever trust them? That we shouldn’t allow them to fail? That we should be helicopter parents, always swooping in to save the day? No, It means you have to be smart. Use your God given prowess to approach each situation according to your child’s age and maturity.
How do we help our children? We can…
Be the grown-up.
Don’t give up.
It’s YOUR move!
It seems safe to say that when we look back at our own childhood, our teenage years, that there were moments when our own parents had their moments of prowess. You may even remember one or two of them when you ‘got caught’. But what I remember most are the moments when I wish my parents had been paying more attention. Wishing they had acted on their instincts even more often than they did.
What about you … what parenting prowess moment have you been confronted with recently and most importantly what did you do with it? Comment below…