Parenting

Being the Best Mom of a Young Adult Child

Nearly every day my daughter sends me pictures from one or two years ago when her twin sons were babies or just little one year-olds. We both lament about how quickly these three years have gone. In my heart I think,

In just a snap, you’re going to be sending them off to college, just you wait and see.

It seems like it happened that quickly in my girl’s lives. It was as if one day we were pushing them on their swing set in the backyard, and the next day we were unloading totes and suitcases from the back of our mini van into their college dormitory. I had dreaded their move from home because I remembered from my own personal experience that when they come back home for a weekend visit, nothing will ever be the same again.

Now don’t cry! If you’ve just sent your child off for the first time, I’m sure the emotions are still raw and fresh, but be sure I’m not writing to discourage you, but to congratulate you! You have entered a new season of parenting. You’re in a new phase in your relationship as their mom, but it’s still no one but you can fill. I messed up plenty of times during these years and I learned many lessons along the way. Let me take what I learned and share with you how to be the best mom of a young adult child.

  1. You still need to be the one who prays specific prayers for your child.
    You know them so well, which means you know how to pray for their weaknesses and their needs.
    Pray for godly influences to pour into the heart of your young adult child.
    Pray they will have a godly mentor who can speak truth into their hearts.
  2. You still need to be the one who prays with your child. When they’re struggling, disappointed or hurting, take them to the Lord. Keep their dependence on Him – not on you as their mom. This can be hard for us moms because we’re used to fixing every problem in our children’s lives, but we won’t always be there! God will though! Teach them to depend on Him!
  3. You still need to be the one who cheers them on when they are tired and want to quit school or their job or serving the Lord.
    I’ll never forget calling home one day when I was in college. My accounting class was taking me down for the count, and I was so ready to pack up and go home. My mom gave me the pep talk I needed, telling me that if God had called me there in the first place (and I knew He had!), then His will had not changed. She encouraged me to do my best as I trusted in Him for His help. I passed the accounting class! I sure was thankful I didn’t give up!
  4. You still need to be the loving woman in their life. Do the little gestures the Proverbs 31 woman does – send a package of cookies, a Scriptural text, or a Chick-Fil-A gift card when you feel the Lord prompting your heart to do so. Invite them to come to vacations or holidays and bring a friend, but don’t expect it or demand it.
  5. You still need to be their dad’s wife. The greatest blessing you can give your young adult child is to have a strong marriage for them to see when they call or come home. It’s important to remember that you child is NOT your spouse, so they should get less attention than your husband does. Of course you miss them and love them, but you do still have a marriage that must be your priority. When your child does visit home, they’ll be coming into a loving, happy environment!

Now let me talk about a few things that you should NOT to be doing during this time in a young adult’s life…

  1. Don’t be making decisions for them. This is the time for your training during their early years to take over. If you see them moving in a way that concerns you, pray about it and then also pray about the opportunity to speak to them, then do so with a respectful, loving attitude. My husband put it in this wise way – “Now is the time to be asking them questions, rather than telling them what to do. If you see your young adult child making a poor decision, ask them questions like, ‘Can you tell me why you feel this is a wise choice?‘”
  2. Don’t post things on social media that keep reminding them and others that they are your baby. Their “adorable” baby or toddler pictures” will only serve to embarrass them and reveal your denial of the truth. Give them the kind consideration you would have wanted at that age.
  3. Don’t make them feel guilty for not joining in your family events. Give them the opportunity to choose for themselves how they will spend holidays or special days. Be honest – if you “guilt them” into coming, no one is really going to have the best time!

I promise you, I have had to apologize to both of my girls for breaking these rules from time to time! I think it’s because motherhood runs so deep in our hearts, it’s just hard to suddenly stop being what we’ve been for eighteen years! But I firmly believe that we will help to build a strong adult relationship when we let them be the young adult that we’ve trained them to be. This is God’s plan and His purpose for their lives. We can either aid in that or damage our part in encouraging them.

What questions do you have regarding this time in your child’s life? Where do you struggle?

Refresh your relationship with your young adult child by being a blessing to them at this time in their life, rather than a hindrance.

Dinner · Family life · Parenting

Making Dinnertime Family Time

It’s easy to get so caught up in the necessities of life that we forget to really live each day.  We may feed hungry people but forget to enjoy the process.  We don’t take the time to make mealtime Family Time where we look eye to eye, talk, listen and laugh.

Maybe you wonder how in the world you can do that with the schedules and time constraints of your family.  I’d like to offer a few suggestions, if I may!

Continue reading “Making Dinnertime Family Time”

Parenting

The Greatest Responsibility of a Parent

Parents have a huge role to play.  From provider, protector, and nourisher, we know that we are the ones who will help our children grow up to be healthy, responsible, wise adults.  But if we stop there, we are missing the most important role we play in their lives.  There’s something even more valuable than teaching them to share and be kind.  Continue reading “The Greatest Responsibility of a Parent”

children · Motherhood · Parenting

Why Talking Isn’t Enough In Child Training

Imagine yourself walking along with your child in a grassy field.  As you walk across the deep growth, you hear a noise.  You look a few feet in front of you and see the source of the sound – a rattle snake shaking its tail, ready to strike a venomous blow.

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You stop your child, point towards the reptile and say,

That is a rattlesnake!  Rattlesnakes are poisonous.  They can hurt or kill you.

Then you proceed forward with your planned walk, leaving your child and yourself open to true danger.

You’re shaking your head right now because you know you would hever do that.  You know that on sight of the poisonous snake, you would REMOVE both your child AND yourself from its presence just as quickly as possible.  Even if your child didn’t understand what was happening and didn’t want to leave, you would drag him off, knowing you were saving him from sure disaster.

Now let me ask you – if you would do that with a snake, why won’t you do that with your child’s sin?  What is keeping you from doing whatever is necessary to get them away from their sinful/deadly behaviour?

So often I see parents look at their child after they’ve disobeyed, spoken disrespectfully or been defiant and say something that sounds like the parent describing the poisonous snake –

That is not nice.

Those are ugly words!

You are not obeying!

Then they continue to walk towards “the snake.”  No action is taken to stop the forward movement – the continuation of their sin!

Proverbs 29:15 reminds us how to train a child to “run away from the snake.”

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.

You can use words to teach, but it needs another element added to it to get the lesson across – it’s a rod, a paddle.  Loving, firm discipline connnected with teaching them what God’s Word says about their sin is the only way to get them to understand the danger of going their own way.  Words alone will not get the job done because children are foolish.

Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

This is what God tells us! He made our children and He knows their sinful hearts.   Why do we think we can try to discipline another way – a way that eliminates a spanking?  No one enjoys having to spank their child, but the end result is rest (v. 17).

After the rod AND reproof are given, your child will be on the lookout for snakes himself because he doesnt’ want to “get bitten” again.

To really love your child, you must care enough to not only point out their sinful behaviour, but punish them when it shows itself.  Don’t leave that child on their own.  God gave them a parent to teach and train them…and that blessed person is YOU.  Be on the lookout for the poisonous snakes in their path!

With love,

children · Discipleship · Parenting

Family Friday – Training in Discipline

“Go to your room.  I’ll be there in a minute.”  Those words spoken to our daughters when they were growing up were serious words.  They knew that it meant one thing – a S-P-A-N-K-I-N-G was coming!  Sometimes they would hear our footsteps soon after they’d gotten to their bedroom.  Other times, we would have to go off and pray and collect ourselves first!

In our home, discipline always took place in a private place.  If we were at home, it Continue reading “Family Friday – Training in Discipline”