Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Mother Daughter Relationship

I don't know how many times in the past several years I have listened to well meaning youth leaders talk about "letting go" of our kids once they become teenagers. They claim more time with their peers and young adults is what they really need at this point in their lives. One thing I've noticed is that the majority of the youth leaders suggesting this way of parenting have yet to parent through the teenage years themselves, and yes, maybe they know kids, but where did this gained knowledge or wisdom on parenting they are claiming come from?
One would hope their guidance and teaching would come from the Bible. But becoming more distant in your teens life is not what the Bible teaches. I am the mom of five great kids. Four of those kids are now aspiring adults who now manage their own daily lives and choices, the fifth child is just beginning to maneuver through the final stages of those teenage years into adulthood. Now, I've learned a lot of things through the years of raising those first four, yet I will never claim to know all there is to know about the right and the wrong ways of parenting. But, this stands out to me; you cannot have a close relationship with someone who is not there, you cannot speak wisdom to someone who is not there to hear you, you cannot guide someone if they cannot see you leading and God has called every parent to be and do every one of these. Do I believe the teenage years are a time to make sure they have opportunities to put into practice those things you hope you have instilled in them thus far? Most certainly! A child needs those opportunities. But, God's word teaches us that "we", the parents are to be their greatest influence, all the way through to adulthood. It doesn't teach us that we are to be this main influence only unto adolescence and then toss that responsibility to their peers, teachers, or even youth leaders. It is our responsibility as parents to see them through this journey into adulthood. There is a great article on this topic of influence at named "The Primary Influence In a Girl's Life". Although the article is speaking specifically about the mother/daughter relationship I really think it applies to boys as well. I hope you'll enjoy it. Proverbs 22:6 " Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it." NAS