Even when you know it is coming, you are never prepared for that moment when your children look at you as if you clearly “don’t know anything.” After all these years of being the one they run to when they are hurt, the one they find comfort in when they feel lost, the one they trust to fix it when things get broken, the one they turn to for advice and wise counsel. They are special times and I say to anyone with young children ... DON'T WISH IT AWAY. Boy, they seem like easy times now!
I feel like I am at the stage of parenting where my thoughts really don't count for much, until they need money. A humbling place indeed! I thought I was tougher. I truly have been heart broken when they look at me as if I come from “mars” and “dis” me without a second thought.
My biggest challenge is to be quiet and listen and especially to know, when I do decide to speak, what to say. Lately, I feel I am getting it wrong more than right, I feel like I am drowning in a sea of "Speech" bubbles, which confirms that I clearly “don't know anything at all.” Mostly, I am learning to pray a lot, listen more and trust that the foundation we have planted in them is enough. This is not the time to begin developing a relationship. This is the time to have a lot of credit in the LOVE bank to get you through this stage. I am praying I have enough credit to get through.
I implore anyone with young kids to make sure you fill the bank of LOVE and TIME and RELATIONSHIP and CONSISTENCY to overflowing when they are young. It will be necessary when they hit their teens and young adult years.
These are the times when you really need a VILLAGE you can trust. I am thankful that we have been able to surround ourselves with great people who can be that voice that I no longer can be in this stage of my kids’ lives. I implore anyone with primary age kids, make sure you intentionally plant other voices in your kids’ lives, people you know you are going to be happy with, so when you hit this stage, you can sleep at night knowing that what you can’t say, they can.
These are the times when the VILLAGE must understand what “partnership" is and being for you and with you as parents and not against you. I know I have been guilty of listening to kids and wondering what their parents are doing? Now I realise that it is not always fair to just hear the teens’ perspective and not the parents. When you do life truly together, you see it from all sides and are able to be a support to each other as parents as well as the voice of reason for each other’s kids.
These are the times when you need your own VILLAGE so you can say to a friend or one older and wiser, “do you believe they said this?” and you instantaneously get that look from them that validates all you are feeling, and that says “OMG, I know how you feel!” You need others to keep you propped up, those who are further down the track, who smile at you in a way that says, “this too shall pass.”
I implore anyone with teenagers to make sure you have parents older than you in your VILLAGE who can assure you it is “just a phase.” I implore anyone with young adult children to make sure you know who you are in God and know that you can trust Him when your children venture out in the big wide world, believing they know everything. Thank God, He never leaves them.
Your children are always your children, no matter what age they are. You love them and you ache for them and long for them to be happy. When you get to the young adult stage and you are told you clearly “know nothing”, the rules of the game change, so beware and be ready and don't do it alone.
I am beginning to understand why Paul said, “Parents don't exasperate your children” (Col 3:21, Eph 6:4) It is becoming a harder and harder command for me to achieve. Lord, help me to keep quiet, pray harder and speak less, be patient, and trust that nothing we have said in the past was wasted, even if it might take a long time for me to “know anything” again.