Parenting For the Long Haul

We all want to have great relationships with our adult children one day right? I think the ultimate goal for most parents is to raise a loving, healthy, caring adult who will come for Thanksgiving and enjoy time with us long after they’ve left the house. If that sounds like what you’re aiming at in motherhood, here are a few tips to keep in mind during your children’s years at home:

Like we’ve talked about before, use pleasant words throughout your day not only when speaking to your spouse, but also to your children. The best way to teach your children how to speak in a loving way to others is to model it for them day in and day out.

Secondly, accept your children for the way they are - even if that’s the polar opposite of you. We do this by celebrating each other.  My children are very different from me, but I’ve learned to celebrate each of them in the way God designed them and I do not try to make them into a mini version of me. Practically speaking, what are some ways you could enter into your child’s world and celebrate the way God has created them? When Taylor was playing golf in high school I used to go walk the course while he was playing. Not because I loved golf, but because I loved Taylor and this was a way I got to spend quality time with him on his terms. This could be as elaborate as planning an outing that shows you know what your child is into and what they would enjoy doing for an afternoon or as simple as letting them control the music in the car on the way to school.

Finally, hold onto your children loosely. I think this is the one idea that most moms struggle to understand. Even though they will never outgrow their relationship with us and we will always be their mom, our children are not our possessions. They are given to us by God to steward for a season that lasts roughly 18 years. And then they will grow up and leave the nest and moms, that is good and right. Try not to create a relationship that is co-dependent, teach your child how to be independent and then let them be independent. It will make a reunion for Thanksgiving dinner in 20 years all the more sweet.