WT 081: What If I’m Not Ready For My Child to Grow Up?

It feels like they were just babies, but every you turn around they seem to be growing up more! How do you handle that as their mom? Today on Wire Talk, Karen and Sunny talk about everything from the emotions of your youngest going to kindergarten all the way to your oldest going away to college. Welcome to episode 81!

Question 1: Karen, how did you handle boys pursuing your daughters when they became teenagers? My daughter is 13 and everything is pretty innocent, sometimes I can’t help but laugh at how awkward they are and other times I start to get anxiety over her growing up too fast.

Karen's Answer: Girlfriend, I went back and forth with those some emotions too. :) What I learned early on is be slow to let the reins look, in those earlier teen years, even though it’s innocent, because it quickly turns not innocent, and then when you try to pull them in your child reacts like crazy because they don’t like it.  So, when making your decisions, ask yourself the question, “Would I be okay with her doing this when she’s 16 or 17?

Our culture grows up way too fast for my taste, so I tried to keep my children on a slow cooker as long as I could. :) Decide the pace you want your child to run and then stick to your guns.

Question 2: Karen, my 10-year-old son is showing signs of independence. He doesn’t want help with anything and doesn’t even really want too much attention from us. How do I give him his independence even though my instinct is to still hover a little bit?

Karen's Answer: That is SO normal for him and you need to have someone help keep you accountable on the hovering part. (husband, friend, mom, sister) Don’t hover! Ten years old is a great age for your son to start stretching his wings, the more you allow him to be independent the more confident he will be in life. When we hover we over protect, then when real life hits our children and it’s hard, they don’t know what to do. Keep in mind, hovering is not always good.

Question 3: Karen, my youngest is going to kindergarten this year and I feel more emotional about it than any of my other kids. I thought I had passed this phase with the first one, but the truth is I’m used to always having a little one in the car with me throughout the day and I’m going to miss the time together. Did you ever experience this and how did you work through it?

Karen's Answer: I did with Abby! I had worked at NP while Abby was in pre-school and she went to work with me everyday. She was my little buddy. The day I dropped her off at Kindergarten I was beyond sad. Abby was not, she was ready. She had seen all of her siblings go to school and it was now her turn.  I asked for a kiss good-bye and she gave me a quick kiss, turned and was on her way.  No tears. I have to admit, I had tears in my eyes. But, only for that first day. Then life kept on happening and we all adjusted to our new way of life.

Question 4:  Karen, daughter is in college and she doesn’t call as much as I thought she would. I’m happy because I know that means she’s having a great time, but I guess in my mind I imagined she would miss us a little more. Is that selfish?

Karen's Answer: It’s not selfish, it’s very normal. But, it is a good thing.  You wouldn’t want the opposite to be true, her sitting in the dorm by herself and calling you every night. That would make you sad I think. Given the two choices, what she is doing is the best option.

Well, Kelsey was miserable at her first college, and she would call all the time. (that is how I know you would rather have the scenario that you have) Emily, on the other hand, she hardly ever called and when she did she was usually talking to five other people at the same time. I finally told Emily, “I’m happy you have all your friends, but when you call me, please talk to me and not them.” Taylor and Abby followed suite with Emily.

Keep this in mind, things will settle down, and she may call more often. Make your calls quality calls when you do talk, don’t worry about the quantity, focus on the quality.

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God. Remember, if you have a question about motherhood I want to hear it!