Gentle ripples. Light reflected. Easy breeze. Peace.
I watched the sun dip into the ocean at Key West. The vendors and visitors celebrated the end of the day. AHHH and AWE were the emotions expressed.
A sunset is the picture of peace. But have you noticed…it is not still peace. Not stagnant peace. Movement was a part of the scene before me. Rippling waves, clouds forming pictures, wind catching hair, sun bending over. All a gentle flow. Ever changing.
I want that feeling in my family. True peace. Harmony among the members. The ability to walk through the movement of life without blowing in a big storm. Where we can disagree- agreeably. Where we can love even if we see things differently.
My kids are entering their young adult years
We expect our kids to think, feel, talk, and walk like us. But they want to do it in the toddler vernacular, “By self.” To be their own person. Sometimes we are surprised by who they are becoming. It’s possible we may not like or appreciate choices they make. Yet the decisions are theirs.
“If only they would ask me,” we cry.
“By Self,” they say.
The sun is setting on my highly involved parenting. A new day has begun, where stepping back and saying less is the order of the day. The time when asking is more common than answering.
“What do you think about this?” Instead of “I think this…”
The tables are turned. We could give a great answer, if only they would ask. If only they would heed our wisdom. Yet we may not be invited to the conversation.
So we watch the setting sun and wait.
Just as the sets every day, change is guaranteed There are the days that seem longer than others but even so we know a new day is right around the corner. I have learned, respect and love are the essential “peaces”
of harmony in families. With respect and love is it okay when a new day is dawning. As the sun comes up, we will all be able to find our way and change and grow together.
Here are a five tips (plus one) for parenting young people.
1. Back off a bit. Act like a consultant or coach rather than a controller.
2. Ask questions- “How will this choice help you get where you want to go?”
3. Avoid being quick with a solution. Let the teen/ young adult wrestle with the issue.
4. Let the young person own the decision and the result.
5. Be supportive and encouraging.
And of course…pray.
Live in harmony with one another.