Tom and I got a frantic call from our twenty-something daughter as she was leaving work.
“I went to brush the snow off my windshield and the wiper popped off.”
Wipers are a critical component when driving through the sheets of white blowing in the wind.
My mama’s heart wanted my feet to run to her. My knee jerk reaction was to rescue her from this dilemma. I pictured Tom reinserting the wiper while I consoled my child. Tom could be Hero Dad and I could be Mother Nuturer.
(Are you like me? Do you first react to the feelings then later respond with your brain?)
Then God popped a different vision into my head. I saw my daughter fix the wiper herself and then smile with pride in her ability to handle her issue.
“What is best for her? Do we help her out or help her up?” With the eyes God gave me, I didn’t have to ponder this long.
“You are gifted with mechanical things. There is an owner’s manual in the glove compartment. Read it and follow the directions. You are fully capable to do this job. Dad and I have full confidence in you and your ability.”
She was empowered to manage her situation. Our belief in her capability fueled her confidence. The joy and accomplishment she felt once the wiper was re-secured was priceless. If we had jumped in to save the day we would have robbed her of this experience.
I don’t want to steal from my kids.
For over 25 years I have been called mom. My four kids have taught me parenting isn’t stagnant. It constantly shifts according to a child’s age, stage, and personality. When I take a bird’s eye view of life, I realize the parent’s job is to get laid off–to work oneself out of a job, while maintaining a relationship that last a lifetime. We make the necessary role adjustments from Controller and Chum to Consultant and Coach. We influence and advise our kids as they get older. No longer do we take over, direct or control.
Parents are raising kids to be adults.
My parenting must be continually tweaked. I need to be aware of my tendency to swoop in, rescue, and fix. If I follow my heart I won’t grow resilient, responsible, reliable, tenacious, self-starter, and compassionate kids. I will instead encourage the traits of helplessness and dependency.
I want to avoid being an entitlement enabler.
The ultimate goal is to move my kids from dependence on Tom and me to an independence that has a dependence on our Heavenly Father. Training our kids to trust in an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God who will never fail them, that’s our greatest parental aim.
Recently I wrote a blog for The Mom Initiative titled: 9 Things Entitled Kids Say and one for 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting titled: 10 Ways to Avoid Enabling. Empower Your Child Instead.
The posts hit parents where they live; good moms and dads trying to find the line between enabling and empowering.
One mama asked me if I would write an article that included empowering statements parents could say to their kids. She requested I create statements that could be displayed on the refrigerator or on the child’s bathroom mirror.
What a great idea!
Here are 15 empowering phrases you can verbally share with your kids or post in a prominent spot.
When your child lacks confidence:
- You are able. (Philippians 4:13)
- You are capable. (Philippians 4:13)
- God has equipped you. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- God created you for a purpose. (Psalm 138:8)
because God has equipped you and created you for a purpose.”
When your child feels unlovable or rejected:
- You are the apple of God’s eye. (Zechariah 2:8)
- God accepts you. (Ephesians 1:6)
- You are God’s child. (John 1:12)
- God cherishes you. (Ephesian 5:9)
- You are loved. (John 3:16)
- You are valuable. (Luke 12;24)
- God is with you. (Psalm 73:23)
- You are courageous. (1 Chronicles 28:20)
- God calls you a conqueror. ((Romans 8:37)
- God guards you. (2 Timothy 1:12)
- God is your power. (Philippians 3:12)
and he has given you a spirit of power and strength.”
Our kiddos need to know that they are lovable and capable. If we believe in them, they will have an easier time embracing a God confidence in themselves.
If you liked this post you may enjoy these related posts:
With faith, hope, and love,
Co-author of three parenting books, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Contact Lori to speak at your next event.
If this post was helpful you will appreciate the information found in Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love both books are user friendly and the strategies presented are easily applicable.