I could not imagine what it would be like to have grown children.
It was so far away.
I could barely get through
the wiping of noses,
the drying of tears (mine and theirs!),
the driving to this appointment or that activity,
the permission slip signing,
the report card reading,
the birthday parties,
the sleepless nights.
I could not imagine anything else.
But, here I am, the mom of two grown kids.
I have days where I still imagine them as 5 years old.
I have days where I see them for the adults they are becoming.
It is an adjustment for all of us.
Some days they are so independent that I can not see how I fit in as a mother.
But then there are days when I am reminded, I still have a job, they still desire my influence in their life.
Those days when I am helping them are often about hard things. It is not like when they were little and the answers were easy...
how to match their clothes,
how to address a letter,
how to apologize to a friend,
how to organize their room, etc.
These are grown up things...
how to decide what they want to be for the rest of their life,
how to say no,
how to stand up for themselves,
how to keep going in a difficult situation that they can not walk away from
I am so grateful that my children still seek wisdom from their father and me. It is a blessing and fills me with joy. At the same time my heart hurts that they have to experience grown up situations that often times have no simple answers. I so want to become a Mama bear and go and beat up those that make my babies cry.
But we are not talking about issues in the sandbox.
These are grown up things, hard things.
We are all familiar with Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
And then there is Ephesians 6:4
And Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord.
I could get my hands around these principles much more easily when my kids were little. But now that they are dealing with adult size issues things do not seem so cut and dry.
The fact is, that these principles hold true. They just look a little different.
My husband and I can still "train" by reminding them of things they already know are true and showing/encouraging them to apply them in a grown up world. By doing this we are helping them to continue to grow and mature. If we are not helping we could find ourselves hindering their path to maturity. I have given a few links below that address how we do this as parents of adult children and how to turn that around.
We are also able to continue to apply Ephesians 6 as well. I find it easier than ever to provoke my children to anger. I do this with my words and my body language. There are days that instead of encouraging them I discourage them by saying things that tear down instead of build up, or just stating the obvious in a hurtful tone. When I do those things, it can take days to build up the level of trust that I managed to tear down in seconds.
Parenting adult children is a balancing act.
I always want my kids to know that:
I am in their corner, cheering them on to greatness.
I will always point them to God's Word.
I will never stop praying for them.
My knees have never been more callused from the prayers
I offer up on behalf of my kids.
No matter how old they are, or how addled I become!!
Below are a few links that I have found helpful in the journey