Sunday, July 1, 2012

When I went home from boarding school one year, my parents had tucked this poem into the corner of a photo frame.  While I read and admired the beauty of its words, I did not appreciate the wise message as much as I do today.  Perhaps it's because we have two teenagers in the house now and I am constantly reminded that every opportunity is a chance to support them in their learning how to think for themselves.

Our generation of parents err in both ways.  Some of us ask too much of our little children.  We cannot ask a four year old "what do you want for lunch?"  We have to create safety by offering choices that are realistic to help them be successfully and grow in their confidence. 

In the same way, we can no longer only demand blind obedience from our pre-teens and teens.  We have to dialog about the why and listen to their thinking and to their hearts.  They need us to believe in them and gently guide them.  They do not need us to control their circumstances by taking over and solving every problem for them; or worse still, trying to set every thing up perfectly so they do not experience discomfort.  By doing so, we are saying "we do not believe you are able to deal with this."

Let's be those stable bows for our children~

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