Monday, July 16, 2012

Where my kids are..

My parenting style is a little unique in the sense that I let my children make as many decisions for themselves as soon as possible.

I guess you could call it guided independence.

By the age of 18, we expect our children to be mature and responsible enough to make decisions about their future.  This is what we have trained them to do.  We didn't thrust independence on them suddenly.  They developed into it.

So, it should be no surprise to anyone that we sent our daughter (almost 18) to Europe by herself for a few weeks after graduation, fully knowing that once she got a taste of it, she'd want more.

It didn't surprise me that she managed to "PWN" all of her senior classes and get academic awards in every class.  (with no nagging from us)

And I was reasonably impressed when she was awarded the big scholarship to the Art Institute for Photography.

But what I didn't count on was this.

Her contemplation over her long term goals, her desire to stay out of debt, and a change of heart caused her to turn down her scholarships and not pursue the Art Institute right now.

She took three days to pray about it with her Daddy.  She asked for prayer, and she made her own decisions about her life.

And yes I struggled with it.

And yes, I am proud of her.

Struggling. but proud. encouraged, you know.

But that is what raising a young adult is about.  We need to encourage these wings to develop, or they'll never fly on their own.  They need to struggle through decisions, without us micromanaging every detail of their lives.

When a child has demonstrated faithfulness in an area of their lives, it's time to cut the string and let them go in that area.  You still love them.  But love is not demonstrated by control.  And Control is based out of fear.  And fear is not faith.  And whatever is not of faith is sin.

Letting go of control is where I am right now.  There's a side of me that wants to be in control of everything and everyone, but I can't go there.  They just rebel when you try to do that anyway.

So, I'm in that next phase--letting go, letting God, watching God, listening, waiting, and celebrating.




3 comments:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

*Applause"

Amen.

Jenny P. said...

Thank you for narrating this. You're a wonderful example. I'm excited to see what Jo comes up with next.

Mrs. Parunak said...

Good for Jo for seeking the Lord, and taking serious stock of her life goals (staying out of debt is super awesome). And good for you for letting her do what she felt the Lord leading her to.