Last night Jordan and I met up for our monthly dinner. If you have an adult child or even a teen who is busy and already driving, I highly suggest you take this lead and set up a monthly date night. After a little tif well over a year ago, Jordan & I both came to the realization we weren’t connecting and communicating so having this one on one time for me to listen to what’s really going on in her life has been a huge relationship builder but also caused me to overflow with pride just a tad seeing the woman she continues to become.
Sometimes as parents we get so caught up looking for those teachable moments and looking for ways to mentor we may miss the opportunity to just sit back and admire the growth. Last night I really felt like the teacher sitting back and watching this beautiful student take the little pieces of education I may have given her along the way and turn around and teach me the way she has molded those lessons into new hypothesis she can apply to her own life. I’m not sure I’m really making sense but the jest of this is I totally was the student last night and it was amazing!
Being a mom is tough and over the years you will question whether or not you are providing the right support or just screwing them up with your desire to create the perfect child. Today I’m sharing with you 3 things you can give your children that are bullet proof.
Easy right? You don’t really get a choice in whether or not to love the little angels but what I really mean is teaching love. Teach them to love others and all that jazz but teach them also to love themselves. I’m all to guilty of teaching my daughters to be strong and by doing this I may have left out being strong doesn’t mean you take on things beyond your capacity. It doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help along the way when you need it; from your friends, your partner, or even from God. Teaching them to love themselves will allow them to love others completely but also set boundaries for healthy relationships.
Grace & Forgiveness
Again, a no brainer right? We all think this is easy but it is really one of the biggest areas I struggled with my entire life. It wasn’t until I learned to give myself grace and forgive myself, I was able to give grace and forgiveness to others unconsciously. Your children will learn grace and forgiveness from watching how you give grace and forgiveness. Be careful to pay attention how you emulate this. Do you let things slide with strangers and others outside your family only to hold grudges at home? I’ve definitely been guilty of this over here! And sometimes the reason is because I’m feeling like a slight failure for not being able to be “that mom” making fun lunches and everyone’s favorite dinner every night or having all the Pinterest crafts nailed. Instead of giving myself a little grace, I lash out at the flaws the others in my house exhibit. It’s not pretty y’all! If we show we can give ourselves enough grace to leave those dishes floating in the sink and head to bed early so we are well rested and non-cranky the next morning it will teach our kids it’s okay not to be “perfect”.
Freedom to Think
This one is the biggest but also sometimes the hardest friends. Giving your kids the freedom to take what they learn from you, from their friends, from the world and form their own thoughts and opinions isn’t easy. You will see the heartbreak sometimes lying in their next step and you will want to shield them from the pain and roadblocks to their future happiness. They will sometimes choose to go directly against what you have tried to teach. Using these times to continue to listen and offer guidance when asked (yes, only when asked) and then stepping away to allow them the freedom to think it through on their own is a huge piece of growing up. Last night, listening to Jordan, I know this was the biggest blessing I’ve given to my children. While I of course have given them multiple pieces of my mind and thoughts on life, she has taken what she needs, applied it, pondered over it and honestly created some thoughts about it that are deep and full of wisdom. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing!
Here’s the thing, do not ever take things personal. When (not if) your kids go against one of your teachings do not take it personally. I may have had the hardest time with this! I have a slight competitive side and strangely enough it sometimes bleeds over to parenting. Do I want them to learn from their father? I mean sure, I guess, but all the really good hearty stuff I want them to someday look back on and publicly announce all came from me. Thankfully I’ve grown up a little as a mom and learned not to take things to personally. Multiple times last night I heard Jordan say “you taught us “X” so well” and then she would reach over and gently touch my knee and say “but…..” and I didn’t take it personally y’all! I was totally and utterly filled up with pride that this beautiful little girl of mine had grown into a strong woman who is able to think and process for herself. It was AMAZING!
Parenting, it’s not for sissies, but it is a blessing!
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