Having a daughter aged 16-25 can be a difficult time. This particular age group in our children is a difficult one. This doesn’t pertain to all youths in this age group, but many.
I have a daughter who is now 22. She is rebellious, not quite sure who she is yet, and stubborn (wonder where she got THAT from? LOL). She can’t stand my faith, can’t stand my open opinions and claims I’m stubborn and judgmental. She has accused me of ruining her life. We haven’t spoken in 2 months now after she had given me her full opinion of me as her mother; she hasn’t reached out and I won’t chase after her either. I know when she reaches out she will be ready.
My head says “accept her reaching out ONLY if she apologizes for the hurtful things she said to me”. My heart says “I miss you sooo much, and pray the daughter I know will come back to me soon. This young woman before me I don’t recognize.”
I also have a friend my age who has a daughter who just turned 18. Again, been rebellious the past 2 years and she too will not speak to her mother. She too is at an age of “ME ME ME” and she has all the answers one could possibly need – at least in her own mind.
Both girls are into drinking and boys and trying to find their way in life. As mom’s to these girls, we have to cut that umbilical cord, and let them roam….let them find their way, always trusting in the Lord that He will bring them back to us, and reminding them, no matter how they may have hurt us, that we love them the same today as we did they day they were born.
Both situations remind me of the story “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15). It is a good example of the Lord’s love and patience for us, and I also believe it is a good example of how we should be as parents of young adults.
Questions arise in a mother’s mind (and probably a father’s too) when our children rebel as these girls have. Will they be safe? Will they come back? Will they find themselves on their journey out there in the world?
I believe that if we trust in the Lord, that HIS will be done, it can give us comfort and peace as our hearts try to wrap around the idea that our little girls are no longer under our wings….that they are now becoming young women and we just simply have to let go to some degree.
We still want to help our children, even when they don’t like us anymore. We still want to protect them from the things we know can happen out there, that they cannot foresee. But as we can see in the story of the Prodigal Son, we must give them their freedom to do as they must, knowing full well they might fall flat on their faces. We must also remember that it is when they fall flat that they then can be humbled.
We must remember that our time to try and raise them is over. The clock has run out. To continue to try to control them after 18 is like banging your head against a brick wall….it doesn’t do anything to the wall, but causes one big headache.
I remember being the same way at their age. No one could tell me what to do. I had to find my own way, be in control, and find myself. Life is a process of never ending change as we mature with each passing year, learning from our experiences both good and bad. It is those experiences that make us strong and grow us up. They eventually mold us into the adults we become – and hopefully we end up at some point finding Jesus and the comfort and hope He alone offers.
We must fight those urges to coddle, enable, and protect our children when they become adults and want to experience the world. We must hold on loosely, and not let go. Our trust must then turn to the Lord knowing that HE is in control, and we can no longer protect our children as we once did. We must pray that our children are safe, and ask the Lord to keep them, seeking His will for them, not our own.
It’s my belief that a child does not stray too far as to never come back. And when they are ready to come back, we must celebrate their homecoming; the re-joining of love between parent and child. This lets them know “I have loved you this whole time.”
If you are having difficulty with a child and trying to figure out what the next step is, the Bible is a great source of knowledge in that area. God speaks to us numerous times throughout the bible about how to parent our children and the story of the Prodigal Son is a great place to start. Forgiveness, love, patience, long suffering, and endurance are needed in parenting these days. Find your strength in Him.
Luke 15: 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Peace to you all, today and every day. 🙂