We practice law. We practice medicine. Who practices parenting?
We practice law. We practice medicine. Shouldn’t we practice parenting?
‘Practice parenting. That is what you are going to go with?”
My poor husband was baffled. After 15 months of talking about reopening my blog to discuss the phenomenon of being the parent to ALL adult children he was sure I would have a better title that PRACTICE!!
“Why do you have to practice this? You have been a mom for almost 40 years. Aren’t you a pro already?”
As a matter of fact, I am a pro. Dictionary.com defines a professional is someone who is engaged in a profession. (Don’t you love when the definition tells you nothing?) But the word profession is defined as an occupation, especially one that requires PROLONGED training! (Emphasis all mine!).
I have been a parent over three decades and I have been ‘in training’ every day.
Check that one! I am a pro!
But the word practice is used to mean the carrying out or exercise of a profession. Of course you have most often heard this in the use of a law practice of the practice of medicine. Obviously we would all love to read a physician’s post after 35 years of treating the common cold on how to avoid the germs and make the illness pass more quickly, right? If an attorney who have been practicing a quarter of a century posts on how to draw up the unbreakable contract you would read that, right? Sure!
So here I am: professional parent (because of the INTENSE and EXTENSIVE training) and I am putting out my shingle to say: Welcome to my practice!
Lots of us think we are still in the business of practicing— like Little League baseball: show up every day from 3-5 and take a swing and a miss until you get it right. Hence, my tagline: everything worth doing is worth practicing. That should let the readier know: I am still swinging and missing at being a parent to adults…but I am willing for you to grab a seat and watch me swing.
What I REALLY want from the readership is a lot of armchair coaches who can comment on how to better swing at how to celebrate your grown kids when they do something GREAT, like have a birthday! I hope to get coaching advice on posts about when to give advice to your kids and when to take the advice they are giving you.
My goal is that PRACTICE PARENTING can be both a sounding board for when we royally mess this up and an advice column when we truly want and need help.
You will need to envision a world much better than the one you currently inhabit. You will need imagination to invent tools for problems we are yet to discover in venture we have yet explore.
Many millennial‘s would deny the necessity for the rite of passage into adulthood and scores of teens would urge you to become Peter Pan and refuse to grow up.
You will need imaginations and dreams, but you will also need hope, virtue, and courage.
You all have a calling on your life. And although the calling may take different mediums, we know that the calling was issued in Matthew 28:19 and 20. These verses tell us that your calling is to go. You already figured that out. You have been looking forward to going since you were 13, if you are like most young adults.
And finally, you must have courage. College campuses can be havens of academic and spiritual growth. They can also be Satan’s tempting ground to try your character. Remember that this is the furnace where your character is forged.
Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus, in his blog recently stated the key to overcoming challenges lies in the ability to fight negative forces with love.
- I must love the struggle with my young adults because it makes me appreciate their intelligence when we work through a hard place together.
- I must love challenges because they make me stronger and cause me to change in ways I would not have done before.
- I must love the competition of fighting for time with their growing interests, hobbies, and jobs because it makes me better at appreciating their time as well as my own.
- I must love the negative people that say I will never be close to my adult children because they provide an opportunity to practice positivity in all my relationships to other young adults I know.
- I must love my adult children when they hurt me because they teach me forgiveness.
- Most of all, I must love my fear in this new journey with adult children because fear makes me more courageous.
I must seek BETTER through love.
How do you fight negative actions with positive love? Leave a comment below!
We often tell our young children, “It is more important to be kind than to be right.”
Can you employ that motto today with your adult children?
I can’t believe you think that!You don’t trust me!I am not a child any more you can’t talk to me like that.
A few days before Rachelle (my first daughter to have a big church wedding!) got married, she and I fought over something. I can’t remember what the issue was, but I DO remember running up the stairs yelling behind me, “Don’t follow me up! I am going to my room and lock the door.” Rachelle returned the volley with, “You can’t run away from me! I am your daughter!”
We can’t change the past with its irrefutable consequences: but we can frame how we talk about their failings—just as we would want them to do for us.
“I have forgiven him for 15 years for this behavior. Now, I am through. We are not inviting him to any more holidays until he dates better women!”
“He settled for this career. He should have been a doctor or at least a dentist. He had so much potential.”
“She deserted the family when she went to California. Now she is lonely and it is her own fault.”
R — Respect our kids and exhibit self-respect. Instead of asking for respect, do we give it and earn it?E — Exceed the expectations of others. Do I set the the bar higher for myself than anybody else sets it for me?S — Stand firm on convictions and values?P — Possess maturity and demonstrate it by responding like an adult?E — Experience a healthy family life by encouraging others and remaining positive?C — Contribute to the success of others? Are we their biggest fan?T — Think ahead of others. Are we pro-active in our relationships? Do we anticipate our response and improve upon it or do we simply react and let the chips fall where they may?
John Maxwell teaches the LADDER of listening. How do you rate yourself when you are speaking with your adult children?
Back to the drawing board.
What is the trick to keeping up with what my adult kids need to communicate with me?
The question is not FREQUENCY of communication but the nature of the communication that should alert parents that an adjustment might need to be made in their relationship.
In our day the adage was “cut the apron strings at 18 and send them on their way!” That never happens now!If she doesn’t text me three times a day I know something is wrong.We have a “know to need “policy. We know when he needs something.
Margo calls her mom every day. As a career gal she checks in on her way to work to ask her mom’s opinion about the day Margo has planned. Margo details the work-out she had that morning before heading to work. She worries about maintaining her weight and asks her mom to research diets and nutritional for her. Last week Margo broke up with a guy she had been dating for three months. She could not put her finger on what was wrong with the relationship but she was sure something was not quite right. Her mom said it best when she explained to Margo, “You are just not soul-mates!” Even though Margo lives three states away she is never far from her mom.
Kent feels left out. He has five siblings still at home and wants to stay in touch with them. Since going off to college three years ago, he feels that the family has abandoned him. Although he talks to one of them every other day or so he does not feel like he “gets” them any more. Last month, when one older sister told Kent that another sister had become “really serious” with a boyfriend Kent could not believe that he was just now hearing about it. It is as if Kent has moved to another planet and his family has forgotten him!
Never underestimate the power of yours words! Speak life into your world.
Then we went to Constantinople and they led us to the place where they worship their God, and we knew not whether we were in heaven or earth, for on earth there is no such vision nor beauty, and we do not know how to describe it; we only know that God dwells among men. We cannot forget that beauty. *
- Look for where change needs to happen
- Never underestimate the power of yours words! Speak life into your world.
- You are instrumental in a movement that saves the lives of women and children!
- You are changing how people think of giving birth.
- You have made a life changing difference in the life of that family!
- You are a brilliant mom raising brilliant children!
- You are becoming a lawyer that will lock up the bad guys and set the innocent free!
- You are a crusader for social justice!
- You are righting the wrongs of your past!