Encourage THINKING–Not the Thought!

When our darlings become adults we remember all those times they were the STAR OF THE SHOW!

From our perspective, they were destined for nothing but greatness.  Because of our perspective, we become disappointed when they don’t ‘reach their potential’ because of a thought they have.  

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

 

We think that when our children are small we want to encourage them TO THINK.

 

We delight in all their funny thoughts and repeat every witty comment every said over a meal or to a grandparent!

 

When Scott said to my sister, “Why doesn’t God just kill the devil? Oh I know! He has that pitch forky thing!” I thought we would double over laughing. The theology did not worry us! The four-year-old was  THINKING!!!!

 

 

They make home runs and we CHEER! They strike out and we say, “You’ll get ‘em next time!” Most of all, when they are young we are the BIGGEST cheerleaders. They make a 100 on their spelling test and we see visions of ‘writer’ in their future. They flunk a math test and we cross ‘engineer’ off the list of possible occupations and say, “The world has too many engineers anyway!”

We know they are going to be successful! 

 

 

When our darlings become adults we remember all those times they were the STAR OF THE SHOW!

 

From our perspective, they were destined for nothing but greatness.  Because of our perspective, we become disappointed when they don’t ‘reach their potential’ because of a thought they have.

 

 We try (sometimes not so gently) to get them ‘back on course!’ We KNOW they are destined for greatness and they just need a little push.

They just need a ‘tweak in their thinking…” OR IS IT THEIR THOUGHTS? 

Soon the push becomes a shove…and the shove… becomes our own frustration.

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 Why do we push them? Because we still see the adorable child whom we wanted to succeed. We see the ballerina that just needed encouragement. We see the scholar that only needed someone to believe in him.

The truth is: our kids MAY NOT DEFINE SUCCESS THE WAY WE DO.  They may actually have different THOUGHTS than we do. 

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They may not desire a corner office with a window; they may not even desire a corner office OR  any office AT ALL.

We wanted them to THINK and we encouraged their thinking! Now that they are thinking on their own, sometimes we are nervous, upset and even angry that the end of their thoughts did not lead them to the same destination our thoughts led us.

 

I am not romanticizing that we go back to believing in pixy dust and that the moon is made of green cheese, like when they were four…what I am proposing is that some of the basic ways to find truth might come back with different thoughts:

“We should learn to take care of the widows and orphans.”

        Hey Mom! We are adopting! Sure we can still conceive our own kids but we want to adopt.

 

“We should spread Jesus’ love to the ends of the earth.”

        Hey Dad! Last week we finally decided that our church’s missionaries need help! So we are taking the kids and going to _____ (fill in the blank with anywhere more than 200 miles away and preferably without clean water)

 

“We should put others above ourselves.”

    Yea, we know this is going to be hard on our family, but we prayed and we really feel like we need to take in this woman and her three kids while she gets on her feet.

 

 “As much as we can, we should owe no one anything except love.”

    We sold our second car. We are paying off all our debt. We can do this.

  

“As far as it lies within you, live peaceable with all men.”

    I am not gonna rock the boat on his lifestyle. Live and let live is what you taught me.
 

“He who doesn't take care of his family is worse than an infidel.”

    I am quitting my job. I can never be at home when he is home and it is just not worth it.
 

 

Encouraging thinking— not the specific thoughts:

JUST another super-power to parenting adult children. 

Author: Dr. Johnnie K. Seago

Johnnie Seago is a national conference speaker who is passionate about building leadership in families. As the mother to eight adult children, she desires families to learn to connect and communicate to build a community of support. She extends her leadership and team building experience to schools, businesses, and civic groups. Johnnie’s messages equip leaders to: Find their strength in the design God used to create them Find their purpose for which God created them Partner with others for support in reaching goals Commit to the dreams God has placed on their heart Become accountable for their success as leaders Johnnie’s ministry to families includes: Helping families transition from childhood to adulthood Teaching parents to communicate with their adult children Working through difficult situations as teens become adults Providing resources and ideas for productive grand-parenting Johnnie and her husband, Ted has been married for 40 years. They live in the suburbs of Houston, Texas on a lake where they enjoy boating and water sports and the occasional day of floating and reading.

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