It’s difficult to give up control, especially when we try to control along the way. When they’re young, we have to do everything for them. As they grow, we continue to teach them new things, and they soak it all up. They look at us with adoring eyes. They’re curious sponges. We see ourselves in them, because they reflect what they see. But they begin to meet other people. They make friends. They watch videos and read books. Their interests change. They move out. They make their own decisions. At least, we hope they do. But it’s still difficult.
From an early age, we want and encourage them to stand on their own two feet, but when they do, we wonder if the way they’re standing will hold them up for long. We see better ways of doing things because we’ve “been there, done that.” But we haven’t, really. We can’t completely stand in their shoes or see through their eyes. We think we know them well, because we grew up with them, literally. But we’re not them. We can’t decide everything for them. It doesn’t just start when we send them to school; their decisions begin a long time before that. They have thoughts that we don’t even know. We can’t control them. That’s okay.
I don’t know about you but I have enough trouble making the choices in my own life. I don’t handle my own decisions well all the time. I struggle to determine how to follow God each step of the way. What was easy in one situation isn’t easy in another. Yet, I want to add the decisions of my children’s lives to the mix, too?
Of course, there are many decisions we need to make for our children when they’re young. And there are even more that we have to help them make for themselves. Making choices for them seems much easier. It seems quicker to jump in and fix something than to take the time to process alongside them, searching for the best option, teaching them to think instead of giving the summary of our own thoughts. But it’s not nearly as beneficial.
Asking questions and searching for answers is a much more important skill than following answers without a hint of why or how. Self-control is a much more important skill than imposed-control. It takes a lot of time to teach and learn, and sometimes we’re not sure we’re passing it all on well, but as long as we assume control of our children’s lives, we lose the self-control we need for our own.
Surrender control. God is the best parent of all…for your children and for you.