Proactive not reactive

We’re exhausted trying to catch up with our eldest daughter. She entered a new season of independence from us, of self awareness and curiosity about her strength and boundaries.

And we’ve been playing catch-up, reacting to her mind boggling experiments. They make no sense. I don’t think there is a reasoning behind them. Ideas come to her mind and she puts them into action. She is silly and daring. And if we weren’t so set on correcting her, it could be quite funny and adventurous.

I have tried to pull myself back. To reason with myself. So what if I let her try everything she sets her mind to?

We live in a community filled with kids, of varying ages. Mostly younger than her. For a while we’ve tried to control her environment to rule out the outside influences. We will not come out un-scuffed from this season. I’m sure we’ll offend friends by keeping her away. But it has to be done.

I catch myself correcting her daily. Explaining. Raising my voice. She teases, and pushes buttons, and gets all sassy with other adults. Not long ago she was the sweetest most considerate little girl. Respectful, smart, communicative.

I was talking with conrad and concluded that our proactive approach must become a way of life. Yes, we keep her safe from danger, we let her make mistakes that don’t have lasting impact, we chose our battles, but most importantly, set special time aside daily to connect while being a few steps ahead in clearing the path, in laying the foundation, the ground rules from school age. Regarding gossip, respect, self care, kindness, truth, patience, hardworking, work ethic, life values and principles, God and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Someone asked me if I’m a strict mom. I’ve always been firm about my beliefs, and boundaries. I’m a loving mom, but you bet your hat I’m a force of nature. My strength and clarity have been a step in stone in my relationship with conrad. Our marriage, my jobs, my travels and every act of service in community or church. I know who I am, I know who god is and I know my kids need a strong parent to grow upright and strong.

It’s unpleasant to push back so often with them. I cry myself in prayer, and plead with God for wisdom and strength. I pray for patience and for conrad and I to be good parents to our kids. Not soft. Wholesome and wise.

I entrust my kids to God. Daily. As I know this work of parenting is beyond my abilities and limitations. But by God’s grace our girls will grow up knowing God and knowing themselves, embracing the gift of life, their story, the pain and every opportunity God has blessed us with by putting us together into one family.

Telling Jackie I love her no matter what, is not enough if I don’t help her also see the right path to walk on. Blazing new trails is fun and exciting, but when it comes to character, we will model it; we will affirm their value, their God given gift of Likeness toHim, and correct and instruct and love them in the process. So help us God.