Well it was bound to happen.
This boy of mine turned 18 this past December and right before that we visited our first potential college.
I know when we have children clinging to our legs and fingers underneath the bathroom door because giving you a whole five seconds to go to the restroom on your own is too much for them we think, "they will never be grown," but I have proof now and trust me they will!
It will happen in a flash and before you know it you will be helping them study for their drivers test, taking practice ACT exams and yes, visiting those colleges.
I know you younger moms are always hearing "time will fly and before you know it they will be grown" but I bet you don't always believe them. Sleepless nights with infants, tantrum throwing two year olds, and a chaotic life with maybe more than one in diapers tells us this can't be true! As a mom of now three teenagers I can tell you it truly does happen in a blink of an eye. So hold on and brace yourself for a wave of emotions that will often overcome you when it does.
Over Christmas break we watched a ton of home videos and I would like to say I didn't cry my eyes out but I would be lying. Seeing how young they were, how precious their voices sounded, and how excited they were about everything made me tear up quite a bit. It seems like yesterday when many of those videos were made and yet here my two boys are now over 6 foot tall and my baby girl is turning 13 this month and I realize it wasn't just yesterday. Time didn't stand still and they grew up way too fast!
I also realize that we have three amazing teens who love the Lord, love their parents, and who are still a joy to be with and I know somewhere somehow we did something right! To God be the glory because without HIM we would have failed miserably.
Let me caution you: Just because your kids are growing up doesn't mean they don't need you! There are still plenty of things they still need from you, here are 5 things that come to mind.
- Your Interest - Your teens need to know you are interested in their lives, their dreams, and their hobbies. Take the time to get to know them in a deep way. Ask them questions about their day (even if you have to pull it out of them) keep up with their interests so you can have great conversations with. You don't have to be an expert, she a general knowledge so they know you care about what they care about. It is amazing all you will learn in the process.
- Family Time - It may seem like your teens don't need you any more but that can't be further from the truth. They need their family! They need your unconditional love, the love of their siblings, and the wonderful safety that only home can offer.
- Your Wisdom - A huge mistake would be to think your children are too old for your wisdom. Teens and young adults needs to be making more and more decisions on their own but they still need your wisdom. They are still young and still have so much to learn. If you establish great conversations from the beginning of their lives they will be much more likely to seek your advice and conversation when they are older. It will be so fulfilling to know your kids still need you when they come seeking your wisdom out.
- Great Conversation - One of the greatest things I have loved about having teens is the conversations. We talk about tv shows we watch together, politics, news topics, and so much more! Your teens still need you to chat with. You need to be a safe place for them to share their burdens and things on their minds. Again, this is something that will deepen your relationships as they become adults.
- Your Affirmation - Don't ever feel like your teens are too old to hear your compliments. I know many grown adults who still long to please their parents and/or for their parents to be proud of them. Let your kids know how proud of them you are. Let them know over and over how much you love them and how you believe in their dreams and aspirations. They need that so much from you!
It can be sad seeing your children grow up but it can also be incredibly rewarding! Just remember as your teens are gaining more independence they still need you, even if they don't want to admit it.
Angela, Together with Family