I heard someone say, not too long ago: “The hardest part of raising kids is over. Mine are almost teenagers.” I chuckled, a little, to myself when I heard this. My children are 21, 20, 19, 18 & 8 years in age. While they were younger, I was so relieved when they started walking & talking. And too, when the last one came out of diapers, I thought what will I do with all this money I will save from not buying formula & wet wipes?? Well, don’t get excited, this is not the secret to becoming a millionaire. ( I never saved any money.) Then, they started school. What ever happened to this free education they are supposed to be getting? I’m pretty sure I have bought enough Kleenex, Germ-X, colors, back packs, lunch boxes, etc,.. to take care of a small family.
Back to my point- I have had babies, I have had elementary school kids, I have had middle schoolers, jr. highers, high schoolers, & college kids. The hardest part of raising kids is not while they are babies, it’s these high school graduate- college kids. Let me explain. With a baby, if they get in to something they aren’t supposed to, you just pick them up from where they are. You give them something else to occupy them. All the while you go back & wipe up the spilled Cheerios, pick up the magazines flung from the coffee table, clean off the wall where they were showing their creativeness with their new colors, whatever it is, it’s exhausting, but obtainable. When they are the college age kids, they get in to something they aren’t supposed to, well, you can pick them up at the county jail, go visit them in the hospital, or basically try to rescue them from themselves. All the while, telling them over & over until you are blue in the face, this is NOT the way. This behavior only leads to nothingness. But they won’t listen. What do you do? Seeing that since I have an expertise in these things, I will share with you my solution.
- As soon as they are home from the hospital & you are able to get out of the house, take them to church as much as possible. Keep them involved in a lot of church activities. Make sure they all know right from wrong, at an early age. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it
- Make sure they know you love them. However, let them know obedience is key to anything in life. Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.
- Make sure you are going to church yourself & leading a good example. Ephesians 6:4 And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training & admonition of the Lord.
- Once you have provided the fertile soil for positive growth, have given guidance, instruction, in love, when they finish high school & reach the dreaded age of about 18, sell everything you own, buy a R.V. & set out to see the world, without them. Otherwise, you will spend the next few years of your life in a bundle of nerves.
- If you decide not to purchase the R.V., then, you might want to have your doctor prescribe you a nice anti-depressant. Because everything you have ever done wrong in your life, will come full circle & you will reap, heartily, of the bounty of crow that is set before you. Every time you said, “My child would never ……(and finish this sentence with something seriously earth shattering), will come true before your eyes. This is what your life will result in for the next few years. This is the time in one of my friend’s lives that she gave me some really wonderful advice. I won’t ever forget it. Her son was marrying, divorcing, having kids, doing drugs, getting jobs, losing jobs, going to jail, etc.,. He was raised using the first 3 tactics above. When I asked her how she handling things & making it through, she said, “A lot of prayer & a lot of Paxil.” I love my friend. A lot of prayer is so vital to every aspect of life!
- When these kids get to acting like adults, don’t be afraid to treat them as such. If they are old enough to make adult decisions, they are old enough to take adult responsibility. Don’t enable. Don’t let their actions take control of your life. Even God lets go of people that won’t heed His will-Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting. Don’t make yourself crazy with worry over their behavior. Pray- let go & let God handle it. Raising kids is not for the faint of heart. You have to be strong & have a load of self confidence, or it will really wear.you.out.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are kids that are raised right, that stay on the right path. And my kids aren’t the only ones that do crazy stuff. I said that to my Daddy one day. I asked, “What did I do wrong? What could I have done different?” He simply said, “Do you remember Adam & Eve? Well, God was their parent. If He could not make His kids act right, what makes you think you can?” Thank you Daddy, for nailing it every time. I like to refer back to Proverbs 22:6 in hopes that one day, it will click for them.
So, the next time that toddler throws up on you, or that school age kid gets a red dot for acting bad, or that high schooler smashes their car in to something– Just remember you have a few more years until they are 18. Then I can stand up, clear my throat & say, “Welcome to raising college age kids, we’ve been waiting for you.” And then give a “Muuwahhaaa!!” witch like laugh.
Thank you for stopping by today. I have loved visiting with you. I have to be going now because I should be washing clothes.