As many of you know, being a parent is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. There are no instructions, and you constantly second guess yourself. You wonder if what you say to your kids ever sticks, or whether you might as well be talkin’ to the wall! It makes you wonder sometimes if you’re failing.
When my daughter was growing up, I used to be afraid that:
- She would choose the wrong friends
- Her church foundation wouldn’t stick
- Not listening to my advice was grounds for her failure
- Our non-discussion about boys would yield a bad crop
I just sent my 18-year-old daughter off to college this month. I miss her dearly (even if she’s only 17 miles away). Most of my “daughter fears” are now gone. Seeing her blossom into the strong, beautiful woman she has become has freed me of my fears.
You know you’re not failing when:
Your daughter admires your “happy-go-lucky spirit” to other mothers that seem to be “grumpy all the time.”
Your daughter tells you that her friends senior boyfriend is still taking freshman classes, (and she rolls her eyes.)
Your daughter packs for college without any help from you, has 2 car loads of stuff, and surprisingly, everything fits in her dorm room!
You sign your daughter up for her college classes adhering to the advice of the guidance counselor for only 12 credits, and a week later your daughter adds more classes.
You’re disappointed that your daughter doesn’t show up to your church service her first week of college, and then she tells you that she was out late the night before, and decided to go to a later service at a local church with her college friends.
You walk in your daughter’s room and find her bible open to a study about tithing and debt, and you just finished a lecture to her about paying her debts.
Your daughter comes home from college after being gone for 3 weeks, picks up a few things, and heads back to college after a half an hour.
Being truthful with her and giving her the freedom to form her own opinions and respectful feedback while growing up, has allowed her to mature in ways that I can only see now that she is off and on her own. There are many days to come that will yield bumps and bruises along the way, but somehow she was paying attention, and I haven’t failed.