Last Sunday we had Becca's confirmation. For those of you counting back, yes it was indeed on Halloween (From the pictures, you can see Bella was Alice in Wonderland and Harry was Elvis). Now, I found this a little odd myself, as I have heard most confirmations take place in the Spring. Apparently, our church always does Confirmation on Reformation Sunday, which this year also happened to be Halloween.
During the service there was lots of talk about relying on God and using him to help navigate your path through life. The Pastor spoke about how you just need to call on God and he will be there for you. Well, I wish a had a tiny speck of God's wisdom because what I am currently struggling with in the parenting department is not BEING there for my children, but HOW to be there for them...
As a parent, I really want the best for my kids. What is difficult is seeing them make mistakes that is going to impede their success. Then I begin to think, are they really making mistakes or are they just doing things differently than I would. This is where having a "Type A" personality and a bit of a control freak vibe has its downsides. It is easy for me to blur the lines of WHAT the kids need to do with HOW they need to do it. Example? OK. Let's take Harry's recent History test. I told him how it was a really important test because it was 50% of his grade. I explained that if I were him, I would start studying a few days prior to the test. Anyway, the night before the test came and he studied, but it got late and he fell asleep and didn't get a chance to study the map portion. Guess where he missed a lot of points? He still got a "B" on the test, but what if he had taken my advice and started studying earlier?
I have begun to discover what long lines of parents before me have already figured out. As your kids get older, it begins to be harder to figure out what they need and how to best support them. Gone are the days when a Princess or Elmo band-aid makes things "all better." Asking them what they need does not always produce results as most of the time they are either unaware or unwilling to put their needs into words. Even Bella at the tender age of 8 has begun to adopt a bit of an attitude when she is faced with things that she would rather avoid.
So I guess it is best to take the "put one foot in front of the other" approach. This is something new for me and let me tell you it is not easy. Lately our family has faced a lot of transition and not all of it has gone smoothly. New schools, new classes, and new expectations have produced lots of stress filled discussions. I am now beginning to see that there is no "quick fix" and that instead it will take a process to change the current battles. And my motto has been forced to change to "let it begin with me" although I am much more comfortable with the "you fix it" phrase.