As a mother, you want many things for your children.
You just do. That’s who you are and how you are.
If every Christian mother would sit down and write a list of “What I Want for my (eventual adult) Child,” I believe the lists would be pretty darn similar.
I have been a mother for 131 years. If you add up my kids back to back, that’s how many years of experience I have. It’s crazy.
For a long time, I thought I wanted “good” kids. And I thought my kids were sort of like vending machines. I’d put in my “money” then carefully select what I wanted and viola! I’d get exactly what I had desired.
Parenting is not even sort of like that.
Parenting is an explosion.
It’s an explosion of moods and personality and hormones and ideas and shoes.
Our kids develop and they become.their.own.person.
As we travel the road with them, especially with our first child, it’s like we are creating the map as we go. It’s new territory.
Along the way, I had to let go of the version that I wanted of my child.
So instead of selecting “good” in my vending machine, I made every selection say, “LOVED.”
I want to live in “loved.”
I want to live in unconditional love, the love that Jesus has for me, no matter what I’ve done or continue to do.
Now, this does not mean I don’t guide. I do guide the heck out of my children. But it’s done through ENGAGEMENT and through PAYING ATTENTION. It’s done while asking good questions and drinking coffee.
And always, with love.
As they lean into that love, they allow me into their chaos.
It sounds a little scary. And it is at times.
This is from my journal, December 4, 2016:
“As I enter into their chaos, I can see I am preparing them to be courageous, engaged adults. It is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Yet the most rewarding.
“This is such an expected yet profound truth. They can only be who they are when I can see their real. And I want my kids to be real. Authentic. I want to lead my kids to themselves. I want to lead them to connection, real connection, with me, Russ, and others. I step back from the enormity of the task. I cry. I stop. I wail. I pout. I control. I get frustrated. I have tremendous self-doubt. I know I am not worthy to be forging the way. I want to get from here to there but I know I cannot do it on my own. So I surrender to God. Fill me. Lori, keep working on living and loving with your whole heart. Claim the spiritual awakening. Know that you are brave.”
Whew! There is a lot to this mothering task.
As many of you know, my adult son, Eric, and I have been using our history as well as our research and our passion and we’ve created an online course to guide parents in these new waters.
A good friend of mine stopped by my house yesterday. She could see I had been working on The Parenting Dare.
She said, “Now, tell me why I need this course again?”
I laughed. I asked her about her kids. Did she want to be authentic? Did she truly want to guide them or was she content with letting them drift?
She countered with the fact that she is busy.
I get that. I’m busy, too. And truthfully, the last thing I want to think about is my child’s emerging sexuality. I’d rather go on a bike ride or play cards.
Our children need us. They need us to engage with them. They need us to help them fight off the crazy temptations they are now facing, temptations we did not face.
They need us to enter INTO that chaos with them.
My friend got that.
And she liked knowing that we made the videos short. PLUS she could use the audio version while she drove.
“Now, how much will this cost?”
Well, first of all, NOT entering into the inner life of your child will cost a lot. There is a heart-breakingly high price to pay. Once a child gets sucked into this underworld of temptation, their entire focus is inward. It’s insane. And it takes years to get out.
A much better plan of action: Dare to Parent in this realm.
So yes, we have to charge for this course, but the actual cost is minimal. You will reap the benefits for a lifetime.