Parentz n Kontrol

As a parent of four kids, the biggest reality check for me is this:  I don’t know everything!!!!   This isn’t so much a negative but a humble one.  I have a 7 year old boy, and 11, 15, and 16 year old girls.  It has been an amazing ride up until now.  However, the roller coaster has hit!!!

We have an amazing family and every day is another day of living together, learning together, growing together and Loving each other.  No one in THIS house has all the answers, but we are all working together to figure it out along the way.

I have worked with kids for many years assisting leaders in youth group, leading youth group, and participating in youth functions.  Many kids will open up and share their many struggles in life including school, work, and especially family.

Lately, family seems to be the re-curring problem that comes up over and over and over.   Here is one of the biggest issues:  Controlling parents.  Now, don’t get me wrong here, I realize that we, as parents, have authority over our children.  That is not the issue I have.  The problem is when we take our authority and we turn it into our CONTROL. 

I believe that ‘authority’ is God given and that we are to use it to guide and teach those under our authority.  ‘Control’ is when we are put in authority over someone and we use that position to make them conform to OUR will.

More than ever these days, teenagers need to be taught how to be responsible, applauded when they are successful, encouraged when they fail, and released when they are ready to move on in the direction they have chosen.  Unfortunately, the stories I have been hearing are in exact contrasts to this.  Some parents have done a tremendous job raising their kids, but now, at the age of 16 or 17, they are forcing them to rebel because they won’t release them to grow.

One kid I know is 17, respectful, kind, caring, Loves God, has a job, and is one of the most responsible teenagers I have ever met, but the parents cannot trust that what they have done is good enough.  They are pushing this kid further and further away every day.  Why?  Because they won’t give up the control they feel is rightfully theirs.  They have taken all of this kids free time away and used the following quote, “All your time is mine!”  This was said to a 17 year old who will be 18 in a matter of months!!!  Come on people!  They are taking a young person with a pure heart, and forcing that person to be resentful, unhappy, and longing to escape.  Rebellion is not far away and it could have all been avoided!

  I will never forget what one Pastor said:  ” We as parents need to ‘loose’ control, not ‘lose’ control over our teenagers”.  If only parents today would take hold of that and let them go as they need to.  There is no “magical” moment when suddenly they are an adult and NOW we can let go.  It is a gradual process and we need to let go as they grow.  They are becoming young adults sooner and sooner these days and when they are 15, we need to start letting the reigns go as is appropriate.  That gives them 3 years to practice becoming the young adult they are supposed to become and 3 years for us to be as good of an influence as we can be for them, NOT a hinderance to their growth!!!  Come on parents, stop preventing your children from becoming adults by controlling them.  No matter what you do, they will leave you eventually and the choices you make now will profoundly affect the your relationship with your child later when they are grown up and out of your home. 

Bottom line:  Stop confusing authority with control and God’s Will with your will



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