Giving him a Road Map

Friday night we had a special event. It was a combination birthday party for my 2 oldest boys.
On Monday I will have a 16 year old Man living in my house! I have called him a man for several years now; since he was about 12.
His father and I have always expected him to grow into a man and so we have tried to train him from the beginning to understand what that expectation looks like. First our goal has been to bring him to early maturity and encourage a deep personal relationship with Christ. It is an interesting and rocky journey on the path to adulthood. The world tempts and tantalizes our youth into believing that ALL is for them that they are the center. How can Christ compete with that?

Thanks be to God that it is HE that does the Calling, the wooing and the convicting of sin. Only God, through the Holy Spirit can do what I so often fail to do in my flesh.

These are His children; given for such a short time to train, love and give right back to Him.

We have a great responsibility as parents to build strong relationships with our children.

As moms it is not easy to raise a boy into a man. I am grateful to be sharing that responsibility with my husband. I understand however, that there are many sisters in Christ out there that don't have that balance. I believe God heaps a special grace on those of you in that situation; and I know of so many wonderful men that have been raised by mothers who have either found themselves single thru messy situations or thru losing a wonderful husband. The common thread in these situations has been an unwavering faith and trust in these boys' Heavenly Father.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalm 32:8 

My boys learning from a friend how to patch a big hole
  For a brief month I tasted what it would be like to have to raise my children without the daily input of my husband. I learned a lot about my sons thru that experience. I learned that they thrive on praise and affirmation. That they rise to the call of being needed as men. That when they are loved and respected and encouraged to step out and try new projects they grow thru the challenge and rise to the challenge.

Come, O children, listen to me;
     I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 34:11 

This age is full of so much passion and explosive energy. Pointed in the right direction it can be such an asset, but unbridled, this energy can create so much chaos and disharmony in a home.

We were headed down that misguided path traveling at lightning speed for several months. I had given up in so many ways. I abdicated and deferred the training of this man to my husband; putting high expectations on him to "fix this boy!". "You're a man, right? You must know how to do this and what he needs!?!"

Wrongly, I had thrown my hands up in frustration and shut my mouth (that part not such a bad idea actually) and walked away. I would pray, but it was in exasperation. I love how that is were the Lord can meet us anyway, in our weakness and when we are at our end, it is just the beginning for him. While my Trucker was on the road I was sharing with my mom the problems I was having with my own attitude about this......what do I call it? relationship change? training issue? parenting? She is so much wiser than me and has successfully raised 2 godly men.  I was seeking her advice about what to do.

 The Lord used that conversation to help me come up with what I call:

"The Road Map for Success" 

It was just a peice of paper that I wrote on where I was able to articulate more clearly the expectations I have for my son and show him how to live up to them. I also was able to establish what the consequences would be if he failed to obey or maintain a proper attitude thru this process.

He responded so well, it really clicked. There were several things he wasn't happy about but he respects my authority (thank the Lord for that) and was willing to accept these new rules and guidelines. It finally began to make sense. It was a learning curve for both of us. I am so glad I wrote it down! I needed the reminder of all that I had said.

What a blessing these last 3 months have been. Our communication has settled back into the (mostly sweet & enjoyable) close openness we have shared since he was little and I am seeing him apply himself to getting his grades up. He is taking my advice in a few areas and his relationships with his sisters is improving. He is also showing much more diligence in his chores. He has a checklist everyday. It is becoming easier to manage. New habits are never easy.

I think I am going to like 16. 

He got his permit 2 days ago! This was our first milestone on his "Road to Success". I am so excited for him! He knew what was going to be required of him to be able to be have the privilege of getting that permit and he worked hard to achieve it. He is maturing and we are united.
He knows I love him and I am his biggest cheer leader. I want him to drive. I want him to succeed. I am on his team and I know he knows it. I am glad that even though we may not always sing happy songs to one another and he may not want to be reminded of the consequences of not getting his school work done on time or finishing his chores faithfully; he knows what to expect and I don't have to have a battle.

Now that my Trucker is home I am happy to say that things are still moving along smoothly. I shared with my husband all we came up with while he was gone and he has supported it 100%. As a matter of fact he is benefiting from the structure and clear accountability that has been established and our relationship is better for it too. Win/Win! God is so good, ALL the time!

No comments:

Post a Comment