Friday

The dawn of boys and girls


This JB concert was set up by my 9 year old daughter

10 years ago when the technician said 'it's a girl' my first thought was 'one day that baby girl would love a boy'.

The thought gripped my heart with fear. How could I stop her from loving him too young? What experience could I draw from to advise her to forget him, focus on your art, your studies, anything but him?

I was that girl with a boy shaped hole inside. I was that girl who lived only to know him, see him, be with him. The girl I don't want my little girl to become. The power of it scares me.

So now it has begun to seep into my home how do I move? Do I deny it or hold her hand? Do I run and hide? Do I trust the foundation we have built beneath her? The ground I did not have. The ground with roots deep in the Word. Not blowing in the wind. Not unchained.

Yes, but I remember and tremble.

16 comments:

  1. Keeps us moms on our knees and having lots of late night chats with our daughters . . . both lovely things.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  2. How is it that you can express in words exactly what is going on inside my heart? Thankyou for sharing your beautiful heart so that others can be encouraged.

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  3. I think we must trust that foundation we built. It's coming all to soon for me, sigh. I focus on keeping them children as long as possible and not exposing them to to much "grown up" stuff. May the force be with us!

    These photos are fantastic!!!

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  4. I don't know that we can stop this pull. I think having a really good foundation and grounding in the Word will certainly be a guiding force in their lives. I think we should pour into them, the girls and boys, all that we can while we can, while the time is still ours, while they still want us, the Word of God and family time, reading, cooking together, cleaning together, playing games, etc.

    Then when the time comes, we'll need to pray for lots of wisdom and guidance from God as to how to proceed, what the guidelines and boundaries should be, how to institute those without losing their hearts and causing resentment and rebellion. And continue to spend as much time with them as they will allow and always be available to talk.

    Another thing that may be helpful during that time is to try to get them as busy as possible with activities that take up their time. Examples would be scouts, basketball, debate, some kind of service opportunity.

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  5. Another thing I would add is that I have found Facebook and Texting to be two things that make it very hard for parents. It pulls their children away faster than anything else and pulls them toward the opposite sex and the things of the world in a fast and strong way. You won't be able to monitor or control it no matter how much you think you will. They can have secret relationships and constant communication you know nothing about and with those whom you do not know.

    With these tools, you have no control and very little influence. They can make plans in an instant. And inappropriate things can be sent to them that would horrify you. I am not over exaggerateing. Only those who have teenagers can comment on this. If they have not lived it, they would not know. Also, texting causes many car accidents and deaths. You can tell them not to text while driving, but will they listen?

    You may think that it's okay because their friends are all Christians or homeschooled. You may think it's a good thing because you can get to know their friends on Facebook. Maybe but maybe not. You would be surprised at all of the worldliness that is in teens these days, even in the church. If you do allow FB, I would not allow texting. You cannot control that no matter how hard you try, period. If we do allow FB for our children who are now too young, we will have the password until they are in college and we will log them on and off. The computer will stay out in the family room. Don't think you can trust a teenager with this much technology no matter how mature and Godly you may think they are. Temptation out there is great, and their hormones are raging. They don't reason properly. There is much confusion in the teen years. They are trying to find their way. "Parents don't know anything, don't understand and don't care."

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  6. Hold her hand and be her gentle guide. Be her roots that keep her firmly on the ground when the whirlwind and storm come (if they do indeed come). The stronger her grounding, the harder it will be to uproot her.

    Try not to judge or accuse or bring more guilt into it, even if it's your initial gut reaction . It will only loosen the ground she's stepping under.

    I'm saying all this based on my own experiences with my mom and my thoughts about my daughter. It's advice that may or may not apply, so I hope you'll just read it for what it is - uneducated opinion from someone who's both a mother and a daughter. :)

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  7. My husband and I worked it this way:

    I would get to know the boy, let him feel comfortable with me and in our home, I would look for the good in him........

    My husband would watch him, make him nervous, make the boy work at earning husband's okay......

    good cop/bad cop sort of idea

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  8. First roots then wings and there's a lot to be said for courtship as opposed to dating.

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  9. Anonymous12:59 PM

    We have seven daughters (and three sons), aged 3 to 24 years, so I've thought about this a lot. What worked for us, in addition to grounding in the Word, is, first, encouraging each of their God-given interests so they are engaged in satisfying, productive activities most of the time, second, not participating in age-segregated activities (in other words, doing things as a family--and I realize this is not for everyone, but it definitely is right for us)and, third, strengthening family unity. We also have a lot of discussions, so it is not a weird subject to address. And we verbalize WHY we encourage them to do things like not "dating around" and to wait until marriage for even their first kiss.

    Our two older daughters are married now, to wonderful guys who are perfect for each of them (plus, we have a fabulous granddaughter and another on the way!). My second oldest daughter happens to be reading over my shoulder and she says to add that, after we explained our guidelines about boy-girl relationships, we trusted them to manage those relationships well and healthily and to God's glory.

    Whew...didn't mean for this to be so long!:-)

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  10. Thank you all for your words.

    Trudy, that is a lot of wisdom from one who has already raised 2 girls, lots of food for thought. I totally hear the not letting them to texting and FB. I am determined about that, as I was not not letting them have hand held game thingys - and I have stood my ground on that, we don't even own a Wii.
    Ikeda, I like that no guilt idea, that is what I want too.
    Carole, brilliant idea that good cop/bad cop, I could see that working well.... I will tuck it away in my arsenal.
    We know some very successful courtship folks, in December I helped photograph a beautiful wedding of a courtship couple and it such a sweet thing, my problem is keeping my kid's hearts pure until their 20's! that is a long time with hormones and a brother with lots of guy friends around to stay the course.
    I am glad I talked about this today, it has been pressing on me for a long time.

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  11. Lisa, yeah! so glad to hear that and thank you for your daughter's word too!!!
    I like that, keeping them busy with their own interests and then doing family stuff. Very practical and very much the track we are on. Your encouragement is much appreciated.

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  12. Shona, speaking from experience...I think the critical thing is to be there for your kids. Develop your relationship with them so they don't feel 'needy'. Our children who we have raised well...(Took two to learn to make the kids FIRST in our life)...spent time with..learned to treat with love and respect even during difficult times..not overreacting..not being overbearing in their teen years..they are strong. They can have freedoms..even texting and facebook..without it derailing them. But the children (our oldest two) who we in some ways really messed up..overbearing with the first..too busy for the second..they were quick to find relationships elsewhere and found ways to develop those relationships quickly.

    Gary Ezzo said it so well, "Teens don't rebel against rules..but against lack of relationship." Trudy is right that those tools can really be a stumbling block to our teens and we keep a careful eye on our teens and their use of these things. But we don't have to worry about our last three teens. They care what we thing, respond to our concerns..and tell us about their relationships..listen to our advice..all because we gave them TIME and showed more faith in them. We were just so nervous with the first two. And we didn't have their hearts and trust. Thank goodness..the Lord's grace covers even our mistakes..and brings good out of them.

    Kindness and Quality time..and a listening ear..and God's grace are all you need. There is no need to fear and little need to 'control'. Your kids can grow up to be teens who are more like wise young adults than rebellious or relationship hungry teens.

    You can't stop a teenager from doing what they want..but you can love them into caring about what you want--which is their best of course. At least that's what Tim and I have learned.

    If you will love your kids..and help them seek the Lord and understand his love for them..they won't go looking in all the wrong places for it..or jump the gun too early.

    Love you!
    Donna

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  13. Big vote of YES on chatting with daughters and sons from Glenda. We talk and talk and talk..or should I say THEY talk..we listen. Forget bedtimes when they are teens..drop everything when they want to talk. Tea time chats always come when I least expect them. I take every one I can get.

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  14. Donna is so wise. Isn't she?

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  15. So are you Trudy! :o)

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  16. BTW, my second oldest is doing so well...and we are proud of him and his sweet wife in every way. Didn't want to give the wrong impression. :o) We just know that we left him rather vulnerable when we shouldn't have. It would have made his transition to adult life easier if we had given him our best instead of the leftovers of our life.

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