So, They’ll Love Me When I’m 80 – Raising Teens

Mother’s day is this weekend, and you know I’ve been taking a hard look at my parenting lately.  Reevaluating.  Making Changes.  Fighting for the hearts of my children.

My grandmother passed in March.  My step-grandfather passed this week, his funeral was held yesterday.  I was immensely blessed to take home some parenting wisdom from their funerals.

My grandmother – her son (my uncle) shared the story of how when he was going through a challenging financial time, my grandmother gave him an encouraging card with money inside.  It was very helpful and touching, but at the bottom of the card Grandma wrote “I think a second job is in order”.

She loved him, supported him, but gave him the honesty and wake up call he needed.

My step-grandfather – at the funeral everyone who spoke shared stories in which Pop had helped, encouraged and supported but always with a dose of “shoot from the hip” honesty.  He didn’t sugarcoat issues.

Toward the end of the service, three of the granddaughters sang Daddy’s Hands and dedicated it to Pop’s six children.  If you haven’t heard the song, it’s a beautiful tribute to appreciating a father’s discipline.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

It was a beautiful.  In the middle of the song I turned to my husband with tears streaming down my face and said “Well, they may not like us now but they’ll love us when we’re 80, and say nice things at our funerals.”  He smiled and hugged me a little closer.

He understood.

Raising teens isn’t easy.  There’s bound to be some tension.  Heidi St. John says we’re preparing arrows to launch out into the world.  And what do you do when you’re launching an arrow?  You pull that arrow closer to you – to your heart.  And what happens when you do this?  It creates tension on the line – a little tension is okay.

I haven’t ruined my teen, I’ve created too much tension by being overly critical in an effort to impart as much wisdom as I can before I launch him.  I’ve spent too much time lecturing and advising, not enough time listening and loving.  I need to go back to the 3:1 praise/correction ratio – I’ve gotten off course.

Praise God it’s not too late to correct that course.  And then, when I’m old, when my teen has raised children, he’ll understand and appreciate the love in my hands.

That my friends is God’s grace – He’s built His grace into our daily lives.

That’s my self-lecture and reflection for the day 🙂  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a baby shower to attend – my baby shower.  It feels so surreal, to say goodbye-for-now to Pop yesterday then to celebrate new life today.

Grace my friends.  Redemption and grace.

6 thoughts on “So, They’ll Love Me When I’m 80 – Raising Teens

  1.  I love that thought – that our kids will say nice things about us at our funerals. I’m amazed how frustrated my teens will get with me and then write “You’re the best Mom ever” in a Mother’s Day card. Sorry about your losing your grandparents. They sound like special people.

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