Navigating Relationships as a Parent!

Love is hard…

Relationships are hard…

And, being a parent is hard!

How do you guide your children through relationships with the right mix of caution and excitement?

How do you teach them to “guard their hearts” yet not live expecting it to fail?

How do you calm the flames of young love rather than fan them or push our children away?

“Young love” is not just for the young, it is for any age, young or old and anywhere in-between. I would suggest all “young love” has the same excitement, the same rose-colored glasses, and the same intensity no matter how old you are.

My history of relationships is more like a train wreck than a love story and as I raise my children I sometimes find it hard to share the right mix of motherly wisdom over warnings birthed in my own story.

Each conversation is tinged with a mix of happiness and caution…

I want my children to find partners they can build strong, healthy relationships with, relationships filled with love, respect, courage, tenderness, and joy. I want them to feel supported and free to grow in who they are and pursue what’s important to them. I want them to find someone who will challenge them to not settle with mediocre but that inspires them to reach higher.

How do you share all this without sounding like you are “raining on their parade” or instilling boundaries that just aren’t realistic? This is not a matter of trust, I trust my children, however with matters of the heart I know it’s not that easy.

“Young love” is wonderful no matter your age, the “honeymoon” phase of intense emotion, endless thoughts of one another, happiness and seemingly endless conversations are a blessing and we all think “this will last forever!”

How do we share with our children, when they are experiencing the peak of “young love” that honeymoons don’t last forever, no matter how hard we try, and nor should they? Eventually, every relationship will come down to how well you have built the foundation of relating.

If there is one key above all others I would say it is COMMUNICATION, free, open, honest, communication. Both the good and the hard stuff, the happy and the sad, hopes, dreams, frustrations, and pains. When you know you can share everything in truth the rest you can navigate.

My heart for my children is that they have relationships built on trust and honesty, respect and honor, support and inspiration. I want them to challenge each other to grow into their destiny, to encourage each other to become who they were created to be and to not settle along the way.

Life is a journey of learning, loving, growing, and what better travel companion than someone who walks by our side opening our world to what we haven’t seen of ourselves.

Today I have shared more questions than answers, but then maybe the questions themselves for answers because when it comes to matters of the heart there is no hard and fast rule. Sometimes the lessons we must learn are just that, lessons we must learn, and although we can do our very best at guiding our children they too will navigate this road through their own choices. In the end, we love them, support them, and celebrate the good times and provide comfort when required. Just like love, parenting is also a journey of learning, growing, and adjusting.

BLESSINGS

Elke

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