Dear parents… question… do you play with your children? And I mean adult children? Do you ‘chat’ with them? Do you know their secrets? Or better yet, do they tell you their secrets without you asking?
Do you want to know how I do it? I play with them. I let them beat me at scrabble… no tricks but because they are really better at it. That’s why I am very happy when I win. It is gives me pleasure to beat my kids at scrabble. And when they beat me, they know it is because they are good at it.
I chat with them. One on one time whenever there is opportunity sometimes impromptu.. wherever we may be – eating, shopping, or just watching Netflix together. I tell them what I do with my friends. I share funny stories. I tell jokes about myself, I let them laugh at me even as I laughed at my ‘silly’ moments. I play cool when their dad made fun of me with them.
Have I ever feel the itch to be nosy… curious to know about their personal life? Yes, I do. But I have to curb the urge and control myself – not to be nosy and intrusive. Have I ever worry about them staying single? What if they don’t have someone to take care of them in old age? Well, worry does not solve the issue. So I keep the concern in my heart. God knows my heart. He will take care of it.
In their own time, they come to me and tell me about it. When they do, listening is best. No judging please.. zip my mouth and open my ears. Not even when I think they did wrong or should have done better. And ‘I told you so’ does not help at all. No need to rub it in. If I add salt to the wound, there will be no next time. No more confession, no more secret revelation.
I remember when one of them came to me about having a ‘relationship’ in high school. I was surprised. I was not aware she had someone. I listened and told her gently but firmly, it is alright to have a special friend. You are still young. Many possibilities and opportunities still ahead – many years of study to do yet. I trusted her enough to let go so she can make her own mind and do what is right. Eventually, she learned that study is her priority and she gave up the relationship without any intervention on my part.
God is good. He gives wisdom and guidance to our children when we teach them in the right way – the way of God. God takes care of them. Many times, many thoughts came into my mind and concerns crowd my heart, I cant help but wonder if there is anything I could do better or say more to help things along. Such is the dilemma of a mom – to strike a balance between being close and giving them space… between asking and listening… between being passive or active… But always in grace by grace through the grace of God.
So dear parents, you can do it… be a good parent that God calls you to be – to your natural or spiritual children… play with them, pray with them and pray for them. Give them time and a listening ear, an understanding heart… a heart of love.