Avoiding the parent-less trap

Sometimes – every so often – you get wind of your kids stepping up in tough situations. And you think “they actually hear me!” We had one of those days recently. Our eldest, Jess, was thrust into a difficult setting. An old gut-wrenching experience reared its head once again. We’d been over the proper way to react, but it had been awhile. This time mom and dad weren’t nearby. So, she had to rely on her community of friends who didn’t know about the situation. They still don’t. But they quickly picked up on what was happening and gave her the confidence she needed to prevent the problem’s escalation. Jess came through in a great way, and we couldn’t be happier.

I’ve written about Mara Wilson (April 18 blog) who had avoided succumbing to the lifestyle of child stars by choosing a different path. I don’t know if it was a moral decision or just an honest evaluation of her desire for that profession. Regardless, she wasn’t sucked in to the fame and fortune that would have been hers. I have mixed feelings whenever a child star appears on the scene because Mara Wilson is the exception to the rule. We’ll see most of their lives unravel before us through various media.

Imagine how difficult it must be to parent these children. Macaulay Culkin, Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, and many others have fallen into what looks like a parent-less trap. I may be naive, but it seemed that Billy Ray Cyrus did what he could to keep Miley under raps. How does one do that? As teenagers, the kids are bombarded with getting everything their hearts desire. It’s hard to combat. But, it’s not just celebrity parents who deal with this. It may be on a smaller scale, but our kids have to wrestle with desires, and it’s up to parents to guide them. Often it means making kids sad to show them the importance of good decision-making. Time after time we restrict what they’d like to watch or enforce bedtime even though it means their disapproval. Many times we have to make them refrain from verbally attacking another party who has wronged them, even though we often feel the same way. So often we say “no” to buying what everybody else seems to have because it is extreme and unnecessary.

However, when the day comes – and it will – that your child takes off the maturity training wheels and rides on their own; it will be all worth it. Take the little glimpses of those days as a reward now. You’ve earned it.

Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost. (Proverbs 22:6, The Message)


3 thoughts on “Avoiding the parent-less trap

  1. How true this is. I think the hardest thing to remember as a parent that sometimes, no matter how you have brought them up, they will not always make the right choices. We know this. I think the most horrible thing was when we figured out what Brittany was doing we both blamed ourselves, but we were advised by some friends and fellow people who have or been through similar situations, that it was not our fault. She made her own decision. The most horrible thing that disgusted us more than anything was finding out that not only was she deceiving us, but as the parents that always had to meet the parents of her friends, and not let her go anywhere to stay without a conversation and an agreement with the parents that certain rules etc would be there and the kids would be where they say they were etc. Those parents were also not only lieing to us, but encouraging and actually endorsing and giving her the means to participate in these improper behaviours. I do not understand some parents.

    • You’re right. Parents cannot make decisions for the kids. We give them the tools that will equip them to make good choices. Sad thing is, we aren’t omnicient so we can’t know if other parents are trustworthy, too. But, even after our kids make poor choices we can still give them the prayer and support they need to get them back on their feet.

      Thanks so much for the comment, Sheryl!

      • I totally agree with that! We know from first hand that prayer and support is what they ultimately need. We also learned not to be surprised when a prayer is answered in a strange or different way, because it is what they need, and not what we expected or even how we expected our prayers to be answered. Prayer and support will get them through everything and anything!

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