Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camp and Out

Today is a milestone in our household. Our oldest is departing the 1st time for church camp.

It's only 2 nights of fun filled adventure but it's enough to make a mark. It is the indicator of things changing. Kids getting older and getting into their own stuff. In preparation for camp there has been running to the grocery store, and quick lessons on doing things on her own. Things that we used to do.

Plus being Broo there is a significant chance she will not let us do these things for her again. Independence will have taken seed and there is no stopping it. She's already eating well, getting drinks, etc. Bath time was predominantly parent driven. Now she knows how to shower on her own. We used to setup the toothbrush; no more.

We've previously seen the greenshoots of "I can do it" and "Let me do it". It's not really a control aspect that we just can't let go, or a lack of trust. It's that we aren't ready for her to grow up so fast.

Back as a new parent one of the books schlepped upon was "New Parent Power". An updated version of the author's previous hit "Parent Power". A pretty good book but one of the key lessons for me was that you are raising kids to be independent contributing members of society. I'd toss in some faith as imperative also.

Biblical Paradox.
Ephesians 6:4. Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Do not squash your kids, but don't let them loose with no training.

You have potential to frustrate your children (and yourself) in 2 ways:
A) Total Training
if you do not equip them for being solo someday. Eating, dressing, laundry, household budget,....basic life lessons that should be passed down so they someday get out of your house without full dependence on you. But if they grow up too quickly, too soon they potentially lose the love of life. Being a kid and playing games. A proper and proportional love for things because all is viewed as work. Parents must let kids play and be kids.
B) No Training
if you give them none of these. The kid may never leave your house or understand the value of work and earning things. If all is done for them the sense of duty and rejoicing at the fruits of efforts is never grown. You wouldn't let your kid ride bike in a busy street so they can learn the lessons themselves, they aren't ready and don't see the danger that a parent knows is there. Parents must use rules.

The common thought is to balance this. True, but don't balance by being 1/2 rules & 1/2 grace. Balance by going all in. There are rules and lessons (Law) and there is love and mystery and story (Grace).

It sounds weird but I hope I'm still allowed to do things for Broo and still able to let her do it herself and smile. She may go camping but she is not out.

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