Nothing much of what I’m going to say is original to me and so it’s a case study. I copy and steal everything. It’s proved helpful as most of us journey along and learn from our churches or our schools, or our mentors or friends. A lot of what I’m going to say is borrowed from, in particular, one ministry that really reached out and grabbed a hold of me just a couple years ago.
What was very eye opening to me was what is called this ‘Journey of Transition’. This broke down the stages of parenting for me, from being a “caretaker”, age zero to five, to being a “cop” from age five to age twelve, “coach” from twelve to eighteen, and then a “counselor” from eighteen on. Those stages are guidelines and what you’re trying to accomplish at each stage is reflected in the title. For me, the end goal is to be a counselor to my children and to have this relationship where, even in adulthood, we have this symbiotic relationship, where we’re really counselors to each other and they continue to come to me. I can’t get there by going from “cop” to “counselor”. I needed to transition out of the “cop” role and into the “coach” role and I only had about a year to do it because my daughter was entering her last year of high school. So, I was riding her pretty hard about things she wasn’t doing right like, not getting up on time or missing something because she couldn’t get ready in enough time. She wasn’t being as administrated as I needed her to be. I realized that when she’s gone at eighteen she’s not going to be picking up the phone to call me to say “can you tell me this or what do you think I should do here?”. And nobody responds if I’ve been a cop then, why am I going to be any different at twenty-one when she’s calling me. Making this transition from being the “cop” to being the “coach” to being the “encourager”, is where I’m loving them where they are and going on this journey together. I’m staying side by side with you not in front of you.