Grow­ing pains for all ages

The Amherst News - - RELIGION - Rev. Don Miller is with First Bap­tist Church in Amherst. Rev. Don Miller

There have been a num­ber of teary par­ents lately, as they drop their chil­dren at school.

Some are send­ing their lit­tle kinder­garten kids off to ele­men­tary.

What big changes in the lives of their lit­tle peo­ple! They must nav­i­gate a bus ride, a big school, and en­counter all dif­fer­ent types of peo­ple on the play­ground. Par­ents spend hours wor­ry­ing about 1001 things. Will he for­get to eat his lunch? Will she wear her coat out­side? Can he learn how to wipe his nose? Will she make friends?

Par­ents try to find teach­able mo­ments in their chil­dren’s lives. To look both ways to cross a road. To avoid dan­gers. To learn how to ap­ply all the lit­tle lessons that fill up a child’s mind. It is an ex­haust­ing ex­er­cise, and no par­ent is ever per­fect, but the goal is to help a child to han­dle all of life’s ups and downs. To learn how to share. To be true to them­selves. To says please and thanks. To learn when to apol­o­gize for mis­takes, and for­give those who make their own. They might want to bub­ble-wrap their chil­dren, and pre­vent them from harm, but par­ents need to step back. To say a prayer and trust.

Par­ents send their chil­dren off to mid­dle and high schools. They worry about a child’s im­age. Will they be bul­lied? Will they be kind? Will they han­dle se­ri­ous en­coun­ters? Will they learn how to find a first love? Will they know how to be true to them­selves? Once again, a par­ent must trust. To say a prayer and hope they have taught their child the lessons they need.

One might of­fer that the ul­ti­mate test is drop­ping off their univer­sity stu­dents. It’s time to leave the nest and their 18-year su­per­vised life. A new world awaits. Par­ents want their kids to find hap­pi­ness. To ap­pre­ci­ate life and all the joy that it of­fers. Mu­sic. Sports. Cul­ture. Cre­ativ­ity. Pol­i­tics. Re­li­gion. A wide range. A bal­ance. A mean­ing­ful life. The first day on cam­pus is the com­bined test of abil­ity for so­cial, aca­demic, and de­ci­sion mak­ing. Both par­ents and chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ence a ma­jor life change. The morals and life lessons are no longer re­hearsals. Now life is in their hands.

The parental life changes. They re­ceive a few loads of laun­dry. They hear of new char­ac­ters and con­flicts. Hear of new dif­fi­cul­ties their child ex­pe­ri­ences. A par­ent con­tin­ues to of­fer sug­ges­tions, but it is now the de­ci­sion of the child. Once again, a par­ent needs to of­fer a prayer and trust.

Par­ents ul­ti­mately teach their chil­dren to be strong, in­de­pen­dent, kind, pro­duc­tive adults. To find hap­pi­ness and ful­fil­ment in this big and busy life. To find a place in this world.

Par­ent­ing. It is an amaz­ing...ex­haust­ing...frus­trat­ing...con­found­ing... Know that God has your back. He hears your heart, shares your love and raises the gift you were given.

Good job Mom and Dad!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.