Friday, August 03, 2007

In Which Amy Lectures

I have a rant for today. You can skip it if you like. This news story started me on it this morning: Mother cuts off 61 year old son's allowance. It got me thinking about how people put off marriage longer and longer these days. About 20 somethings who think their 20s are for playing around and getting drunk and they'll get serious once they hit 30 and then they hit 30 and can't stay married because their spouse wants them to actually be a grown up. About all the teenagers who are less responsible than I expect an eight year old to be.

Helicopter parenting, that's what's doing this. We have parents who can't let go and want to solve their kids' every problem and they end up raising kids who can't solve any problems at all, kids who are perpetually kids because they've never been given any responsibility.

Pain and responsibility make grown ups. That's basically all their is to it. Stress matures us. If we spend all our time making sure our children are never stressed, never in pain, they won't grow up. You'll find yourself having to do "tough love" on a 39 year old child who still thinks you owe them some kind of support.

Cutting the apron strings is not an abrupt action, or it shouldn't be anyway. Apron strings should be slowly left to fray and tear until all you have left is the last thread. If you desperately repair and rebuild every tear, there will come a day when you have to slash your child away from you and that wound will bleed you dry.

Sarah recently went on a handcart trek with our church youth group. She left the day of her twelfth birthday when she was still emotionally very much an eleven year old. She came back a full teenager. She stood there in front of me last Saturday night, covered in red dust, her hair barely combed, tired, but poised. She grew so much and it hit me within the first five minutes of our conversation. We could have spared her pain by keeping her home or insisting that we went with her to hold her hand and ease her through the experience. She would still be eleven then no matter what the calendar says.

Pain is growth. Imagine how shallow you would be if you had never experienced stress or hard times. Do you want your child to be that?


Grandmakaye said...

Does that mean I'm forgiven for the paper routes?

Anonymous said...

no. ;)

Amy B. said...

oops. that was me.