One of the things I’ve come to realize as a mother is the relationship between a mother and her daughter is complex.  It’s the best of times—and the worst of times.  

After spending the last several years dealing with the WORST, I am starting to see what I’ve been hoping to see all along.  My daughter is finally growing up and becoming a responsible young lady.  She’s actually kind of fun to be around these days.

Yesterday she came home from college and treated me to an evening out.  First,  we went enjoyed a nice dinner together.  She shared her college experiences and I updated her on the her three-year-old-“kids-say-the-darndest-things”-son.  Then went to see a Tyler Perry play.  

Hanging out together made me realize some things about motherhood:

1)  If you train up a child in the way that they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it.  They may stray away from time to time but I truly believe they will come to their senses.  I’m living proof of that!

2)  You cannot be your child’s friend while trying to raise them.  Children need an authority figure and not someone they can “negotiate” with on important things like discipline.

3)  You have to be willing to forgive your children for their mistakes.  I definitely was not happy about my daughter becoming a teenage mother but harboring those negative feelings three years later serves no purpose.

4)  A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.  I see so much of myself in my daughter, and even though her struggles and challenges started out much differently than mine as a young woman, I am convinced she’s going to be alright in the end. 

I guess I have my own mother to thank for that.

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My college daughter called me this week and asked me to pray for her because she felt like she was losing her focus.  She says college life and the work involved has become overwhelming.  As cruel as it may sound to you, the first thing I said to her was “Welcome to the next journey of your REAL world.”

No doubt my daughter has a lot on her plate.  In addition to trying to complete the second year of college, she also has a 3-year-old son to think about and a part-time job that has her commuting about 45 minutes each way on the weekends.  But what I wanted to make her understand is these are the issues that have been been created in her life.  She can either deal with them or roll over and play dead.

I told my daughter that God gives us all a vision—but it is up to us to clear our minds and FOCUS.  

Here are some tips for people who feel like they’re eyes are OFF the prize:

1. Check Your Emotions
If you are charged or upset about something then keep reminding yourself that these emotions will not allow you to get to the next level.

2. Let it Go
Do not dwell on the would’ve, should’ve, could’ve.  You have to let the “stuff” go and move forward.  If you find yourself stuck in a rut, find an anchor in a confidant or professional.  No use crying over spilled milk–just wipe it up and get a new glass.  

3. Take A Breather
If you feel you are losing focus -stop, switch off and come back refreshed.

4. Keep a Notepad handy
Maybe that distracting thinking that keeps coming into your head is a good idea and could be useful. Write it down so that you know it is there, re-focus and come back to it later

5. Reschedule
The mind will wander when you are tired so re-schedule. Its more productive to stay focused on the work you are doing. It takes a lot of practice but it’s worth it.

As a parent, I do appreciate the fact that my daughter came to me to ask for prayer.  At least I know she knows where her help and strength comes from.

What have you done to help your child lately?