I have been a mom for 38 years, the mother of Kristin, age 38, and David, just shy of 20. Considering the 13870 days I have been a parent I want to say I've made hundreds of mistakes. The truth is my mistakes more likely total 13879 X 100. Yep, closer to 1.4 million,
One or more of those mistakes has led to my daughter not speaking to me for over two years, She will not tell me why so I am lost in a void of wonder and concern - what to do, what not to do, if I should, should I not etc. - and feelings of hopelessness. And sadness.
The thing is, I know I did not teach her to behave like this. I taught her to communicate, to express her feelings, to act in positive ways, to treat others with kindness and respect. She was taught to be generous and giving. I have observed her in all these good things. I have observed her being a wonderful wife and mother.
I should interject here that her (their) father and I have been married almost 40 years, We have had rough times, disappointments, bad behavior, and more. But, we have been blessed with tremendous forgiveness and love. While I am writing this from my heart, as I have for 40 years, I am speaking for Mike too. He's OK with that.
We have never said or acted in a way that demonstrates that "I want the best FOR our children". That attitude can lead children into entitlement, laziness, and disrespect for others. An entitled child may turn into an adult who dismisses, negates, ignores, minimizes and denigrates others. They will believe that rules don't apply to them and act in ways that are not beneficial to our society. Their world is only about them and their needs.
Contrary, I have known that it is better to want "The best OUT of your child". It is better to teach them to do their best, teach them by example, set high expectations, expect them to do for themselves. Teach them how to care for themselves and for others. Show them love, and teach them to love.
There is a dramatic difference between the words 'for' (my children) and 'out' of (my children). The attitudes of parents that raise children with these two ideals reap the opposite effect, while many are believing they are doing their best,
An important Bible verse about parenting is Titus 3:1-2, "Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people."
Mike and I were not, and are not (David lives with us while attending college), perfect examples of God's Word. We try. We confess our failure. We try again.
Someday Kristin's heart will soften.. I trust God with that and pray that I am able to feel and see it, not laying there still, quiet and cold.